Science Strategy and Information Needs 2014 - 2019: Detailed Science Questions

This register of detailed knowledge needs complements the themes and key science questions outlined in GBRMPA’s Science Strategy and Information Needs 2014-2019 (the Science Strategy). The register will be regularly updated to address emerging issues and critical information needs for management.

As explained in the Science Strategy, identification and development of individual science projects under each theme should be designed to answer one or more of the questions, taking into account the broader Driver, Pressure, State, Impact, Response framework and the management context. The management context for each theme in the Science Strategy outlines why each theme is important for management and how the scientific information generated will be applied to adaptive management.

To filter relevant questions, select from one or more of the three drop down menus below in any order. The three drop down filters operate as an ‘AND’ function, so the more drop-down menus you activate, the narrower the search will be. The options in CAPITAL letters are sub-headings and, if selected, will return questions related to all of the components below that sub-heading.

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Management Response
232 Questions Found           Export To CSV File
Ref NumQuestionScience Strategy Theme
AkeyQ1What are the current and projected future status and trends of drivers, influencing factors and pressures affecting key ecological, cultural, heritage, economic and social values in the Great Barrier Reef Region?A - Drivers and Pressures
AkeyQ2How do pressures act cumulatively on the Great Barrier Reef ecosystem, its biodiversity and heritage values and the community benefits they provide and what would be appropriate decision-support tools and methods for considering this? A - Drivers and Pressures
AkeyQ3How do coastal ecosystem functions contribute to poor water quality when altered?A - Drivers and Pressures
AkeyQ4What are the consequences of coastal development, including port development, on the Region’s values?A - Drivers and Pressures
AkeyQ5What are the consequences of climate change (including ocean acidification) on the Region’s values?A - Drivers and Pressures
AkeyQ6What are the risks to and effects on species, species of conservation concern, species stocks and habitats from commercial, recreational, Traditional and illegal fishing?A - Drivers and Pressures
AkeyQ7What are the time lags for ecosystem responses to changes in the pressures affecting the Reef?A - Drivers and Pressures
AkeyQ8What is the quantified cumulative effect of crown-of-thorns starfish outbreaks, and what is the influence of other disturbances on the probability of outbreaks?A - Drivers and Pressures
AkeyQ9How do Traditional Owners consider that drivers, influencing factors and pressures have affected Indigenous heritage values?A - Drivers and Pressures
AscQ1How are pressures on the Reef perceived by different sectors of the community and how do these perceptions change as (a) drivers and pressures change; and (b) as pressures are reported in the media?A - Drivers and Pressures
AscQ2What are the trends in, understanding of and compliance with Reef-based management?A - Drivers and Pressures
AscQ3What influences (a) visitor satisfaction with Reef experiences; and (b) voluntary compliance with Marine Park rules and regulations? How does each vary spatially and temporally?A - Drivers and Pressures
AscQ4What are the cause and effect relationships between Great Barrier Reef Region ecological and human systems and the benefits derived from these systems?A - Drivers and Pressures
AscQ5What is the cost to industry and community of achieving ecologically relevant targets?A - Drivers and Pressures
AscQ6What are the trends in adaptive capacity of industry and community – e.g. in response to changing resource condition or changing management requirements?A - Drivers and Pressures
AscQ7What are trends in stakeholder and community behaviour change due to management initiatives and interventions or changing resource condition?A - Drivers and Pressures
AscQ8What are the trends in Reef-based stewardship including up-take of best management practice among catchment farmers and graziers, commercial fishers and tourism operators?A - Drivers and Pressures
AscQ9What are the effects of sediment plumes and wake damage from bulk carriers on corals and other biota of the Great Barrier Reef?A - Drivers and Pressures
