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dc.contributor.advisorProbert, Keith
dc.contributor.authorPaavo, Brian Leeen_NZ
dc.identifier.citationPaavo, B. L. (2007). Soft-sediment benthos of Aramoana and Blueskin Bay (Otago, New Zealand) and effects of dredge-spoil disposal (Thesis, Doctor of Philosophy). University of Otago. Retrieved from
dc.description.abstractStudies were conducted to broadly describe and understand the sediment benthos of a shallow-water coastal area (Aramoana Beach - Heyward Point - Blueskin Bay) near the entrance to Otago Harbour, a system largely representative for southeastern New Zealand. Benthic assemblages were examined in relation to gradients of wave exposure and disturbance, sediment type and bathymetry, and dredge-spoil disposal. Sediment and macrofaunal surveys in autumn and spring 2003 found little change in sediment texture gradients from historical studies and a lack of vertical stratification. Macrobenthic samples from spring produced significantly higher abundances of three numerically dominant phyla (Arthropoda, Annelida, and Mollusca) and higher taxon richness compared to autumn. Within water depths of 6-30 m, abundance, richness, and diversity increased with depth. Multivariate analyses identified similar assemblages among deeper sites, despite sediment textural differences, whereas distinct assemblages were found in the shallow portions of the three areas. Meiofaunal abundance patterns did not reflect those of macrofauna, possibly indicating greater vertical penetration of sediments in these hydrodynamic environments. Several new kinorhynch taxa were found. In a field manipulation, part of the Aramoana dredge-spoil dumpground was protected from spoil disposal for an extended period followed by experimental dumping of sandy and muddy spoil. Macrofaunal samples were collected before dumping and at nine sites lt; 119 d after disposal. Water velocities at the sediment-water interface were compared to a local sediment disturbance model. Dumpground samples were depauperate in individuals and taxa compared to an area protected from dumping for gt; 180 d. A drop in abundance and a dissimilar community coincided with muddy spoil, but fine sediments were dispersed within 26 d and macrofaunal assemblages recovered to the pre-existing state. Sandy spoil, while not altering native sediment textures, had a more prolonged impact due to transplantation of macrofauna from the dredged area that persisted for lt; 41 d after disposal. Side-scan sonar mapping indicated that the disposal footprint model used approximated the extent of sandy spoil impacts well, while local conditions spread muddy sediments beyond the initial impact site. A novel sediment profile imaging device was constructed that has many advantages over existing devices for spoil mound studies and habitat mapping: it is smaller, can be manually deployed from small boats, is cheaper, and can be modified to work in almost any soft sediment. Studies of one dominant taxon, the gastropod Zethalia zelandica, showed it was better able to survive sand burial than mud burial, did not vary in overall activity through a range of 5-14 C, and contributed a large proportion of biomass of its community. The spoil disposal strategy used does not appear as environmentally neutral as originally thought. Only muds are effectively dispersed whereas coarser sediments accumulate, affecting physical and biological benthic processes of a wider area. Two mitigation strategies were evaluated using a heuristic model. Reducing the disposal area and spreading mud disposal events over a longer time span may be an effective interim strategy. Overall, the studies will help guide management of the area.en_NZ
dc.publisherUniversity of Otagoen_NZ
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dc.subjectNew Zealanden_NZ
dc.subjectBlueskin Bayen_NZ
dc.subjectOtago Harbouren_NZ
dc.titleSoft-sediment benthos of Aramoana and Blueskin Bay (Otago, New Zealand) and effects of dredge-spoil disposalen_NZ
dc.typeThesisen_NZ of Marine Scienceen_NZ of Philosophyen_NZ of Otagoen_NZ Thesesen_NZ
otago.openaccessAbstract Only
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