Contribution of individual rivers to Great Barrier Reef nitrogen exposure with implications for management prioritization

Last modified: 
December 13, 2019 - 2:04pm
Type: Journal Article
Year of publication: 2018
Date published: 08/2018
Authors: Nicholas Wolff, Eduardo da Silva, Michelle Devlin, Kenneth Anthony, Stephen Lewis, Hemerson Tonin, Richard Brinkman, Peter Mumby
Journal title: Marine Pollution Bulletin
Volume: 133
Pages: 30 - 43
ISSN: 0025326X

Dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN) runoff from Great Barrier Reef (GBR) catchments is a threat to coral reef health. Several initiatives address this threat, including the Australian Government's Reef 2050 Plan. However, environmental decision makers face an unsolved prioritization challenge: determining the exposure of reefs to DIN from individual rivers. Here, we use virtual river tracers embedded within a GBR-wide hydrodynamic model to resolve the spatial and temporal dynamics of 16 individual river plumes during three wet seasons (2011−2013). We then used in-situ DIN observations to calibrate tracer values, allowing us to estimate the contribution of each river to reef-scale DIN exposure during each season. Results indicate that the Burdekin, Fitzroy, Tully and Daintree rivers pose the greatest DIN exposure risk to coral reefs during the three seasons examined. Results were used to demonstrate a decision support framework that combines reef exposure risk with river dominance (threat diversity).

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Approximate cost to purchase or rent this item from the publisher: US $39.95
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