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Trophic cascades in Australian seagrasses: linking nutrients to survival and growth of commercially-important fishes

Funding: 2005: $80,000
2006: $70,000
2007: $70,000

Project Member(s): Booth, D.

Funding or Partner Organisation: Australian Research Council (ARC Discovery Projects)

Start year: 2005

Summary: The conservation of seagrasses and sustainability of fisheries is of major social and economic concern in Australia and nutrient enrichment is a significant threat to these resources. Our proposed research will provide a synthetic understanding of these issues by experimentally investigating a trophic cascade that links nutrient pollution, seagrass epiphytes and invertebrate grazers to commercially-important juvenile fishes. The outcomes of the project will enable accurate prediction of impacts of future nutrient loads on the growth and survivorship of seagrass and associated fish species. This information will be invaluable for developing policy for water quality guidelines, conserving seagrass and managing near-shore fisheries.

Keywords: Seagrass ecology, Juvenile fishes, Trophic cascades, Invertebrate grazers, Nutrient pollution, Fisheries production,

FOR Codes: Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl. Marine Ichthyology), Living resources (flora and fauna), Fisheries-commercial, Fisheries-recreational, Coastal and Estuarine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity, Fisheries - Recreational