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The loss of seagrasses in cockburn sound western australia 1. the time course and magnitude of seagrass decline in relation to industrial development


Aquatic Botany 20(3-4): 229-244
The loss of seagrasses in cockburn sound western australia 1. the time course and magnitude of seagrass decline in relation to industrial development
The areas of seagrass meadows in Cockburn Sound, a marine embayment in Western Australia, were estimated from historical aerial photographs supplemented by ground surveys, studies on meadows in adjoining areas and coring for rhizome remains. Ten species of seagrasses [Posidonia sinuosa, P. australis, P. coriacea, P. angustifolia, Syringodium isoetifolium, Amphibolis antarctica, A. griffithii, Halophila ovalis, H. decipiens, Heterozostera tasmanica] with different habitat tolerances are recorded for the area, with P. sinuosa Cambridge et Kuo forming the most extensive meadows. From 1954-1978, the meadow area was reduced from some 4200 to 900 ha. Based on measurements of aboveground productivity at several sites, this represents a reduction of leaf detritus production from 23,000 to 4000 t (dry wt) yr-1. The major loss of seagrass occurred during a period of industrial development on the shore, and during the discharge of effluents rich in plant nutrients.


Accession: 006712171



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