Development of a condition report card for variable and diverse seagrass meadows in ports

Carter, Alex, Davies, Jaclyn, Jarvis, Jessie, McCormack, Catherine, and Rasheed, Michael (2017) Development of a condition report card for variable and diverse seagrass meadows in ports. In: Proceedings of the Australasian Coasts & Ports 2017 Conference, pp. 1152-1158. From: Australasian Coasts & Ports 2017 Conference: working with nature, 21-23 June 2017, Cairns, QLD, Australia.

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Abstract

Marine environmental report cards are an increasingly popular tool to communicate scientific results to stakeholders and communities. The challenge in developing a report card for complex marine habitats is establishing appropriate indicators to evaluate habitat condition. We developed an approach to report on seagrass condition as part of a broader report card on the environmental, social, cultural and economic health of Gladstone Harbour, which contains one of Australia's largest multi-commodity ports located in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. The process used expert opinion to determine the best indicators of seagrass condition (above-ground biomass, meadow area, species composition), trialled four approaches to determine a baseline condition of each indicator, and defined five condition categories (very good to very poor) to grade each seagrass meadow relative to a baseline. Threshold levels for each condition category were determined based on the historical variability of each indicator in a meadow. The report card approach allowed for the presentation of a large amount of spatial information, including the location, condition, and the justification for each meadow's grade to be presented on a single map. This allows for rapid comparison of seagrass condition across the range of meadows within the port and between years, and also at a broader regional scale. The report card was piloted and refined for the Port of Gladstone over three years and applied to eight other Queensland ports with seagrass monitoring programs in 2015.

Item ID: 53383
Item Type: Conference Item (Refereed Research Paper - E1)
Keywords: seagrass, report card, environmental indicator, ports, habitat condition
ISBN: 978-1-922107-91-6
Funders: Gladstone Ports Corporation
Date Deposited: 08 May 2018 23:12
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050204 Environmental Impact Assessment @ 50%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050205 Environmental Management @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960507 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Marine Environments @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9607 Environmental Policy, Legislation and Standards > 960701 Coastal and Marine Management Policy @ 50%
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