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Seasonal changes in water quality and Sargassum biomass in southwest Australia

Hoang, T. C., Cole, A. J., Fotedar, R. K., O’Leary, M. J., Lomas, M. W. and Roy, S. (2016) Seasonal changes in water quality and Sargassum biomass in southwest Australia. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 551. pp. 63-79. ISSN 0171-8630

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To link to this item DOI: 10.3354/meps11735

Abstract/Summary

Sargassum C. Agardh is one of the most diverse genera of marine macro-algae and commonly inhabits shallow tropical and sub-tropical waters. This study aimed to investigate the effect of seasonality and the associated water quality changes on the distribution, canopy cover, mean thallus length and the biomass of Sargassum beds around Point Peron, Shoalwater Islands Marine Park, Southwest Australia. Samples of Sargassum and seawater were collected every three months from summer 2012 to summer 2014 from four different reef zones. A combination of in situ observations and WorldView-2 satellite remote-sensing images were used to map the spatial distribution of Sargassum beds and other associated benthic habitats. The results demonstrated a strong seasonal variation in the environmental parameters, canopy cover, mean thallus length, and biomass of Sargassum, which were significantly (P < 0.05) influenced by the nutrient concentration (PO43-, NO3-, NH4+) and rainfall. However, no variation in any studied parameter was observed among the four reef zones. The highest Sargassum biomass peaks occurred between late spring and early summer (from September to January). The results provide essential information to guide effective conservation and management, as well as sustainable utilisation of this coastal marine renewable resource.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Department of Geography and Environmental Science
ID Code:64149
Publisher:Inter Research

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