Increased sediment loads cause non-linear decreases in seagrass suitable habitat extent

Saunders, Megan Irene, Atkinson, Scott, Klein, Carissa Joy, Weber, Tony and Possingham, Hugh P. (2017) Increased sediment loads cause non-linear decreases in seagrass suitable habitat extent. PloS one, 12 11: 1-21. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0187284


Author Saunders, Megan Irene
Atkinson, Scott
Klein, Carissa Joy
Weber, Tony
Possingham, Hugh P.
Title Increased sediment loads cause non-linear decreases in seagrass suitable habitat extent
Journal name PloS one   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1932-6203
Publication date 2017-11-10
Year available 2017
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0187284
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 12
Issue 11
Start page 1
End page 21
Total pages 21
Place of publication San Francisco, CA United States
Publisher Public Library of Science
Language eng
Subject 1300 Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
1100 Agricultural and Biological Sciences
Abstract Land-based activities, including deforestation, agriculture, and urbanisation, cause increased erosion, reduced inland and coastal water quality, and subsequent loss or degradation of downstream coastal marine ecosystems. Quantitative approaches to link sediment loads from catchments to metrics of downstream marine ecosystem state are required to calculate the cost effectiveness of taking conservation actions on land to benefits accrued in the ocean. Here we quantify the relationship between sediment loads derived from landscapes to habitat suitability of seagrass meadows in Moreton Bay, Queensland, Australia. We use the following approach: (1) a catchment hydrological model generates sediment loads; (2) a statistical model links sediment loads to water clarity at monthly time-steps; (3) a species distribution model (SDM) factors in water clarity, bathymetry, wave height, and substrate suitability to predict seagrass habitat suitability at monthly time-steps; and (4) a statistical model quantifies the effect of sediment loads on area of seagrass suitable habitat in a given year. The relationship between sediment loads and seagrass suitable habitat is non-linear: large increases in sediment have a disproportionately large negative impact on availability of seagrass suitable habitat. Varying the temporal scale of analysis (monthly vs. yearly), or varying the threshold value used to delineate predicted seagrass presence vs. absence, both affect the magnitude, but not the overall shape, of the relationship between sediment loads and seagrass suitable habitat area. Quantifying the link between sediment produced from catchments and extent of downstream marine ecosystems allows assessment of the relative costs and benefits of taking conservation actions on land or in the ocean, respectively, to marine ecosystems.
Keyword Great-Barrier-Reef
3Rd-Generation Wave Model
Water-Quality
Marine Ecosystems
Moreton Bay
Conservation Outcomes
Coastal Regions
Image-Analysis
Climate-Change
Coral-Reefs
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Grant ID UQFEL1717597
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Chemical Engineering Publications
School of Earth and Environmental Sciences
 
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Created: Wed, 15 Nov 2017, 12:01:21 EST