Catchment to reef: water quality and ecosystem health in tropical streams

Pearson, Richard G., and Stork, Nigel (2008) Catchment to reef: water quality and ecosystem health in tropical streams. In: Stork, Nigel E., and Turton, Stephen M., (eds.) Living in a Dynamic Tropical Forest Landscape. Blackwell Publishing, Carlton, VIC, Australia, pp. 557-576.

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Around the world agricultural and industrial landscapes have massively affected terrestrial and aquatic habitats as well as the water quality of run-off from entire landscapes, resulting in dramatically altered ecosystem integrity in freshwaters, coastal wetlands, estuaries and coastal marine systems. Although these systems are reasonably well understood in temperate areas, in the tropics there is much less information on such environmental impacts and fewer examples of remediation. In Australia, the export of nutrients, sediments and contaminants into near coastal waters and the Great Barrier Reef (GBR)lagoon, the world's largest reef system, has increased substantially since European settlement, severely impacting on the viability and condition of these ecosystems and the industries that depend on them (Baker 2003). Approximately 200 near-shore reefs are under immediate direct pressure from declining water quality in the Queensland Wet Tropics and Whitsunday areas. Degradation of habitats (e.g. removal of riparian vegetation and invasion by weeds) and run-off of excess nutrients, sediments and agricultural chemicals are also causing substantial impacts on the rivers and wetlands that feed into the GBR lagoon and threaten the biodiversity and ecology of these systems and their important role in the greater GBR environment. Protection and restoration of these ecosystems are critical challenges to managers and policy~makers in Australia and elsewhere in the tropics.

Item ID: 7407
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
ISBN: 978-1-4051-5643-1
Keywords: tropical biology; water quality; tropic stream; stream ecosystem health
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Date Deposited: 13 Jan 2010 23:48
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060204 Freshwater Ecology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960807 Fresh, Ground and Surface Water Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9609 Land and Water Management > 960905 Farmland, Arable Cropland and Permanent Cropland Water Management @ 50%
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