The cumulative impacts of repeated heavy rainfall, flooding and altered water quality on the high-latitude coral reefs of Hervey Bay, Queensland, Australia

Butler, I. R., Sommer, B., Zann, M., Zhao, J. -X. and Pandolfi, J. M. (2015) The cumulative impacts of repeated heavy rainfall, flooding and altered water quality on the high-latitude coral reefs of Hervey Bay, Queensland, Australia. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 96 1-2: 356-367. doi:10.1016/j.marpolbul.2015.04.047


Author Butler, I. R.
Sommer, B.
Zann, M.
Zhao, J. -X.
Pandolfi, J. M.
Title The cumulative impacts of repeated heavy rainfall, flooding and altered water quality on the high-latitude coral reefs of Hervey Bay, Queensland, Australia
Journal name Marine Pollution Bulletin   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1879-3363
Publication date 2015-03-05
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2015.04.047
Volume 96
Issue 1-2
Start page 356
End page 367
Total pages 12
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher Elsevier
Collection year 2016
Language eng
Abstract Terrestrial runoff and flooding have resulted in major impacts on coral communities worldwide, but we lack detailed understanding of flood plume conditions and their ecological effects. Over the course of repeated flooding between 2010 and 2013, we measured coral cover and water quality on the high-latitude coral reefs of Hervey Bay, Queensland, Australia. In 2013, salinity, total suspended solids, total nitrogen and total phosphorus were altered for up to six months post-flooding. Submarine groundwater caused hypo-saline conditions for a further four months. Despite the greater magnitude of flooding in 2013, declines in coral abundance (~28%) from these floods were lower than the 2011 flood (~40%), which occurred immediately after a decade of severe drought. There was an overall cumulative decrease of coral by ~56% from 2010 to 2013. Our study highlights the need for local scale monitoring and research to facilitate informed management and conservation of catchments and marine environments.
Keyword Australia
Coral
Flood plume
High-latitude
Submarine groundwater discharge
Water quality
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

 
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