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Emilie Perez-Wright

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Seagrass meadows are highly productive ecosystems that sequester large organic carbon stocks and play an important role in nutrient cycling in oligotrophic habitats. Shark Bay/Gathaagudu represents one of the world’s largest seagrass ecosystems and contains 1.3 % of the total C sequestered within the top metre of seagrass sediments worldwide. However, rising marine temperatures and the increasing frequency of marine heatwaves poses a significant threat to the resilience of temperate seagrasses Amphibolis antarctica and Posidonia australis in this ecosystem. I will investigate the contribution of seagrass to historical carbon and nutrient budgets in Shark Bay/Gathaagudu using stable isotope techniques. This data will help to predict how future climate change will affect ecosystem functions and services and will identify areas of conservation importance.

PhD thesis topic: Resilience of carbon storage
capacity and nutrient cycling in hypersaline
seagrass environments