Project 4.11 – Sources, transformations and fate of particulate and dissolved organic carbon – implications for the GBR

Organic carbon has traditionally been poorly studied in marine systems, but recent studies suggest that GBR microalgae can utilise organic matter, and that eroded soil carbon parameters can ameliorate marine algal responses to catchment nutrients. This suggests that organic carbon may play an important role in marine ecosystems than previously thought. Additionally, GBR organic carbon concentrations are increasing, but the mechanisms are
unclear. The proposed study would review the literature, develop a conceptual model, and undertake data analysis on organic carbon in the GBR and catchments, and examine links to ecosystem effects. This will improve monitoring and management of water quality in the GBR.