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The population ecology of the seagrass, Zostera muelleri, in south-eastern Australia: dispersal, recruitment, growth and connectivity of a marine angiosperm

Stafford-Bell, Richard (2016) The population ecology of the seagrass, Zostera muelleri, in south-eastern Australia: dispersal, recruitment, growth and connectivity of a marine angiosperm. PhD thesis, Victoria University.

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Abstract

The role of seagrass systems, including those of Zostera muelleri, in providing critical ecosystem services including provision of nursery habitat for economically important fish species and significant nutrient cycling services are well known (Orth et al., 2006). The current understanding of the population ecology of the species is however lacking, potentially leading to management decisions that fail to incorporate the ability of Z. muelleri to disperse, recruit and grow as well as the role the species plays in the development of microphytobenthic communities within seagrass systems. Important abiotic (non-living) variables that influence the growth and survival of Z. muelleri within the marine environment include near-shore and oceanic currents, light availability, nutrients, temperature and salinity levels, with the latter being predominantly driven by changes in freshwater inputs (Kaldy et al., 2015). Biotic factors include herbivorous predation which may assist in propagule release, competition and potential facillitatory roles of existing seagrasses that may aid in the ongoing productivity of populations (Holmgren et al., 1997).

Item Type: Thesis (PhD thesis)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Zostera muelleri Irmisch ex Asch., dispersal potential, population connectivity, phenotypic plasticity, composition of microphytobenthic communities, environmental conditions
Subjects: FOR Classification > 0602 Ecology
Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > College of Science and Engineering
Depositing User: VU Library
Date Deposited: 12 Dec 2016 05:06
Last Modified: 12 Dec 2016 05:06
URI: http://vuir.vu.edu.au/id/eprint/32318
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