AscQ10What are the effects of sediment plumes and wake damage from bulk carriers on Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area islands?A - Drivers and Pressures
AscQ11What are the effects of shipping traffic on residents, visitor experiences, Traditional Owners and Reef-dependent industries?A - Drivers and Pressures
AscQ12What are the effects of ship anchoring on residents, visitor experiences, Traditional Owners and Reef-dependent industries?A - Drivers and Pressures
AscQ13What are the effects of ship anchoring on coral reefs and other Great Barrier Reef Region habitats and species?A - Drivers and Pressures
AscQ14What are the risks to the Region’s values in the far northern sector of the Great Barrier Reef from commercial shipping?A - Drivers and Pressures
AscQ15What is the extent and trends of effects from recreational vessel anchoring on coral reefs?A - Drivers and Pressures
AscQ16What is the current rate of fisheries bycatch and discards, and what are the current composition, amount and condition of non-retained catch from commercial and recreational fisheries?A - Drivers and Pressures
AscQ17What is the risk of elevated coral disease from fishing?A - Drivers and Pressures
AscQ18What are the effects of fishing on lesser known bycatch species (such as shark-like batoids)?A - Drivers and Pressures
AscQ19What effect does fishing have on spawning aggregations?A - Drivers and Pressures
AscQ20What are Traditional fisheries and how can they be assessed and monitored?A - Drivers and Pressures
AscQ21What is the risk to Traditional fisheries from commercial and recreational fisheries?A - Drivers and Pressures
AscQ22What are fine-scale spatial patterns of trawl effort and intensity in each sector of the otter trawl fishery and for the whole fishery, and how has this changed over time?A - Drivers and Pressures
AscQ23What are the observable ecological effects of localised population depletion of fished (targeted and non-targeted) species?A - Drivers and Pressures
AscQ24What are the perceptions and attitudes of residents, visitors, Traditional Owners and Reef-dependent industries towards extractive activities and recreational pressures and how might these perceptions change (a) according to the different sectors of the community; (b) spatially and (c) temporally?A - Drivers and Pressures
AscQ25What are the processes governing sediment dynamics, turbidity and sedimentation on the inshore Reef, including the relative importance of inputs from dredging and runoff, and how have those dynamics changed since colonisation?A - Drivers and Pressures
AscQ26At each major port, what are the port sediment characteristics, risks and how do they interact and contribute to broader catchment sediment contributions to the Region?A - Drivers and Pressures
AscQ27What is the fate of dredge material dumped at sea including the full extent of long-term dispersal?A - Drivers and Pressures
AscQ28What are the direct and indirect biophysical effects of dredging and disposal, including inhibition of recovery of habitats degraded by other processes, on species, habitats and processes, particularly pelagic and seafloor habitats?A - Drivers and Pressures
AscQ29What is the recovery time of any affected benthic communities from the effects of dredging and dredge spoil disposal?A - Drivers and Pressures
AscQ30What is the cause and effect relationship between dredging activities and coral disease?A - Drivers and Pressures
AscQ31What are the direct and indirect effects of dredging on visitor experiences, heritage values, Reef-dependent industries, Traditional Owners and other stakeholders?A - Drivers and Pressures
AscQ32What is the cause and effect relationship between dredging activities, the viability of Reef-dependent industries and visitor experiences?A - Drivers and Pressures
AscQ33What are the effects of coal and coal dust on species, habitats and processes?A - Drivers and Pressures
AscQ34What are the effects of coal and coal dust on visitor experiences and on Reef-dependent industries? A - Drivers and Pressures
AscQ35What are the risks and key drivers of island pest and weed introductions?A - Drivers and Pressures
AscQ36What are the risks and key drivers of marine pest introductions, especially the ability of potential marine pests to colonise and affect coral reef environments?A - Drivers and Pressures
AscQ37What are the effects of marine debris including microplastics on species and habitats?A - Drivers and Pressures
AscQ38What are the effects of marine debris including microplastics on visitor experiences and Reef-dependent industries?A - Drivers and Pressures
