Water clarity and water quality, catchment to reef, Great Barrier Reef


Temporal Range: From 01-Oct-2005

Resource Summary

This research focused on defining improved water quality guideline trigger values for the GBR Water Quality Guidelines, by identifying measures of changes in coral reefs that are specifically related to recent and past exposure to changing water quality from altered catchments. An analysis of spatial and seasonal water quality conditions in six NRM regions on the GBR assessed the relationships between water quality and reef ecosystem health. Trigger values for water quality were determined to protect ecosystem health and model based predictions for ecosystem benefits for improvements should the trigger values by implemented. 

Analysis was conducted for the six NRM regions: Burnett Mary, Fitzroy, Mackay Whitsundays, Burdekin Dry Tropics, Wet Tropics, and Cape York NRM. This included nine water quality parameters were analysed: Secchi depth, chlorophyll, suspended solids, particulate, dissolved and total nitrogen, and particulate, dissolved and total phosphorus. Four groups of biota were used as proxies for reef ecosystem status and biodiversity: these were macroalgal cover, species richness of hard corals, and species richness of phototrophic and heterotrophic octocorals.

Two separate approaches were used to define water quality guideline trigger values:

(i) The modelled relationships between the condition of reef biota

(ii) The analyses of the spatial distribution of water quality.

The chlorophyll and nutrient data were collected since 1976, and between 1992 and 2006 as part of the Long-Term Chlorophyll Monitoring program, and of the Reef Plan Marine Monitoring program since 2005.

The Secchi data were collected by a consortium of people from AIMS, DPIF, and members of the Reef Plan Marine Monitoring Program since 1976. These data are available through the data links on this page (eAtlas).

The hard coral biodiversity data were collected between 1994 and 2001.

The study was funded by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, the Australian Institute of Marine Science and the Australian Government’s Marine and Tropical Sciences Research Facility

Constraints
Resource Usage

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The data was collected under contract between AIMS and another party(s). Specific agreements for access and use of the data shall be negotiated separately. Contact the AIMS Data Centre (adc@aims.gov.au) for further information

Metadata Usage

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Format for citation of metadata sourced from Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) in a list of reference is as follows: "Australian Institute of Marine Science. [year-of-data-download], [Title], [data-access-URL], accessed (date-of-access]".

Resource Usage:

Use of the AIMS data is for not-for-profit applications only. All other users shall seek permission for use by contacting AIMS. Acknowledgements as prescribed must be clearly set out in the user's formal communications or publications.

Access Constraint: intellectualPropertyRights
Use Constraint: intellectualPropertyRights
Security classification code: unclassified


Metadata Usage:
Access Constraint: intellectualPropertyRights
Use Constraint: intellectualPropertyRights
Security classification code: unclassified

Cite this Record
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Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS). 2009, Water clarity and water quality, catchment to reef, Great Barrier Reef, https://apps.aims.gov.au/metadata/view/273fd55d-84d3-4781-a193-ab58695cb4c4, accessed 23-May-2019
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