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Miami University of Ohio

Publication Date

Spring 2009

Program Name

Australia: Natural and Cultural Ecology

Abstract

The aim of this study was to observe if the construction of the Monck Head boat launching facility in September 2007 has impacted the adjacent intertidal sessile assemblages. Through a series of linear transects and quadrats, data was gathered to look at diversity and species composition on both north and south sides of the boat launching facility. Measurements of sand accumulation and map interpretation of fetch also provided insight to local physical processes of water flow, sedimentation and wave energy. The results showed that there was a significant accumulation of sand on the south side of the boat launching facility and erosion on the north side. No trends of diversity existed in transects at distances away from the boat launching facility, but species composition greatly differed between the two sides. The largest differences were seen in species of the Littorinidae family, algal species of the Division Cyanophyta and the species Sargassum ligulatum. The total percent cover of S. ligulatum on the north side was 10.46% and on the south side was 2.51%. These results indicate a probable impact of the boat launching facility on the adjacent sessile invertebrate assemblages through the disruption of physical processes. This information is important to encourage the Department for Planning and Infrastructure to replace the rock causeway with a piled bridge in order to return the adjacent ecosystems a more natural state.

Disciplines

Environmental Health and Protection | Environmental Indicators and Impact Assessment

 

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