Poster Australian Marine Sciences Association 2022

Establishing a Functional Traits database for Tropical Queensland Seagrasses (#490)

Chieh Lin 1 , Michael Rasheed 2 , Robert Coles 2 , Alana Grech 1
  1. ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, Townsville
  2. Centre for Tropical Water and Aquatic Ecosystem Research, Cairns

Functional traits are defined as characteristics (e.g., morphological, physiological, phenological, biochemical, behavioral, or structural) of an individual that affect its fitness or performance. A functional trait-based approach can assist in understanding assembly, structure, and functioning and predicting community responses to environmental change when basic ecological information of individual species is limited. Here we propose to use a combination of literature and expert elicitation to collect values of selected traits for tropical seagrass species in Queensland, Australia. In particular, we are focusing on traits that contribute to seagrass resilience and functions. We use a systematic expert elicitation approach (the IDEA protocol) to obtain reasonable estimation of trait values when traits were not available in the literature or traits databases. Our seagrass traits database will be applied to estimating the resilience of seagrass to disturbance and the stability of seagrass functions in tropical Queensland.