Marine Ecology

Mangroves provide a nursery for fish, prawns and crabs, and help stabilise coastlines by reducing erosion caused by water flow and currents.  PBPL’s mangrove monitoring program commenced in 1999 to survey and map mangrove community structure, species composition and ecological health. The monitoring program was undertaken due to concern that there was a decline in mangrove health regionally and locally.

The data collected from the program indicates that mangrove health has been stable over the monitoring period, with fluctuations in health over short periods in response to weather (drought and floods) and hydrological changes. It’s likely that mangrove health declined in the late 90s due to reduced rainfall in Moreton Bay combined with anthropogenic stresses. While the mangrove communities around the port have been stable over the monitoring period, ongoing monitoring will continue.

Seagrass meadows provide important food and habitat for animals like dugongs, turtles, fish, birds and benthic fauna.  PBPL has undertaken direct monitoring of a significant seagrass bed adjacent to the port since 1991 which has found that water quality and turbulence from Brisbane River is the main driver of the seagrass health locally.  The location of port infrastructure has been beneficial to this seagrass meadow as it has separated it from Brisbane River. The shape of the port was designed to further limit turbulent flows. Despite the impact of two floods, the meadow adjacent to the port has expanded by approximately 700% since 1991 to cover1,400 hectares today.

Monitoring of a major seawall at the port  has shown that this man-made structure supports a diverse and abundant flora and fauna community, comprising of a range of algae, corals, sea anemones, oysters and sea squirts.

For more information please see our ‘Managing our Marine Environment’ factsheet