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The hypoxia that developed in a microtidal estuary following an extreme storm produced dramatic changes in the benthos

Tweedley, J.R., Hallett, C.S., Warwick, R.M., Clarke, K.R. and Potter, I.C. (2015) The hypoxia that developed in a microtidal estuary following an extreme storm produced dramatic changes in the benthos. Marine and Freshwater Research, 67 (3). pp. 327-341.

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Link to Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/MF14216
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Abstract

Runoff from an extreme storm on 22 March 2010 led, during the next 3 months, to the formation of a pronounced halocline and underlying hypoxia in the upper reaches of the microtidal Swan–Canning Estuary. Benthic macroinvertebrates were sampled between January 2010 and October 2011 at five sites along 10 km of this region. By mid-April, the number of species, total density, Simpson’s evenness index and taxonomic distinctness had declined markedly, crustaceans had disappeared and the densities of annelids and molluscs had declined slightly. These faunal attributes (except Simpson’s index) and species composition did not recover until after the end of the hypoxia. The survival of annelids and loss of crustaceans in this period reflects different sensitivities of these taxa to severe environmental stress. The results emphasise that microtidal estuaries with long residence times are highly vulnerable to the effects of environmental perturbations, particularly during warmer periods of the year.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: Centre for Fish and Fisheries Research
School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Copyright: © CSIRO 2015
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/27497
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