Australia: New Research Findings to Protect Abbot Point Seagrass

New research published by James Cook University (JCU) will guide the protection of seagrasses at Abbot Point on Queensland’s northern coast.

The research, published in Marine Pollution Bulletin and funded by North Queensland Bulk Ports, sheds new light on the resilience of deep-water seagrasses in the port and adjacent areas, and how they recover from impacts.

Dr Michael Rasheed, Principal Research Scientist from JCU’s Centre for Tropical Water and Aquatic Ecosystem Research (TropWATER), leads the research team.

The research includes determining the light requirements and thresholds for seagrasses. This data can be used to manage future dredging so that turbidity does not adversely impact the seagrasses.

“Prior to these studies we had very little knowledge of how seagrasses in deeper water (below 10 metres) responded to disturbances and how they could recover,” Dr Rasheed said. “We are continuing to work with NQBP and Government to ensure that as new information comes to light from the research it is utilised to inform dredge management.”

Press Release, May 8, 2014

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