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Natural recolonisation of seagrasses at a disused sewage sludge outfall
Bryars, S.; Neverauskas, V. (2004). Natural recolonisation of seagrasses at a disused sewage sludge outfall. Aquat. Bot. 80(4): 283-289. dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.aquabot.2004.09.001
In: Aquatic Botany. Elsevier Science: Tokyo; Oxford; New York; London; Amsterdam. ISSN 0304-3770, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Sea grass; Posidonia König, 1805 [WoRMS]; ISW, Australia, South Australia, Adelaide [Marine Regions]; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Bryars, S.
  • Neverauskas, V.

Abstract
    Digested sludge from a sewage outfall that operated for 15 years adjacent to Adelaide in South Australia caused total seagrass loss in a 365 ha area around the outfall. Eight years after its closure, an underwater survey was conducted to determine the extent of seagrass recovery in a 2 ha area immediately adjacent to the disused outfall. Total seagrass cover was estimated to be 28% comprising 23% Halophila australis, 3% Posidonia angustifolia, 1% Posidonia sinuosa, and less than 1% each for Zostera tasmanica and Amphibolis antarctica. The recovery of seagrasses at the outfall site is probably due to recolonisation by propagules from a distant source. While results from this study suggest that seagrasses can return to a severely polluted site if the pollution source is removed and that Posidonia can be a primary coloniser of disturbed sites, they also suggest that it will take many decades for the seagrass community to recover to its former state.

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