AscQ39What are the effects of noise and how can it be reduced, particularly for at risk (as identified through biodiversity vulnerability assessments), island and inshore species?A - Drivers and Pressures
AscQ40What are the effects of noise on residents, visitor experiences and Reef-dependent industries?A - Drivers and Pressures
AscQ41How can ecologically sustainable practices in Reef-dependent and Reef-domiciled industries be maintained and where necessary, improved?A - Drivers and Pressures
AscQ42What are the zones of influence of Great Barrier Reef catchments for nutrients, fine sediments and pesticides in the marine environment?A - Drivers and Pressures
AscQ43What is the bioavailability of dissolved, particulate and sediment stored nutrients and what relative influence do they have on primary productivity in the Great Barrier Reef?A - Drivers and Pressures
AscQ44How are nutrients, organic matter, sediments and pesticides transported to the Great Barrier Reef lagoon and transformed?A - Drivers and Pressures
AscQ45Where are the sources of natural dissolved organic matter; soil that influence pH; soil that influence water hardness; soil that that have a significant role in geochemical cycling (that influence the Great Barrier Reef)?A - Drivers and Pressures
AscQ46What is the toxicity of ‘alternative’ pesticides, and mixtures of pesticides, on locally relevant species and local conditions?A - Drivers and Pressures
AscQ47What are the relative contributions of ground water and surface water runoff to nutrient, sediment, pesticide and organic material loads delivered to the Reef from agricultural major land uses and how are these affected by land management practices?A - Drivers and Pressures
AscQ48Where are coastal ecosystems that regulate groundwater? What is the rate of recharge, and how does the linked groundwater influence the ecosystem health and water quality of the Region?A - Drivers and Pressures
AscQ49What and where are the landscapes (landscape profiling) that support important ecosystem functions for the Great Barrier Reef, including areas that are linked under daily, monthly, annual and significant natural events (local to regional scale)?A - Drivers and Pressures
AscQ50What is the effectiveness of water quality filters like floodplains, riparian areas and wetlands in reducing nutrients, sediments and pesticides (consider different kinds of riparian vegetation e.g. grass /trees/forest/bare) and what is the water quality improvement capacity of constructed wetlands?A - Drivers and Pressures
AscQ51What types of habitat are provided by coastal ecosystems that support specific marine species that utilise the catchment for part of their lifecycle?A - Drivers and Pressures
AscQ52What end of catchment load reductions are required to meet GBRMPA water quality guidelines?A - Drivers and Pressures
AscQ53What is the cause and effect relationship (in terms of transport processes, effects, response and time lags) between end-of-catchment pollutant loads and marine ecosystem health?A - Drivers and Pressures
AscQ54Is coral condition correlated with the exposure history to different flood plume types? If so, what are the most important factor/s e.g. time of exposure, frequency of exposure or the concentration of the pollutants?A - Drivers and Pressures
AscQ55How are the regional water quality pressures affecting coral condition related to adjacent land use characteristics? Can areas of influence based on responsiveness to drivers/pressures be defined and can sediment signatures be used as a means to determine source catchments?A - Drivers and Pressures
AscQ56What are the effects of sedimentation relative to turbidity on corals and seagrasses as a function of habitat, including depth and hydrodynamics?A - Drivers and Pressures
AscQ57What are the relative contributions from drivers and activities to turbidity in the inshore marine environment? A - Drivers and Pressures
AscQ58What is the relationship between turbidity and light for seagrass and coral ecosystems?A - Drivers and Pressures
AscQ59What are the ecological characteristics of highly turbid sites regarding composition and relative cover of benthic organisms? Where should we expect this type of site to naturally occur if the system was ‘healthy’?A - Drivers and Pressures
AscQ60What is the relationship between water quality and visitor/resident satisfaction?A - Drivers and Pressures
AscQ61What is the relationship between water quality and Reef-dependent industries?A - Drivers and Pressures
