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Impacts of a fuel oil spill on seagrass meadows in a subtropical port, Gladstone, Australia - The value of long-term marine habitat monitoring in high risk areas.

Taylor, H.A. and Rasheed, M.A. (2011) Impacts of a fuel oil spill on seagrass meadows in a subtropical port, Gladstone, Australia - The value of long-term marine habitat monitoring in high risk areas. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 63 (5-12). pp. 431-437.

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Article Link(s): http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2011.04.039

Publisher URL: http://www.elsevier.com/

Abstract

We used an established seagrass monitoring programme to examine the short and longer-term impacts of an oil spill event on intertidal seagrass meadows. Results for potentially impacted seagrass areas were compared with existing monitoring data and with control seagrass meadows located outside of the oil spill area. Seagrass meadows were not significantly affected by the oil spill. Declines in seagrass biomass and area 1 month post-spill were consistent between control and impact meadows. Eight months post-spill, seagrass density and area increased to be within historical ranges. The declines in seagrass meadows were likely attributable to natural seasonal variation and a combination of climatic and anthropogenic impacts. The lack of impact from the oil spill was due to several mitigating factors rather than a lack of toxic effects to seagrasses. The study demonstrates the value of long-term monitoring of critical habitats in high risk areas to effectively assess impacts.

Item Type:Article
Business groups:Fisheries and Aquaculture
Additional Information:Crown Copyright © 2011
Keywords:Seagrass; heavy fuel oil; intertidal habitat; long-term monitoring; oil spill impacts.
Subjects:Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Agriculture and the environment
Aquaculture and Fisheries > Fisheries > Seagrasses
Deposited On:24 Nov 2011 07:14
Last Modified:24 Nov 2011 07:14

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