Seagrasses make full recovery after flood

Sep 19, 2012
Diver collecting seagrass for studies.

CSIRO researchers have found that vital seagrass beds in Moreton Bay recovered within 12 months of the 2011 Brisbane floods.

CSIRO , Dr Russ Babcock, will present these and other findings at the Coast to Coast conference being held in Brisbane this week.

Dr Babcock said the seagrasses, which provide habitat to fish and and are a major contributor to ecosystem health, had to cope with more than 1 million tonnes of sediment and pollutants contained in flood .

"Seagrass cover in Moreton Bay declined by half shortly after the floods," Dr Babcock said.

"Seagrasses are affected by the seasons and we expected to see some reduction during winter, but it was great to see them regenerate to pre-flood levels less than 12 months later."

CSIRO was able to document the effects of the flood on coastal waters as far north as Fraser Island using a range of technologies including remote sensing and robotic underwater gliders that took continuous readings of the flood plume on voyages of over one hundred kilometres.

"It is important to understand how ecosystems such as Moreton Bay respond to extreme events, which can set the scene for ecological trends for many years to come.  For example, although seagrasses have recovered from the 2011 flood, there are areas of the Bay where seagrasses have still not recovered from floods in the 1990s.

"Understanding the reasons for these different responses is important if we are to manage and conserve or restore the ecological values of ."

Coast to Coast 2012 is being held at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre from September 17-21.

Explore further: A European bear's point of view, finally on film

More information: For more information visit www.coast2coastconference.com

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Robotic glider to map Moreton Bay impacts

Jan 20, 2011

A $200,000 CSIRO coastal glider is bound for Queensland to be deployed in Moreton Bay to investigate the impact of the recent flooding on marine ecosystems.

Floods may impact Moreton Bay marine life

Sep 28, 2011

Dr Chris Roelfsema, from the School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management at UQ, is concerned about the impact the 2011 floods may have on seagrass in Moreton Bay.

Moreton Bay ecosystem still at risk

Jan 31, 2012

No-fishing zones implemented to protect the Moreton Bay ecosystem have proven their worth in light of last year’s flooding however the coral reefs and seagrass habitats are still at risk.

Flood-ravaged turtles released in Moreton Bay

Dec 01, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- A University of Queensland biological researcher has led the Moreton Bay release of four turtles that suffered starvation and illness from the January floods.

Nitrogen retained through loss

May 22, 2008

The nitrogen cycle plays a major role in seagrass fields. Dutch researcher Arie Vonk studied the nitrogen dynamics of seagrasses in Indonesia. He discovered that the interaction between seagrasses, animals and microorganisms ...

Recommended for you

Sharks contain more pollutants than polar bears

22 hours ago

The polar bear is known for having alarmingly high concentrations of PCB and other pollutants. But researchers have discovered that Greenland sharks store even more of these contaminants in their bodies.

Moth study suggests hidden climate change impacts

Apr 15, 2014

A 32-year study of subarctic forest moths in Finnish Lapland suggests that scientists may be underestimating the impacts of climate change on animals and plants because much of the harm is hidden from view.

User comments : 0

More news stories

ESO image: A study in scarlet

This new image from ESO's La Silla Observatory in Chile reveals a cloud of hydrogen called Gum 41. In the middle of this little-known nebula, brilliant hot young stars are giving off energetic radiation that ...

First direct observations of excitons in motion achieved

A quasiparticle called an exciton—responsible for the transfer of energy within devices such as solar cells, LEDs, and semiconductor circuits—has been understood theoretically for decades. But exciton movement within ...

Warm US West, cold East: A 4,000-year pattern

Last winter's curvy jet stream pattern brought mild temperatures to western North America and harsh cold to the East. A University of Utah-led study shows that pattern became more pronounced 4,000 years ago, ...

Patent talk: Google sharpens contact lens vision

(Phys.org) —A report from Patent Bolt brings us one step closer to what Google may have in mind in developing smart contact lenses. According to the discussion Google is interested in the concept of contact ...