Seagrasses in Port Curtis and Rodds Bay 2017: annual long-term monitoring

Chartrand, K.M., Rasheed, M.A., and Carter, A.B. (2018) Seagrasses in Port Curtis and Rodds Bay 2017: annual long-term monitoring. Report. James Cook University, Cairns, QLD, Australia.

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In 2017, seagrasses in Port Curtis and Rodds Bay remained in an overall poor condition. While the spatial footprint of seagrass meadows was above average, the majority of seagrass meadows had a low biomass and high proportion of colonising species, leading to the overall poor condition score.

All seagrass species historically present during annual monitoring surveys remained present in 2017 and seagrass meadows also generally occurred throughout their historical distribution.

The results for individual meadows and regions vary, however in 2017, there were few overall improvements to monitoring meadows from 2016 surveys.

In 2016, the biggest concern was the condition of Pelican Banks seagrass, the largest and historically most stable seagrass meadow in Port Curtis. In 2017 there were improvements in both biomass and species composition which resulted in this meadow improving from very poor to poor condition.

There was no clear relationship between distance from anthropogenic activities and seagrass condition with some of the poorest condition meadows occurring in the out of port reference areas in Rodds Bay.

Two large rainfall and river flow events in March and October 2017 were likely to have contributed to conditions that prevented any substantial seagrass recovery during 2017.

Meadows can be classified as being in poor condition if any one of the three key indicators (biomass; area; species composition) were poor, even if the other two indicators had improved. For some meadows this was the case in 2017, especially those that had started to recover from recent declines with the key species yet to return.

Resilience of seagrasses in Port Curtis to further natural or anthropogenic impacts is likely to be low. While seagrass was maintained across most of the historical extent of seagrass distribution, the proportion of more resistant and stable species within meadows were at historically low levels.

Item ID: 70845
Item Type: Report (Report)
Keywords: seagrass, monitoring, Gladstone, port
Copyright Information: © James Cook University, 2017.
Funders: Gladstone Ports Corporation (GPC)
Date Deposited: 16 Nov 2021 23:44
FoR Codes: 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410402 Environmental assessment and monitoring @ 100%
SEO Codes: 18 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT > 1802 Coastal and estuarine systems and management > 180201 Assessment and management of coastal and estuarine ecosystems @ 100%
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