FACT SHEET: Seagrass (wirriya jalyanu): giving life to sea country
The International Union for Conservation of Nature World Heritage Site of Shark Bay, known as Gathaagudu (two waters) to Malgana Traditional Owners, is a place of extensive seagrass meadows. The World Heritage Site is unique in that it has been declared on the basis of all four natural values: exceptional natural beauty, outstanding record of early life forms, significant ongoing ecological and biological processes, and significant natural habitats for in-situ conservation of biological diversity.
World’s largest plant is found underwater in Shark Bay
Seagrasses are marine flowering plants, meaning they produce flowers, fruit and seedlings. They also reproduce clonally through vegetative growth by horizontal rhizome extension.....
by Jane Edgeloe, Elizabeth Sinclair, Siegy Krauss
Bushland News Spring 2022
Western Australia is home to the World's largest plant - and its underwater
Known to the Malgana people as ‘Wirriya jalyanu nhurra’ or ‘seagrass mob’, Posidonia australis appears as expansive meadows across the salty waters of Gathaagudu (Shark Bay).
by Elizabeth Sinclair, Jane Edgeloe, Siegy Krauss
For People & Plants Spring 2022
Meet the world’s largest plant: a single seagrass clone stretching 180 km in Western Australia’s Shark Bay
Next time you go diving or snorkelling, have a close look at those wondrously long, bright green ribbons, waving with the ebb and flow of water. They are seagrasses – marine flowering plants - but how many are there in a meadow?
by Elizabeth Sinclair, Gary Kendrick, Jane Edgeloe, Martin Breed
The Grass Could Be Greener
'Seagrasses are critical, and we are about to lose them.' Learn more about seagrasses, their global decline, and some promising solutions emerging in Australia.
by Amber Taylor
Out of sight Take a look underwater
We are fortunate in Australia to have beautiful beaches with stunningly biodiverse near-shore marine life. The swaying seagrass meadows make up an important part of this living ecosystem. It is lovely to snorkel just metres from the shore over the gently moving leaf canopy to watch the crabs, schools of juvenile fish, and starfish quietly going about their business. The health of seagrasses is generally most threatened where human populations are high.
by Elizabeth Sinclair
For People & Plants Spring 2021
Special issue on the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration
Seagrass science inspires Malgana artist
Gathaagudu (two waters), also known as Shark Bay, is the traditional country of Malgana peoples. It is also home to expansive seagrass (wirriya jalyanu) meadows. This article takes you on a high-resolution journey to the surface of seagrass leaves and the individual cells giving life and colour within them. Exploring the anatomical structures of seagrasses provides inspiration for environmental science student and emerging Malgana artist, Tiahna Oxenham.
by Elizabeth Sinclair, Tiahna Oxenham and Wolfgang Lewandrowski
For People & Plants Winter 2021
Workshopping seagrass (Wirriya Jalyanu) restoration in Shark Bay (Gathaagudu)
University of Western Australia seagrass researchers and Malgana Rangers conducted a joint workshop in August as part of a Marine Biodiversity Hub project to assist the natural recovery of seagrasses at Shark Bay.
Unravelling the mystery of Shark Bay seagrass reproduction
Shark Bay or Gathaagudu (two-waters) to the Malgana Traditional Owners, is a pristine ecosystem of global significance. The largest temperate seagrass meadows on the planet were severely impacted by an extreme heatwave. Our research examines flowering and fruiting density, genetic diversity and mating system in Posidonia australis.
by Jane Edgeloe and Elizabeth Sinclair
For People & Plants Winter 2020
Working together to assist seagrass recovery at Shark Bay
Western Australia’s Shark Bay, or Gathaagudu (two-waters), is recognised on the World Heritage List as a place of exceptional natural features. See how researchers are working with Malgana Rangers to restore damaged seagrass meadows.
by Elizabeth Sinclair, Gary Kendrick, Amrit Kendrick
Wetlands Australia 32, February 2020
Breaking the plastic pipeline
What did we use before single-use plastics became ingrained in our everyday lives? Our precious wetlands and vast oceans are often the final stop for much of the world’s plastic products. Find out what Kings Park Science are doing to help?
by Elizabeth Sinclair, Todd Erickson, Tony Scalzo
For People & Plants Summer 2019
Threatened plant translocation case study: Posidonia australis
Posidonia australis meadows have experienced large reductions in distribution across six NSW estuaries since the mid-1900s. It is at risk of becoming locally extinct in some estuaries due to on-going impacts.
by Giulia Ferretto, Tim Glasby, Graham Housefield, Alistair Poore, John Statton, Elizabeth Sinclair, Gary Kendrick, Adriana Vergés
We organised a conference for 570 people without using plastic.
What did we use before "single use" became ingrained in our everyday lives? The organising committee for the national AMSA 2019 conference held in Fremantle this week wanted to eliminate plastic. Here's how that went...
by Elizabeth Sinclair, Charlotte Birkmanis, Robert Pemberton
Discovering the biota of the wetland
The June 2019 edition of the Australian Association for Environmental Education OZEEnews features an article by Angela Rossen on her biodiversity outreach work.
New beginnings – bottleneck in the cycle of seagrass life
Seagrasses are clonal plants and therefore may persist for a long time. They are among some of the oldest plants on earth, with some clones thought to be thousands of years old. However, renewal, or the recruitment of new genetic individuals, also occurs in clonal species. This tends to be sporadic and patchy, but can be very difficult to quantify.
by Elizabeth Sinclair and Gary Kendrick
For People & Plants Winter 2017
What fish & fishos need: Why we should all look after our seagrasses!
Healthy seagrass meadows play a big part in making some of the inshore and sheltered water fishing in WA so good. In fact, research has suggested 400 square meters of seagrass can support up to 2000 tonnes of fish a year! The total number and diversity of fish is limited by the amount of habitat available to them.
by Elizabeth Sinclair
Recfishwest Broad Cast June 2017
The underwater world of the Kimberley
Renown for its extreme tides, the waters of the Kimberley host seagrasses and macroalgae that thrive against the odds. A three-year study combined science and traditional knowledge to uncover some of the secrets of these fascinating species, and the herbivores that feed on them.
by Mat Vanderklift and Gary Kendrick
Landscope magazine Autumn 2017
Learning about the amazing animal and plant diversity of our beaches
If we are to protect and conserve nature let us begin by discovering it for its own sake and marveling at its beauty and complexity.
by Angela Rossen
Coastlines Autumn 2017
Sexual promiscuity in the shallows
Western Australia’s vast meadows of Posidonia australis seagrass are amazingly productive with massive flowering events annually in the cool winter waters. Constantly moving water presents challenges for effective underwater pollination, but seagrasses have evolved special traits to adapt to these difficulties.
by Elizabeth Sinclair
For People & Plants Spring 2014
Dispersal on the high seas - the ecological genetics of seagrass seed dispersal.
Seagrasses are marine flowering plants, with Western Australia being home to more species than any other place on earth. However, seagrass meadows here, and elsewhere, are rapidly diminishing due to human impacts, and research is focusing on understanding genetic patterns and their ecological drivers.
by Elizabeth Sinclair
For People & Plants Autumn 2012