Gladstone Healthy Harbour Partnership 2016 Report Card: ISP011: seagrass

Carter, Alex, Bryant, Catherine, Davies, Jaclyn, and Rasheed, Michael (2016) Gladstone Healthy Harbour Partnership 2016 Report Card: ISP011: seagrass. Report. TropWATER, James Cook University, Cairns, QLD, Australia.

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• Seagrass condition was assessed for 14 monitoring meadows across 6 Gladstone Healthy Harbour Partnership reporting zones in November 2015 (GHHP 2016 reporting year).

• Seagrass condition in the Gladstone Harbour region was poor (D).

• Half of the monitoring meadows were assessed as being in poor condition, including all of the monitoring meadows in The Narrows, Mid Harbour and South Trees Inlet Zones. In the Western Basin Zone two meadows were in satisfactory condition, two meadows were in good condition, and two meadows were in poor condition. No meadows were graded as very good for overall meadow condition.

• Seagrass was in poor condition in four Gladstone Harbour Zones (The Narrows, Mid Harbour, South Trees Inlet and Rodds Bay); the Inner Harbour Zone was in very poor condition; and the Western Basin Zone was in satisfactory condition.

• The overall meadow score for each meadow is the lowest of the three indicator scores. The Narrows, Mid Harbour, South Trees Inlet (lower) and Rodds Bay Zones all received poor scores which were driven by low biomass. Area determined the overall meadow score in the Western Basin Zone in two meadows, species composition in three meadows, and biomass in one meadow. Species composition determined the overall score in the Inner Harbour.

• Environmental conditions influence seagrass condition in Gladstone. Years where overall meadow condition was poor/very poor in the majority of meadows either correspond with (2010-2015) or directly follow (2004) years of above average rainfall and discharge in the region, particularly from the Calliope River. These rainfall /river flow peaks are often associated with tropical cyclones. Tropical Cyclone Marcia crossed the coast just north of Gladstone in February 2015, bringing with it short but significant rainfall and flooding from the Fitzroy River (just north of Gladstone) and south to the Upper Brisbane River.

• There was no sign of seagrass recovery at the Gladstone Harbour scale from the previous year. Overall seagrass condition improved from very poor to poor in The Narrows; remained stable in the Western Basin (satisfactory) and Rodds Bay (poor); and declined in the Inner Harbour (poor to very poor), Mid Harbour and South Trees inlet (satisfactory to poor). Consecutive years of poor seagrass condition have likely reduced meadow resilience to further impacts.

• This report is presented into two parts. Part 1 summarises report card results for the most recent annual survey conducted in November 2015. Part 2 is an accompanying technical report that details methods, analysis, results and interpretation.

• Several minor changes to the methods used to assess seagrass condition were applied in the 2016 reporting year. This resulted in minor grade changes in some meadows in some years (e.g. meadow 43 area in 2008). These changes are detailed in Section 2.2 of the report.

Item ID: 45732
Item Type: Report (Report)
Keywords: seagrass, report card, indicators, Gladstone Harbour, Gladstone Healthy Harbour Partnership
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Funders: Gladstone Healthy Harbour Partnership
Date Deposited: 14 Sep 2016 23:11
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050206 Environmental Monitoring @ 50%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960507 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Marine Environments @ 100%
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