Port Curtis seagrass seed bank density and viability studies: year 1

Jarvis, J.C., Scott, E.L., Bryant, C.V., and Rasheed, M.A. (2015) Port Curtis seagrass seed bank density and viability studies: year 1. Report. James Cook University, Cairns, QLD, Australia.

[img] PDF (Published Version) - Published Version
Restricted to Repository staff only

View at Publisher Website: https://research.jcu.edu.au/tropwater/pu...


[Extract] This report details findings from the first year of a study examining the density of seagrass (Zostera muelleri) seeds and their viability in Port Curtis. The project builds on field seagrass seed bank assessments that were originally conducted as part of the Western Basin Dredging and Disposal Project (WBDDP). This new study examines a back-catalogue of frozen sediment core samples collected quarterly from March 2011 as part of WBDDP as well as new quarterly sampling in 2014/15 for analysis of total density of the seagrass seed banks at three key sites in Port Curtis. In addition biannual assessments of the viability of Z. muelleri seeds at the end of the growing season (February 2015) and beginning (May 2015) of the subsequent growing season were conducted at the 3 sites.

Results of the seed bank density and viability surveys found that:

• Seeds were found at all sites during all sampling events from March 2011 until May 2015. Seed density varied over time at Rodds Bay and Wiggins Island but was relatively stable at Pelican Banks.

• Viable seeds were found in the sediment seed bank at Pelican Banks, Wiggins Island and Rodds Bay at the end of the growing season (Feb 2015). However, seed bank viability decreased after an additional 4 months in the sediment including a complete loss of viability at Pelican Banks.

• On average greater than 60% of all seeds were found at sediment depths >20mm with greater than 50% found at depths deeper than 50mm. This may limit the effectiveness of the seed bank as burial depth can be a potential bottleneck for germination.

• Additional information on the persistence of seagrass seeds is necessary to quantify the resilience to disturbance provided by seed banks in these meadows with ongoing sampling planned in 2016 and 2017 likely to provide a better understanding of the dynamics in density and particularly seed viability in Port Curtis.

These findings demonstrate the value in continuing the viability and seed bank assessments and suggest additional investigations to quantify seed germination success, temporal changes in seed viability in the field and connectivity between seagrass meadows through seed dispersal within the Port Curtis region would add substantially to understanding seagrass resilience.

Item ID: 45751
Item Type: Report (Report)
Keywords: Zostera muelleri; seagrass seed bank; seagrass; seed bank; seed; resilience; seed viability; Port Curtis; Gladstone Harbour; ecosystem research and monitoring program
Related URLs:
Additional Information:

A report to the Gladstone Ecosystem Research and Monitoring Program. Report No. 15/35

Funders: Gladstone Ports Corporation Limited Ecosystem Research and Monitoring Program
Date Deposited: 20 Sep 2016 03:19
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0501 Ecological Applications > 050102 Ecosystem Function @ 50%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050206 Environmental Monitoring @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960503 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Coastal and Estuarine Environments @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960802 Coastal and Estuarine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 50%
Downloads: Total: 1
More Statistics

Actions (Repository Staff Only)

Item Control Page Item Control Page