Assessing alternative adaptive management strategies for the management of estuarine and coastal ecosystems.
[Principal Researcher: M. Sheaves]
Mangrove EcoSystems for Climate Change Adaptation and Livelihoods (MESCAL).
This project . [Science Leader, Faunal Studies: M. Sheaves]
Queensland Wetlands Program: Wetlands Connectivity.
A project designed to provide wetland managers with a set of tools to aid decision making that promotes best practice outcomes for wetland systems. [Science Leader: M. Sheaves]
Habitat use specificity of tropical estuary fish.
A detailed, ongoing study of large scale habitat use by fish using a variety of technologies. [Leader: M. Sheaves]
Local scale habitat selection by tropical estuarine fish.
Ongoing study of the habitat-specific distributions of tropical estuarine and saltmarsh fishes. [Leader: R. Johnston]
Pattern of entry of fish into mangrove forests.
An ongoing study of the patterns of entry of fish into mangrove forests testing the models proposed by Sheaves (2005). [Leader: M. Sheaves]
Development of indicators of aquatic ecosystem health.
This project contributes the aquatic component to a multi-disciplinary project “Sustainable management of soil and water resources for oil palm production systems in Papua New Guinea”. The aim of the project is to improve the environmental sustainability and long‐term viability of the PNG oil palm industry by establishing the use of practical and scientifically valid environmental sustainability indicators that help guide continuous improvements in management practices. Project summary PDF [Aquatic project leader: M. Sheaves]
Hydrology, connectivity, and trophic dynamics: The nursery function of coastal landscapes.
This project is testing the hypothesis that connectivity between marine, estuarine and freshwater wetlands is important to the nursery function of the coastal landscape for a variety of marine fishes.It combines hydrological modelling with dietary, stable isotope, and otolith chemical analysis of fishes to examine patterns of occupation and resource use in the coastal landscape under a range of hydrological connectivity settings.Project outcomes will clarify the importance of an interconnected coastal landscape and the significance of impacts to connectivity. [Leader: R. Baker]
Quantifying riparian zone indicators of aquatic ecosystem health under oil palm cultivation in the Dagi River basin, Papua New Guinea using GIS and remote sensing techniques.
Utilising GIS and remote sensing tools this project investigates different indicators of aquatic ecosystem health and condition of riparian zones in regions of PNG where palm oil cultivation is a dominant land-use component of the ecosystem. This project will attempt to determine whether deterioration in aquatic ecosystem health indicators is directly linked to oil palm cultivation and/or processing and what effects land use associated with palm oil production (e.g. clearing of riparian buffers for gardens) has on riparian zones and aquatic ecosystem health in PNG. [Leader: T. Simbiwen]
Identifying ecologically relevant estuary characteristics using GIS.
This work aims to produce predictive tools for categorizing estuaries and their habitats based on ecological characteristics. [Leader: R. Johnston]
Extent of penetration of fish into mangrove forests.
An investigation of the extent fish penetrate mangrove forests and their reasons for doing so using video, gut content and stable isotope analyses. [Leader: R. Johnston]
Large scale spatial distribution of invertebrates across estuaries in eastern tropical Australia and their response to changing freshwater inflows.
A project detailing the temporal change in benithic infaunal assemblages and how they respond to the alternating dominance of marine and fresh water [Leader: J. Sheaves]
Spatial distribution of crabs in the intertidal zone of tropical estuaries.
This study aims to develop conceptual models of the spatial distribution of intertidal crabs in tropical estuaries and expand understanding of the processes influencing those patterns. [Leader: P. Vermeiren]
Recruitment patterns of fish in tropical estuaries.
A detailed investigation of the relative timing of recruitment of fish across a range of estuaries [Leader: A. Johnson]
Influence of natural and anthropogenic factors on food web structure in the Swan-Canning Estuary over the past 30 years.
This study aims to advance current knowledge of trophic ecology in the Swan-Canning Estuary, Perth, WA and elucidate how natural and anthropogenic factors have influenced food web structure in the estuary over the past 30 years [Leader: A. Buckland]
Use of estuaries as nursery grounds by juvenile carangid fish (jacks/trevally).
These fish use estuaries as part of a larger nursery ground complex and this study is aimed at understanding this utilization. [Leader: M. Sheaves]
Food web implication of complex temporal shifts in the diets of tropical estuary fish.
A project to understand the implications of the complex shifts in fish diets over the year and during their life cycles. [Leader: M. Sheaves]
Spatio-temporal patterns in predator-prey behaviors of fish around predation hot spots.