AscQ62How have changed rates of hydrological flows (including during floods) across the catchment affected the capacity of estuaries to assimilate nutrients and sediments and coarse sand deposition on beaches and coastal islands?A - Drivers and Pressures
AscQ63 What have been the effects on health and biodiversity of adjacent coral reefs from changes to connectivity and hydrological flows especially from ponded pastures, barrages and road culverts?A - Drivers and Pressures
AscQ64What is the prevalence and effect of other pollutants (e.g. microplastics, endocrine disrupting substances, oil and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, pharmaceuticals and heavy metals) on Great Barrier Reef ecosystems?A - Drivers and Pressures
AscQ65What is the spatial and temporal contribution of point sources to pollutants in the Great Barrier Reef lagoon and what is the risk to Great Barrier Reef ecosystems, in particular for pollutants other than total suspended sediment, nutrients and PSII herbicides?A - Drivers and Pressures
AscQ66How are water movement patterns influenced by coastal development?A - Drivers and Pressures
AscQ67What is the relationship between impacts on aesthetic values and visitor satisfaction?A - Drivers and Pressures
AscQ68What are the perceptions and attitudes of residents (including Traditional Owners), visitors and Reef-dependent industries towards coastal development pressures? A - Drivers and Pressures
AscQ69What are the effects of non-fishing pressures, including coastal development, and changes in connectivity on fished species and supporting habitatsA - Drivers and Pressures
AscQ70How are the ocean and climate changing (including sea temperature, cyclones and ocean currents) in the Great Barrier Reef Region, and how will these changes affect habitats, species (including fished species) and ecosystem processes?A - Drivers and Pressures
AscQ71What are the cause and effect relationships of climate change and ocean acidification on seabird feeding grounds, nest sites and nesting behaviour?A - Drivers and Pressures
AscQ72What are the risks to islands and their flora and fauna from climate change?A - Drivers and Pressures
AscQ73What are the predicted long-term trends in ocean acidification as a result of increasing atmospheric and oceanic CO2 concentrations, and what are the predicted effects on the Great Barrier Reef? A - Drivers and Pressures
AscQ74What is the acclimation and/or adaptation potential of highly vulnerable Great Barrier Reef ecosystem components to the predicted effects of climate change and ocean acidification?A - Drivers and Pressures
AscQ75What are the cause and effect relationships of climate change and ocean acidification on trophic function in estuaries as a consequence of rainfall changes, sea level rise, altered storm frequency and intensity and changes in water temperature?A - Drivers and Pressures
AscQ76What are the cause and effect relationships of extreme weather and climate change on biocultural diversity and/or on ecosystem goods and services? A - Drivers and Pressures
AscQ77What are the effects of climate change on the flows and loads of pollutants derived from the Great Barrier Reef catchments?A - Drivers and Pressures
AscQ78What long-term changes are likely to occur in Reef-dependent industries and communities as a result of climate change? How prepared are Reef-based industries and communities for future challenges, including from climate change?A - Drivers and Pressures
AscQ79What is the state of climate change awareness, attitudes and relevant behaviours among Reef stakeholders?A - Drivers and Pressures
AscQ80What are the cumulative effects (including biophysical, social, cultural and economic effects) of port activities within the Region? What are the key knowledge gaps and critical information needs?A - Drivers and Pressures
AscQ81What are the cumulative effects of water quality and other environmental pressures on coral disease?A - Drivers and Pressures
AscQ82What are the cumulative effects and recovery times for species and habitats in areas of intensive scientific research?A - Drivers and Pressures
AscQ83What characteristics of seagrass meadows and mangroves maintain long-term resilience under the cumulative effects of poor water quality, disturbance, sea surface temperature, ocean acidification and extreme events?A - Drivers and Pressures
AscQ84What are the major pressures, including climate change, to declining seabird populations in the far northern and southern Great Barrier Reef?A - Drivers and Pressures
