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Microtidal estuaries warrant special management measures that recognise their critical vulnerability to pollution and climate change

Warwick, R.M., Tweedley, J.R.ORCID: 0000-0002-2749-1060 and Potter, I.C. (2018) Microtidal estuaries warrant special management measures that recognise their critical vulnerability to pollution and climate change. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 135 . pp. 41-46.

Link to Published Version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2018.06.062
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Abstract

Not all estuaries are equally susceptible to anthropogenic perturbation. Microtidal estuaries with long residence times are intrinsically less robust than well-flushed macrotidal estuaries, facilitating the accumulation of contaminants. This promotes development of blooms of non-toxic and toxic phytoplankton, and hypoxia and anoxia may occur in deeper sections of the typically stratified water column. In Mediterranean and arid climates, high temperatures and low and/or seasonal rainfall can result in marked hypersalinity. Thus, any increase in anthropogenic perturbation will further decrease the health of a system in which the biota already experiences natural stress. Microtidal estuaries are also more susceptible to climate change, the detrimental longer-term effects of which are becoming manifestly obvious. Numerous attempts have been made to develop novel solutions to problems caused by eutrophication, phytoplankton blooms, hypoxia and hypersalinity, which have met with various levels of success, but the need for such measures and effective legislation is increasingly critical.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Publisher: Elsevier BV
Copyright: © 2018 Elsevier Ltd.
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/41401
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