Seagrass habitat of Mourilyan Harbour: Annual Monitoring Report – 2021

Reason, Carissa, York, Paul, and Rasheed, Michael (2022) Seagrass habitat of Mourilyan Harbour: Annual Monitoring Report – 2021. Report. TropWATER, Cairns, QLD, Australia. (Unpublished)

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1. Seagrass was in a very poor condition in Mourilyan Harbour in 2021.

2. All meadows were classified as in a very poor condition as the biomass and extent were well below the long-term average, even though seagrass was present in three of the five monitoring meadows.

3. Two of the monitoring meadows received a very good condition grade for species composition, a return to Halophila ovalis in Seaforth bank (3) and the Bradshaw meadow (1) which saw a return of foundation species Zostera muelleri through restoration trials for the first time since 2009.

4. The whole of port survey looked for overall seagrass distribution in the harbour area. Two additional meadows were mapped, a decline from the 11 previously found in 2018.

5. Above average rainfall and river flow in the months leading up to the survey may have reduced the environmental conditions favourable to seagrass growth and survival prior to the survey.

6. A return of the foundation species Zostera muelleri in Mourilyan Harbour is a promising sign that preliminary restoration efforts were successful and can be scaled up for a full restoration program for Bradshaw and Lily meadows.

7. Current seagrass condition was unlikely to be related to port operations with the major losses and declines associated with previous La Niña climate events and more recent wet weather and river flows.

Item ID: 75931
Item Type: Report (Report)
Keywords: seagrass, monitoring, Mourilyan Harbour
Copyright Information: © James Cook University, 2022.
Sensitivity Note: Enquiries about reproduction, including downloading or printing the web version, should be directed to
Funders: Ports North (PN)
Date Deposited: 20 Oct 2022 02:18
FoR Codes: 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410404 Environmental management @ 100%
SEO Codes: 18 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT > 1899 Other environmental management > 189999 Other environmental management not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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