Seagrass habitat of Mourilyan Harbour: annual monitoring report – 2019

van de Wetering, C., Carter, A., and Rasheed, M. (2020) Seagrass habitat of Mourilyan Harbour: annual monitoring report – 2019. Report. James Cook University, Cairns, QLD, Australia.

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Abstract

Seagrass was in poor condition in Mourilyan Harbour in 2019. Many meadows had improved in condition with this being the first time in six years that overall seagrass condition has not been rated as very poor.

Seagrass was present in four of the five monitoring meadows, an improvement following complete seagrass loss in all monitoring meadows in 2017.

The major factor controlling seagrass condition in 2019 is the continued absence of the large foundation species Zostera muelleri from the harbour.

Zostera muelleri was historically the dominant species in two meadows, but has been absent since 2009/2010. All meadows are now dominated by small colonising Halophila species.

Mourilyan Harbour is the only location among our long-term monitoring network on Queensland’s east coast where there has been no recovery of the foundation species following region-wide declines leading up to 2011.

The recovery of foundation species in Mourilyan is inhibited by the absence of a viable seedbank, a lack of nearby seagrass stock from which seagrass can regenerate and restricted connectivity to other populations of Zostera muelleri.

Assisted restoration will be required to re-establish Zostera muelleri in Mourilyan Harbour

Item ID: 70926
Item Type: Report (Report)
Keywords: seagrass, port, report card
Copyright Information: © James Cook University, 2020
Funders: Ports North
Date Deposited: 23 Nov 2021 00:25
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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