Study finds ways to avoid hidden dangers of accumulated stresses on seagrass—7 December 2017

A new study led by Australian Research Council (ARC) supported researchers at Queensland University of Technology (QUT) has found ways to detect hidden dangers of repeated stresses on seagrass using statistical modelling.

The research, published by the Journal of Applied Ecology, found cumulative maintenance dredging which affected the light on the sea floor increased risks on seagrass survival.

It found, globally, seagrass meadows can be at risk of collapse from accumulated effects of repeated dredging and natural stress.

However, lead researcher QUT's Dr Paul Wu said maintenance dredging programs of one or two weeks (common in Queensland) were unlikely to impact seagrass.

Port authorities and coastal developers will be able to use this research to support a risk-informed management strategy.

Dr Wu is an Associate Investigator with the ARC Centre of Excellence for Mathematical and Statistical Frontiers (ACEMS) within QUT's Mathematical and Statistical Sciences Faculty.

Media issued by Queensland University of Technology.


Image: Dr Paul Wu, who has modelled seagrass resilience under different dredging regimes.
Credit: QUT Media.

Original Published Date: 
Monday, December 11, 2017