Title

Establishment of ecological functions in transplanted meadows of the seagrass Posidonia australis

Date of Award

1-1-2008

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

School

School of Natural Sciences

Faculty

Faculty of Computing, Health and Science

Abstract

Seagrass restoration programmes are becoming increasingly important in helping to maintain the biodiversity of coastal systems in many parts of the world, due to large areas of seagrass being lost over the last 50 years. The success of any restoration programme should ultimately be based on transplanted seagrass meadows acting in a similur ecological manner as the meadows they are replacing. However, success has generally been measured by examining survivorship and increases in physical structure of transplanted meadows. Few programmes have incorporated other ecological functions in establishing goals and objectives. The purpose of this research was to determine how ecological functions establish in transplanted Posidonia australis meadows of Oyster Harbour, Western Australia, and to determine how transplanting factors (e.g. planting density, patch size and patch shape) may influence these processes. The study has also determined whether monitoring the return of structural variables of seagrass represents the establishment of ecological functions, or whether monitoring ecological functions is required in determining the overall success of a restoration programme.

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