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Publication Type J
Authors Coles, R; McKenzie, L; De'ath, G; Roelofs, A; Long, WL
Author Full Name Coles, Robert; McKenzie, Len; De'ath, Glenn; Roelofs, Anthony; Long, Warren Lee
Title Spatial distribution of deepwater seagrass in the inter-reef lagoon of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area
Source MARINE ECOLOGY PROGRESS SERIES
Language English
Document Type Article
Author Keywords Seagrass; Trawling; Depth; Marine park; Halophila spp.
Keywords Plus COMMERCIAL PENAEID PRAWNS; HALOPHILA-DECIPIENS; NORTHERN QUEENSLAND; AUSTRALIA; HYDROCHARITACEAE; PRODUCTIVITY; COMMUNITIES; RESPONSES; BIOMASS; FLORIDA
Abstract Seagrasses in waters deeper than 15 m in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area (adjacent to the Queensland coast) were surveyed using a camera and dredge (towed for a period of 4 to 6 min); 1426 sites were surveyed, spanning from 10 to 25 degrees S, and from inshore to the edge of the reef (out to 120 nautical miles from the coast). At each site seagrass presence, species, and biomass were recorded; together with depth, sediment, secchi, algae presence, epibenthos, and proximity to reefs. Seagrasses in the study area extend down to water depths of 61 m, and are difficult to map other than by generating distributions from point source data. Statistical modeling of the seagrass distribution suggests 40000 km(2) of the sea bottom has a probability of some seagrass being present. There is strong spatial variation driven in part by the constraint of the Great Barrier Reef's long, thin shape, and by physical processes associated with the land and ocean. All seagrass species found were from the genus Halophila. Probability distributions were mapped for the 4 most common species: Halophila ovalis, H. spinulosa, H. decipiens, and H. tricostata. Distributions of H. ovalis and H. spinulosa show strong depth and sediment effects, whereas H. decipiens and H. tricostata are only weakly correlated with environmental variables, but show strong spatial patterns. Distributions of all species are correlated most closely with water depth, the proportion of medium-sized sediment, and visibility measured by Secchi depth. These 3 simple characteristics of the environment correctly predict the presence of seagrass 74% of the time. The results are discussed in terms of environmental dynamics, management of the Great Barrier Reef province, and the potential for using surrogates to predict the presence of seagrass habitats.
Author Address [Coles, Robert; McKenzie, Len; Roelofs, Anthony] No Fisheries Ctr, Brisbane, Qld 4870, Australia; [De'ath, Glenn] Australian Inst Marine Sci, Townsville, Qld 4810, Australia; [Long, Warren Lee] Wetlands Int Oceania, Kingston, ACT 2604, Australia
Reprint Address Coles, R (reprint author), No Fisheries Ctr, POB 5396, Brisbane, Qld 4870, Australia.
E-mail Address rob.coles@dpi.qld.gov.au
ORCID Number McKenzie, Leonard/0000-0003-1294-3770; Coles, Robert/0000-0002-3192-3778
Funding Agency and Grant Number CRC Reef Research Centre; Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority; Queensland Primary Industries Fisheries
Funding Text The authors are very grateful to G. Chisholm, P. Leeson and C. Cant for support in the vessel-based sampling program. We thank the many people who assisted us in the field and laboratory, including: P. Daniel, C. Roder, M. Rasheed, K. Vidler, M. Short, A. Grice, B. Deeley, C. Shootingstar, J. Slater, L. Makey, R. Bennett, R. Thomas, S. Hollywood and V. Hall. We also thank T. Done, G. Inglis, H. Marsh, B. Mapstone, C. Crossland, J. Phillips, J. Mellors and D. Reid for comments on sampling design. This project was funded by the CRC Reef Research Centre, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and the Queensland Primary Industries & Fisheries.
Cited Reference Count 44
Times Cited 29
Total Times Cited Count (WoS, BCI, and CSCD) 31
Publisher INTER-RESEARCH
Publisher City OLDENDORF LUHE
Publisher Address NORDBUNTE 23, D-21385 OLDENDORF LUHE, GERMANY
ISSN 0171-8630
29-Character Source Abbreviation MAR ECOL PROG SER
ISO Source Abbreviation Mar. Ecol.-Prog. Ser.
Year Published 2009
Volume 392
Beginning Page 57
Ending Page 68
Digital Object Identifier (DOI) 10.3354/meps08197
Page Count 12
Web of Science Category Ecology; Marine & Freshwater Biology; Oceanography
Subject Category Environmental Sciences & Ecology; Marine & Freshwater Biology; Oceanography
Document Delivery Number 520GD
Unique Article Identifier WOS:000271828700005
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