Export to Reference Manager
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
|Title:||Structure and function of south-east Australian estuaries|
|Abstract:||An attempt is made to synthesize the geological properties, water quality attributes and aspects of the ecology of south-east Australian estuaries so as to provide a framework for addressing coastal management issues. The approach is based on the underlying causal factors of geology and morphology and more immediate environmental factors (e.g. salinity and sediments) which are associated with ecological distributions, species richness and fisheries catch. This ‘ broad brush ’ approach seeks to maximize reality and generality, albeit at the expense of precision and local variability in individual circumstances. It disregards small-scale ecological patterns as noise. Unlike in the Northern Hemisphere, conditions in temperate Australia are characterized by irregular flood and fire regimes that strongly influence estuary hydrology and nutrient inputs. Three main types of estuary (tide-dominated, wave-dominated and intermittently closed) are recognized based on geological criteria and having particular entrance conditions that control tidal exchange. Four zones (marine flood-tidal delta, central mud basin, fluvial delta and riverine channel/alluvial plain) are also recognized common to each type of estuary. These zones correspond to mappable sedimentary environments in all estuaries and have characteristic water quality, nutrient cycling/primary productivity signatures and ecosystems. The ecology of a zone is modified by (a) estuary type which determines the salinity regime; (b) stage of sediment filling (evolutionary maturity) which controls the spatial distribution/size of the zones; and (c) impacts of various forms of development. By using the zones/habitats as a common currency among all estuaries, it is possible to link ecological aspects such as species richness and commercial fisheries production so as to compare different estuaries or within-estuary zones.|
|Journal Title:||Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science|
|Appears in Collections:||North Coast Local Land Services|
Items in DSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.