Document Type



Western Australian Marine Science Institution


School of Science


McMahon, K., Hernawan, U., van Dijk, K. J., Waycott, M., Biffin, E., Evans, R., & Lavery, P. (2017). Genetic variability within seagrass of the north west of Western Australia: Report of Theme 5-Project 5.2 prepared for the Dredging Science Node, Western Australian Marine Science Institution, Perth, Western Australia, 41pp.


This study was the first of its kind to examine the patterns of genetic diversity in seagrasses in the Pilbara region of WA. Three species were assessed: Halophila ovalis (6 populations), Halodule uninervis (8 populations) andThalassia hemprichii (3 populations) at a range of spatial scales, within a meadow (centimetres−metres), among meadows at a local scale (2−60 km) and among meadows at a regional scale (up to 500 km). Due to the varied distribution of species all species across the same spatial scale and range of environments could not be sampled, so a nested approach was designed, with sites replicated at a distance of 2−5 km, and then different species at varied larger spatial scales.


  • To establish fundamental knowledge on the genetic diversity of seagrass meadows in the northwest of Western Australia; and if this varies among sites and with different environmental conditions, particularly clear and turbid water;
  • To understand the gene flow among populations; and
  • To inform the design of mesocosm and laboratory experiments on seagrass resilience (see Dredging Science Projects 5.5.1 – 5.5.4).

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Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.