Carter et al., Synthesizing 35 years of seagrass spatial data from the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area, Queensland, Australia

Carter, Alex B., Skye A. McKenna, Michael A. Rasheed, Catherine Collier, Len McKenzie, Roland Pitcher, and Rob Coles. “Synthesizing 35 Years of Seagrass Spatial Data from the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area, Queensland, Australia.” Limnology and Oceanography Letters. Accessed May 21, 2021.

The Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area in Queensland, Australia contains globally significant seagrasses supporting key ecosystem services, including habitat and food for threatened populations of dugong and turtle. We compiled 35 years of data in a spatial database, including 81,387 data points with georeferenced seagrass and species presence/absence, depth, dominant sediment type, and collection date. We include data collected under commercial contract that have not been publicly available. Twelve seagrass species were recorded. The deepest seagrass was found at 76 m. Seagrass meadows are at risk from anthropogenic, climate and weather processes. Our database is a valuable resource that provides coastal managers and the global marine community with a long-term spatial resource describing seagrass populations from the mid-1980s against which to benchmark change. We address the data issuesinvolved in hindcasting over 30 years to ensure confidence in the accuracy and reliability of data included.