This study examines spatio-temporal patterns of predation events and predator-prey behaviours around predation hot spots and how these patterns affect key biological events. [Leader: K. Stegemann]
Detailing the diets of phyto-detritus feeding fish in tropical estuaries.
Fish that consume a mixture of detritus and microscopic algae dominate tropical estuarine and wetland assemblages. This project is aimed at determining the extent to which reliance on algal and detrital materialvaries among species [Leader: M. Sheaves]
Regional salt marsh flooding patterns and their key drivers.
This is a study of the patterns of wetland flooding along the length of eastern Australia, matching with a parallel study in the USA. [Leader: M. Sheaves, in conjunction with P. Dale (Griffith Uni), and T. Minello and L. Rozas (NOAA Fisheries Service)]
Life on tropical beaches. A long-term study to detail the fauna relationships on tropical Australian beaches.
A long term study of the distributions and interactions among invertebrate fauna of tropical Australian beaches. [Leader: J. Collins]
Fisheries ecology of Papuan freshwater herring.
A fisheries ecology study of Nematalosa papuensis concentrating on its response to potential stressors [Leader: B. Figa]
Fisheries ecology of Papuan Black Bass.
A study of the distribution, growth, reproduction and resource requirements of thePapuan Black Bass, Lutjanus goldiei. [Leader: M. Sheaves]
Temporal dynamics of nekton assemblages in tidal wetland pools under the influence of freshwater flooding.
A study of the temporal changes in nekton assemblage compositions of tidal wetland pools during transition from freshwater to marine conditions. [Leader: B. Davis]
Food web dynamics across ephemeral wetlands and mangroves in the dry tropics.
This project examines patterns of temporal change across a variety of intervening coastal habitats during transition from wet to dry season.The primary focus will be on shifts in floral and faunal communities and consequential shifts in carbon supply and utilisation in wetland food webs. [Leader: B. Edelman]
The functional importance of woody snags as fish nursery grounds.
This project fcousses on woody snags that line the beaches and estuaries of North Queensland with the objective of establishing their value as protective habitats for juvenile fish. [Leader: M. Bradley]
Recently completed projects
Large scale patterns of temporal change in estuary fish assemblage structure.
A study of changes in fish assemblages in 11 estuaries in northern Australia aimed at quantifying the consistency of patterns of change and the fish functional groups most responsible for change. [Leaders: M. Sheaves, in conjunction with Assoc. Prof. Rod Connolly from Griffith University]
Use of mangrove forest habitats by fishes.
This study aims to determine which tropical species use mangrove forest habitats when they are accessible and investigates why they use those habitats.[Leader: M. Bower]
Spatial distribution of estuarine epibenthic invertebrates.
An investigation into the spatial distribution of epibenthic invertebrates in tropical estuarine systems. [Leader: C. Mattone]
Diets of tropical estuarine benthivores.
A study of the influence of ontogeny, space and time on the diets of tropical estuarine benthivores [Leader: D. Hargreaves]
Feeding ecology of archer fish, Toxotes chatareus.
A detailed study of the diet of Toxotes chatareus in tropical estuaries. [Leader: R. Pullinger]
Feeding across borders: the realisation of connectivity.
A detailed investigation into fine-scale patterns of abundance, distribution and feeding that occur when fish are influenced by connectivity events. In particular, the study is looked at connectivity of fish between subtidal and intertidal habitats. [Leader: N. McLean]
The functional importance of patterns of habitat interspersion within a seascape in tropical estuaries.
This study aims to provide an improved understanding of the importance of subtidal structure to the ecological functioning of tropical estuaries. More specifically, the research aims to determine (a) the taxonomic composition of the nekton assemblages that inhabit complex sub-tidal structure and b) how the presence of complex subtidal structure influences the composition and function of nekton assemblages using adjacent habitat units such as mangrove forests. [Leader: S. Carman]
Changes in oxygen levels affecting connectivity throughout coastal wetlands.
A study on the changes in oxygen levels in incoming wetland water as it moves through coastal wetlands and is depleted by wetland vegetation and the affect this has on connectivity for organisms residing in these areas. [Leader: K. Stegemann]
Developing effective methods for measuring the ecological health of tropical estuaries.
Work aimed at producing tools that can be used effect to monitor and assess the health of tropical estuaries. [Leaders: M. Sheaves, in conjunction with Assoc. Prof. Rod Connolly from Griffith University]