WAMSI 2 - Dredging Node - Project 5.2 - Genetic variability of seagrass in NW Australia [dataset]

Publication Date


Document Type


School or Research Centre

School of Science


Western Australian Marine Science Institution (WAMSI) project funded by Western Australian State Government and research partners.


Three species of seagrass, H. ovalis, H. uninervis and Thalassia hemprichii (Ehrenberg) Ascherson (year) were assessed across a range of spatial scales to determine:

- the variation in genetic diversity within and among sites;

- the patterns in connectivity among sites; and

- the relationship between genetic diversity and relevant environmental conditions.

Spatial representation type:

textTable : textual or tabular data is used to represent geographic data

Geographic bounding :

North bound: -9.62447, West bound: 98.62687, East bound: 125.16984, South bound: -23.24326



Data URLs

Access record on the Australian Ocean Data Network here

Research Activity Title

WAMSI 2 - Dredging Node - Project 5.2 - Genetic variability of tropical seagrasses


Four spatial scales were assessed: fine scale (metres); small scale (10-100s km); regional spatial scale (100-500 km); and large scale (>500 km), from Indonesia to the Pilbara.

A site was defined as a circular area of 50 m diameter. At each site, 50 samples were randomly collected based on randomly generated bearings and distances along the bearing which were located using compasses and transect tapes to identify positions along. Each sample was separated by a minimum of 2 m and if no seagrass was present at the randomly allocated position, it was collected from the next closest patch of seagrass, and the position recorded. Each sample consisted of a seagrass ramet with 1−3 connected shoots. Samples were stored in seawater at ambient temperature until processing. For H. ovalis apical meristems and young leaves were extracted from each sample, and for H. uninervis and T. hemprichii the young part of the leaves without epiphytes were extracted. All extracted samples were cleaned and stored in silica gel to preserve the DNA within 8 hours of collection. A herbarium voucher specimen of each species from each site was also created.

For the ‘fine’ scale, all seagrass was harvested from 3 replicate 50 cm diameter cores. Up to 12 independent ramets were identified, and preserved for DNA extraction as described below. Only H. ovalis was analysed at this scale.

DNA was extracted from 2−3 leaf pairs, growing tips and/or shoots of silica-dried plant material. All extractions were performed using AGRF extraction service (www.agrf.org.au).

Further information on genotyping and genetic analysis is available from the final report

Start of data collection time period


End of data collection time period





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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike Australia 2.5 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.5 Australia License.


Kathryn McMahon: k.mcmahon@ecu.edu.au


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