Algal turf sediments across the Great Barrier Reef: putting coastal reefs in perspective

Tebbett, Sterling B., Goatley, Christopher H.R., and Bellwood, David R. (2018) Algal turf sediments across the Great Barrier Reef: putting coastal reefs in perspective. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 137. pp. 518-525.

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Abstract

Sediments trapped within algal turfs play a key role in mediating ecosystem processes on reefs. Despite this ecological importance, our understanding of turf-bound sediments on coastal reefs is limited, even though such reefs are heavily exposed to terrestrial sediments. We compared algal turf sediment loads, composition and grain size distributions among coastal reefs along the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) and compared these to turf-bound sediments on reefs across the GBR. Algal turf sediment loads on coastal reefs were on average 9.4 times higher than offshore reefs (range 2.2-16.1 times). Among coastal reefs there was marked variability in the loads (797.87-3681.78 g m(-2)), composition (organics 1.0-8.9%; silicates 27.4-93.0%) and grain size of sediments. Our data highlight the potential variability in physical and ecological factors that control sediment dynamics on coastal reefs, including proximity to rivers, and reveal that turfs on coastal reefs are heavily influenced by sediments.

Item ID: 56875
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1879-3363
Keywords: Continental shelf, Coral reef, Detritus, Epilithic algal matrix, Terrestrial sediments, Turbidity
Copyright Information: © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC)
Projects and Grants: ARC CE140100020
Date Deposited: 16 Jan 2019 07:36
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960802 Coastal and Estuarine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 100%
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