Kennedy, K; Schroeder, T; Shaw, M; Haynes, D; Lewis, S; Bentley, C; Paxman, C; Carter, S; Brando, VE; Bartkow, M; Hearn, L; Mueller, JF (2012). Long term monitoring of photosystem II herbicides - Correlation with remotely sensed freshwater extent to monitor changes in the quality of water entering the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. MARINE POLLUTION BULLETIN, 65(9-Apr), 292-305.
Photosystem II (PSII) herbicides are used in large quantities on agricultural lands adjoining the Great Barrier Reef (GBR). Routine monitoring at 14 sites in inshore waters of the GBR using passive sampling techniques detected diuron (32-94% of sampling periods) at maximum concentrations of 1.7-430 ng L-1 in the relatively pristine Cape York Region to the Mackay Whitsunday Region, respectively. A PSII herbicide equivalent (PSII-HEq) index developed as an indicator for reporting was dominated by diuron (average contribution 89%) and typically increased during the wet season. The maximum PSII-HEq indicates the potential for photosynthetic inhibition of diatoms, seagrass and coral-symbionts. PSII herbicides were significantly positively correlated with remotely sensed coloured dissolved organic matter, a proxy for freshwater extent. Combining these methods provides for the first time the potential to cost-effectively monitor improvements in water quality entering the GBR with respect to exposure to PSII herbicides. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.