Register      Login
Marine and Freshwater Research Marine and Freshwater Research Society
Advances in the aquatic sciences

Seagrass depth range and water quality in southern Moreton Bay, Queensland, Australia

EG Abal and WC Dennison

Marine and Freshwater Research 47(6) 763 - 771
Published: 1996


Correlations between water quality parameters and seagrass depth penetration were developed for use as a biological indicator of integrated light availability and long-term trends in water quality. A year-long water quality monitoring programme in Moreton Bay was coupled with a series of seagrass depth transects. A strong gradient between the western (landward) and eastern (seaward) portions of Moreton Bay was observed in both water quality and seagrass depth range. Higher concentrations of chlorophyll a, total suspended solids, dissolved and total nutrients, and light attenuation coefficients in the water column and correspondingly shallower depth limits of the seagrass Zostera capricorni were observed in the western portions of the bay. Relatively high correlation coefficient values (r2 > 0.8) were observed between light attenuation coefficient, total suspended solids, chlorophyll a, total Kjeldahl nitrogen and Zostera capricorni depth range. Low correlation coefficient values (r2 < 0.8) between seagrass depth range and dissolved inorganic nutrients were observed. Seagrasses had disappeared over a five-year period near the mouth of the Logan River, a turbid river with increased land use in its watershed. At a site 9 km from the river mouth, a significant decrease in seagrass depth range corresponded to higher light attenuation, chlorophyll a, total suspended solids and total nitrogen content relative to a site 21 km from the river mouth. Seagrass depth penetration thus appears to be a sensitive bio-indicator of some water quality parameters, with application for water quality management.

© CSIRO 1996

Committee on Publication Ethics

Rent Article (via Deepdyve) Export Citation Cited By (108) Get Permission

View Dimensions