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Investigator Group Expedition 2006: Seagrasses of the Investigator Group Region: Posidonia Meadow Condition in a Pristine Offshore Marine Environment

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Abstract:

As part of the 'Investigator Expedition', a subtidal survey of seagrasses was conducted in the Investigator Group region of South Australia (S.A.) during May 2006. Seagrasses were collected and identified from Pearson, Flinders, and Topgallant Islands, and from Waterloo Bay on the adjacent mainland. Twelve species of seagrasses have now been documented in the region (including Ward I.), with six species of Posidonia, two species of Amphibolis, two species of Heterozostera, and Halophila australis. The previously undescribed seagrasses of Flinders I. were found to be particularly diverse and widespread. Measures of Posidonia angustifolia/sinuosa condition were taken at 7 m depth from eight sites across four locations (Pearson I., northern Flinders I., eastern Flinders I., Waterloo Bay). A comparison of P. angustifolia/sinuosa condition at these sites with other studies in S.A. indicates that the Investigator Group sites are healthy, and that a P. angustifolia/sinuosa meadow can be suspected of being unhealthy or degraded if aboveground biomass is <100 g DW.m−2, leaf density is <1000 m−2, average leaf length is <200 mm, and/or epiphyte load is >1 g DW epiphytes.g DW seagrass−1. Five species of gastropod were found associated with P. angustifolia/sinuosa across the eight sites. Whilst epiphyte biomass/load was relatively low in the region, a significant positive relationship existed between epiphyte biomass and gastropod density. Flowering in P. angustifolia/sinuosa was noted at some of the sites, particularly on Flinders I.

Keywords: EPIPHYTES; FLOWERING; GASTROPODS

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2008

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  • In 2004, the South Australian Museum and the Royal Society of South Australia became partners in Southern Scientific Press. This led to the amalgamation of their two professional journals. The Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia now incorporates the Records of the South Australian Museum.
    Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia deals with natural history relating to South Australia
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