Gladstone Healthy Harbour Partnership 2018 Report Card, ISP011: seagrass

Bryant, Catherine, Carter, Alex, Chartrand, Katie, Wells, Jaclyn, and Rasheed, Michael (2018) Gladstone Healthy Harbour Partnership 2018 Report Card, ISP011: seagrass. Report. James Cook University, Cairns, QLD, Australia.

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Abstract

Seagrass condition was assessed for 14 monitoring meadows across six Gladstone Healthy Harbour Partnership (GHHP) reporting zones in November 2017 (GHHP 2018 reporting year).

Seagrass condition in the Gladstone Harbour region remained poor (D, 0.40) in the 2018 reporting year.

Survey results were mixed for individual meadows and zones. The overall score for each meadow is the lowest of the three indicator scores*. Biomass determined the overall meadow scores in seven monitoring meadows, species composition in six meadows, and area in one meadow.

Seagrass condition improved in South Trees Inlet Zone (good to very good), at the Passage Island meadows (good to very good) and the meadow immediately north of Fishermans Landing (very poor to poor) in the Western Basin Zone, and at Pelican Banks (very poor to poor) in the Mid Harbour Zone.

Seagrass condition declined in the Western Basin Zone (satisfactory to poor) with declines at the two meadows immediately south of Fishermans Landing (satisfactory to poor, and poor to very poor) and one meadow at Wiggins Island (good to poor). Seagrass condition also declined in The Narrows Zone (satisfactory to poor) and at one meadow in Rodds Bay Zone (poor to very poor). Elsewhere seagrass condition remained the same as the previous year.

Gains in biomass and an increase in the proportion of the dominant species Z. muelleri subsp. capricorni at the Pelican Banks meadow—the largest and most stable seagrass meadow in the Gladstone region—are encouraging. The meadow is now in poor condition (an improvement from very poor in the 2017 reporting year), however all three indicators remain below the historical baseline.

Environmental conditions influence seagrass condition in Gladstone. Years where >50% of meadows were assigned an overall meadow condition of poor or very poor either correspond with (2010-2016) or directly follow (2004) periods of above average rainfall and river flow in the region. Above average rainfall and riverflow events in March 2017 (associated with Tropical Cyclone Debbie) and October 2017 are likely to have inhibited any substantial seagrass recovery.

There was very little seagrass recovery at the Gladstone Harbour scale from the previous year. Resilience of seagrasses to further natural or anthropogenic impacts in the Gladstone Harbour region is likely to be low.

This report is presented in two parts. Part 1 summarises report card results for the annual survey. Part 2 is an accompanying technical report that details methods, analysis, results and interpretation.

Item ID: 70854
Item Type: Report (Report)
Keywords: seagrass, Gladstone Healthy Harbour Partnership, monitoring, report card
Copyright Information: © James Cook University, 2018.
Funders: Gladstone Healthy Harbour Partnership
Date Deposited: 16 Nov 2021 02:47
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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