Regional scale nutrient modelling: exports to the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area

McKergow, Lucy A., Prosser, Ian P., Hughes, Andrew O., and Brodie, Jon (2005) Regional scale nutrient modelling: exports to the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 51 (1). pp. 186-199.

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Clearing of native vegetation and replacement with cropping and grazing systems has increased nutrient exports to the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) to a level many times the natural rate. We present a technique for modelling nutrient transport, based on material budgets of river systems, and use it to identify the patterns and sources of nutrients exported. The outputs of the model can then be used to help prioritise catchment areas and land uses for management and assess various management options. Hillslope erosion is the largest source of particulate nutrients because of its dominance as a sediment source and the higher nutrient concentrations on surface soils. Dissolved nutrient fractions contribute 30% of total nitrogen and 15% of total phosphorus inputs. Spatial patterns show the elevated dissolved inorganic nitrogen export in the wetter catchments, and the dominance of particulate N and P from soil erosion in coastal areas. This study has identified catchments with high levels of contribution to exports and targeting these should be a priority.

Item ID: 6860
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1879-3363
Keywords: Great Barrier Reef; nitrogen; phosphorus; nutrient budgets; spatial modelling; GIS
Date Deposited: 03 Mar 2010 03:15
FoR Codes: 08 INFORMATION AND COMPUTING SCIENCES > 0806 Information Systems > 080606 Global Information Systems @ 50%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050209 Natural Resource Management @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9611 Physical and Chemical Conditions of Water > 961104 Physical and Chemical Conditions of Water in Marine Environments @ 100%
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