University of Tasmania

File(s) not publicly available

Distribution of seagrasses, and their fish and penaeid prawn communities, in Cairns Harbour, a tropical estuary, northern Queensland, Australia

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-17, 17:07 authored by Coles, RG, Lee Long, WJ, Reginald WatsonReginald Watson, Derbyshire, KJ
Zostera capricorni was the most common seagrass species and had the greatest biomass at 79 g m -2 dry weight of stems and leaves and 180 g m -2 dry weight of roots and rhizomes. The maximum shoot density found was 4798 shoots m -2 of Halodule pinifolia, the second most common species. Seagrasses were found only between 0.5-5.0 m below mean sea level. Zostera capricorni was found at the shallowest depths, H. pinifolia at the deepest depths. Twenty species of penaeid prawns, nine of which are marketed commercially, were samples from seagrass beds. Abundances of prawns of commercial species were significantly greater on seagrass-covered substrata than on nonvegetated substrata. Mostly small or juvenile fish, representing 134 taxa, were sampled from seagrasses in Cairns Harbour. The most numerous fish species were a goby Yongeichthys criniger, and a pony fish Leiognathus splendens. Density of fish on the seagrass beds was 8809 fish ha -1. -from Authors


Publication title

Australian Journal of Marine & Freshwater Research








Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies


C S I R O Publishing

Place of publication

150 Oxford St, Po Box 1139, Collingwood, Australia, Victoria, 3066

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Wild caught fin fish (excl. tuna)