“What killed the seagrasses off the coast of Adelaide?”

9 07 2007

Dr Sasi Nayar, recipient of the Tan Teck Guan Gold Medal, will talk about his current research on seagrasses at the Botanic Gardens.

The 4th Award of Nature Society ( Singapore) was awarded to the best Masters and Doctoral Thesis from National Tertiary Institutions of Singapore for the period 2003-2006 on a subject related to Nature Conservation or Environmental Protection/Improvement. The award, The Tan Teck Guan Gold Medal, recognizes the best thesis of the graduates on Nature and Environment in Singapore with the winners name inscribed on a Nature Society (Singapore) 20-gram 24 carat gold medal.

Abstract:

Since the 1940s, over 5000ha of near-shore meadow-forming seagrasses, Amphibolis and Posidonia, have been lost from Adelaide’s metropolitan coastline in Southern Australia. The loss of these seagrasses is a major concern due to their importance to near-shore productivity, seabed stability and biodiversity. Engineering works and urbanisation during the 20th century

Substantially increased water flow to the coast from rivers, stormwater drains, and wastewater treatment plant discharges, sullying the metropolitan coast. Elevated levels of nutrients, toxicants and turbidity have been detected and reported regularly over the last 30 years. Each of these potential stressors has been implicated in the historical loss of seagrasses. This talk will specifically address the effect of nutrients on seagrass assessed from in-situ chamber incubations, field experiments and mesocosm (simulation of real-life conditions) trials. The presentation and talk will take place from 7pm to 9pm in the Gardens Briefing Room (next to the Botanic Gardens Shop) at the Botanic Gardens Visitor Centre (at the junction of Cluny and Nassim Roads).

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