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Biological recovery from organic enrichment: some systems cope better than others


MacLeod, C and Moltschaniwskyj, NA and Crawford, C and Forbes, SE, Biological recovery from organic enrichment: some systems cope better than others, Marine Ecology Progress Series, 342, (July) pp. 41-53. ISSN 0171-8630 (2007) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.3354/meps342041


This study examined the short-term recovery response at 2 salmon farms in southern Tasmania where organic loads were equivalent, but where background environmental conditions differed markedly. Although benthic communities at each of the farm locations showed good recovery over the 3 mo fallow period, community structure did not fully return to that observed under reference conditions at either location. At the Stringers Cove site the primary ecological functions of the background community were restored, but this was not the case at Creeses Mistake. These differences in recovery response were a direct reflection of background environmental conditions. Stringers Cove sediments had naturally high organic carbon content and as a result there was greater similarity in the ecological function of the unimpacted and impacted conditions at this location than at Creeses Mistake, where, under unimpacted conditions, the sediments had a very low organic content. In addition, the background fauna at Stringers Cove contained several species with reproductive strategies suited to rapid recruitment and well adapted for early recolonisation in organically enriched sediments. In contrast, the background fauna at Creeses Mistake not only changed more with the impacts of organic enrichment, but was less able to re-establish populations directly by immigration, needing to rely to a greater extent on remediation of the sediments by transitional species before being able to colonise. This has important implications for environmental management, as it suggests that the sediments in some areas have greater resilience to organic inputs. © Inter-Research 2007.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology)
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Terrestrial systems and management
Objective Field:Assessment and management of terrestrial ecosystems
UTAS Author:MacLeod, C (Professor Catriona MacLeod)
UTAS Author:Moltschaniwskyj, NA (Associate Professor Natalie Moltschaniwskyj)
UTAS Author:Crawford, C (Dr Christine Crawford)
UTAS Author:Forbes, SE (Miss Susan Forbes)
ID Code:43104
Year Published:2007
Web of Science® Times Cited:33
Deposited By:TAFI - Marine Research Laboratory
Deposited On:2007-08-01
Last Modified:2012-03-05

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