Date of Award


Document Type



Edith Cowan University

Degree Name

Master of Science (Environmental Management)


School of Natural Sciences


Faculty of Computing, Health and Science

First Supervisor

Professor Paul Lavery

Second Supervisor

Dr Glenn Hyndes

Third Supervisor

Dr Christina Hanson


Nutrient inputs from productive marine environments have been shown to directly and indirectly subsidise primary producers and consumers in terrestrial ecosystems (e.g. Polis and Hurd 1995; 1996; Anderson and Polis 1998; 1999). But does this theory hold true on islands surrounded by oligotrophic waters, which account for a significant proportion of the marine environment? The aim of the present study was to examine the applicability of the spatial subsidisation hypotheses proposed by Polis and his co-authors to an oligotrophic system in south-western region of Western Australia. These aims were achieved by comparing soil and plant nutrients, and the nitrogen stable isotope signatures of soil, plants, detritus and invertebrates in areas with (islands) and without (mainland sites) inputs from seabirds. In addition, the responses of plant nutrients and vegetation assemblages to guano additions were examined in a controlled field experiment.


Paper Location