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The seagrass data were coupled with exposure to Primary water type, which was derived from MODIS true colour images and the classification method developed by Álvarez-Romero et al. (2013), in order to test the response of these RAF265 sensitive ecosystems to Primary water type, characterised by reduced light levels.
2. Study area
Cleveland Bay is located on the eastern coast of north Queensland, Australia, 1359 km north of Brisbane. Cleveland Bay is located in the dry tropics and experiences a summer wet season (December–April) and a winter dry season (May–November). The average rainfall is about 1120 mm an−1, the majority of which falls during the wet season (Furnas, 2003).
The Bay is bordered to the west by the city of Townsville (Fig. 1) and to the east by Magnetic Island; an inshore continental island of the GBR located about 8 km offshore from Townsville. The Port of Townsville is Queensland's third largest commercial port and has undergone large extensions over the past few years. Cleveland Bay reaches a maximum depth of 15 m at its seaward edge and the bay is protected from the south-easterly trade winds that dominate the dry season by Cape Cleveland. The Ross River and Alligator Creek with catchment areas of 998 km2 and 265 km2, respectively, discharge into the Bay and the average fine sediment discharge in Cleveland Bay has been estimated around 25,900 t y−1 (Lambrechts et al., 2010). The bay can also receive fine sediments from the Burdekin River located 100 km to the South (Bainbridge et al., 2012 and Lambrechts et al., 2010).