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seagrass

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  • This record provides an overview of the scope and research output of NESP Marine Biodiversity Hub project E6 - "Assisting restoration of ecosystem engineers through seed-based and shoot-based programs in the Shark Bay WHS". For specific data outputs from this project, please see child records associated with this metadata. -------------------- This project is a collaboration between scientists and the Shark Bay Malgana Indigenous community into jointly developed seeding and shoot planting methods to assist natural recovery of seagrasses in preparation for future devastating impacts of climate change. The Shark Bay World Heritage Site (WHS) is unique globally for its natural values, including stromatolites, seagrass meadows and marine megafauna including dugongs, sharks, turtles, and dolphins. The immediate goal is to scale up the existing restoration research to assist recovery of the dominant seagrasses, Amphibolis antarctica and Posidonia australis following the 2011 marine heat wave. Planned Outputs • A seagrass restoration toolkit (multimedia and report format) - will include information on sourcing suitable genetic material • Data on the trial seed restoration outcomes

  • Genomic sampling locations and meadow indices for ribbon weed (Posidonia australis) and wire weed (Amphibolis antarctica) in Shark Bay (Gathaagudu)

  • Sediment organic carbon assessments within plots of transplanted Posidonia australis seagrass, and compared to adjacent bare sand and healthy meadows, in Shark Bay, WA.

  • Biodiversity assessments of invertebrates within seagrass (Amphibolis antarctica and Posidonia australis) transplant plots, compared to adjacent bare sand and healthy meadows at Middle Bluff, Dubaut Point and Useless Loop, Shark Bay.

  • Growth (shoot count) of Amphibolis antarctica and Posidonia australis following transplant to Middle Bluff and Dubaut Point, Shark Bay. Plants were transplanted by the Malgana people with assistance from UWA staff then assessed for shoot counts after 8 months.

  • Assessment of Posidonia australis transplant survival at 3, 8, 12, 18, and 26 months (August transplant); and 3, 8, 12, 18, 26 and 30 months (April transplant), after planting at Middle Bluff, and Dubaut Point, Shark Bay.

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    The distribution of seagrass and associated benthic communities was mapped between the 29 July and 29 August 1997 on the reef and lagoon at Low Isles, Great Barrier Reef. For this survey, a total of 349 benthic survey points were examined by observers walking or free‐diving at survey points positioned approximately 50 m apart along a series of transects. To assist with mapping meadow boundaries, an additional 177 points were assessed and a 1:12,000 rectified aerial photo was commissioned (26th August 1997). A differential handheld global positioning system (GPS) was used to locate each point assessed. 127.8 ±29.6 hectares of seagrass was mapped.

  • Total organic carbon (TOC) sediment stocks as a CO2 mitigation service require exclusion of allochthonous black (BC) and particulate inorganic carbon corrected for water–atmospheric equilibrium (PICeq). For the first time, we address this bias for a temperate salt marsh and a coastal tropical seagrass in BC hotspots that represent two different blue carbon ecosystems of Malaysia and Australia. Seagrass TOC stocks were similar to the salt marshes with soil depths < 1 m (59.3 ± 11.3 and 74.9 ± 18.9 MgC ha-1, CI 95% respectively). Both ecosystems showed larger BC constraints than their pristine counterparts did. However, the seagrass meadows’ mitigation services were largely constrained by both higher BC/TOC and PICeq/TOC fractions (38.0% ± 6.6% and 43.4% ± 5.9%, CI 95%) and salt marshes around a third (22% ± 10.2% and 6.0% ± 3.1% CI 95%). The results provide useful data from underrepresented regions, and, reiterates the need to consider both BC and PIC for more reliable blue carbon mitigation assessments.