Spatial and temporal variability of seagrass at Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef

Saunders, Megan I., Bayraktarov, Elisa, Roelfsema, Chris M., Leon, Javier X., Samper-Villarreal, Jimena, Phinn, Stuart R., Lovelock, Catherine E. and Mumby, Peter J. (2015) Spatial and temporal variability of seagrass at Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef. Botanica Marina, 58 1: 35-49. doi:10.1515/bot-2014-0060

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Author Saunders, Megan I.
Bayraktarov, Elisa
Roelfsema, Chris M.
Leon, Javier X.
Samper-Villarreal, Jimena
Phinn, Stuart R.
Lovelock, Catherine E.
Mumby, Peter J.
Title Spatial and temporal variability of seagrass at Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef
Journal name Botanica Marina   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1437-4323
Publication date 2015-02-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1515/bot-2014-0060
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
Volume 58
Issue 1
Start page 35
End page 49
Total pages 26
Place of publication Berlin, Germany
Publisher Walter de Gruyter
Collection year 2016
Formatted abstract
Increasing threats to natural ecosystems from local and global stressors are reinforcing the need for baseline data on the distribution and abundance of organisms. We quantified spatial and/or temporal patterns of seagrass distribution, shoot density, leaf area index, biomass, productivity, and sediment carbon content in shallow water (0-5 m) at Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia, in field surveys conducted in December 2011 and October 2012. Seagrass meadows were mapped using satellite imagery and field validation. A total of 18.3 ha of seagrass, composed primarily of Thalassia hemprichii and Halodule uninervis, was mapped in shallow water. This was 46% less than the area of seagrass in the same region reported in 1995, although variations in mapping methods may have influenced the magnitude of change detected. There was inter-annual variability in shoot density and length, with values for both higher in 2011 than in 2012. Seagrass properties and sediment carbon content were representative of shallow-water seagrass meadows on a mid-shelf Great Barrier Reef island. The data can be used to evaluate change, to parameterize models of the impact of anthropogenic or environmental variability on seagrass distribution and abundance, and to assess the success of management actions.
Keyword Benthic habitat mapping
Halodule uninervis
Remote sensing
Seagrass change analysis
Thalassia hemprichii
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

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