AscQ85What are the interactive effects of fishing and ocean acidification/sea temperature on holothurians, and how are their ecological functions affected? A - Drivers and Pressures
AscQ86What are the cumulative effects on the Reef from economic activities and how can they be better understood and measured to ensure a net environmental benefit for the Reef?A - Drivers and Pressures
AscQ87What requirements of the early life history of COTS are particularly influenced by anthropogenic activities? a. Is there a critical phytoplankton concentration threshold (not Chlorophyll A levels as these are only proxies) that COTS larvae need to survive? b. What species of phytoplankton (i.e. COTS larvae food) are beneficial to COTS larvae compared to those that are not? c. Do COTS larvae have any salinity tolerance limits – if they do/don’t what does this mean during a flood event – does low salinity kill them or exacerbate them? d. What is the effect of fine silts and clay on larval survival? Is there a critical suspended sediment threshold which would limit their movement? e. What is the distribution of COTS larvae in the water column? A - Drivers and Pressures
AscQ88Does the initiation area and connectivity differ between COTS outbreaks? a. Can we limit repeated recruitment of cohorts (CHRONIC EVENT management) b. Can we remove or restrict movement of the current population (ACUTE EVENT management)A - Drivers and Pressures
AscQ89What role do upwelling’s play in providing positive conditions for COTS? What is the connectivity between reefs during COTS outbreak waves?A - Drivers and Pressures
AscQ90 Are there genetic signatures within seawater that indicate the presence of COTS (DNA barcoding) and can these be used to pre-empt the build up to an outbreak (e.g. via passive plankton recorders)?A - Drivers and Pressures
AscQ91What are the demographics of outbreaking vs. non-outbreaking populations of COTS? What are the drivers and causes COTS outbreaks and what factors control densities in non-outbreak populations? For example what triggers COTS to go from solitary to communal? A - Drivers and Pressures
AscQ92 What are the key predators of juvenile and larval COTS and what is the importance of this role – is any management intervention needed to protect these species?A - Drivers and Pressures
AscQ93Is a captive breeding program for Giant Triton feasible (economically and environmentally)?A - Drivers and Pressures
AscQ94What is the role of saponins as a predator deterrent in COTS (larvae, juvenile and adult) and how can this improve our understanding and management of natural predators of COTS.A - Drivers and Pressures
AscQ95What is the effect of a COTS outbreak on the value of ecosystem goods and services (including economic valuations) provided by a resilient coral reef?A - Drivers and Pressures
BkeyQ1What are the current condition, trend and projected future condition of the Region’s values? B - Key values
BkeyQ2Given the assessment of vulnerability for at-risk species and habitats is there any spatial consistency in the effects of pressures that could guide prioritisation and be addressed by targeted actions?B - Key values
BkeyQ3What are the Traditional Owner and shared heritage values and community benefits derived from the Great Barrier Reef? B - Key values
BkeyQ4What are the connections between community benefits and the natural and heritage values which support them, and how are these connections changing over time?B - Key values
BkeyQ5What are the patterns of human use in the Great Barrier Reef and how are these affected by population and economic growth as well as societal attitudes? How will these patterns affect biodiversity and biocultural diversity, including on islands?B - Key values
BkeyQ6What long-term social, cultural and economic changes are likely as a result of the effects of climate change on the Great Barrier Reef? B - Key values
BkeyQ7How will new biodiversity knowledge and understanding improve management’s ability to protect the Region’s values, including identification of new values and hotspots?B - Key values
BscQ1Improved mapping and modelling of key ecosystems (coral reefs, seagrass, islands, estuaries, shoals, inter-reefal shelf habitats)B - Key values
BscQ2What is the condition and composition of deeper reefs (including coral dominated shoals) and what is their importance in the future resilience of the Great Barrier Reef?B - Key values
BscQ3What are the status and trends in mangroves and island habitats, including key ecological values?B - Key values
BscQ4What is the extent and ecological importance of seagrass meadows in the Great Barrier Reef lagoon?B - Key values
BscQ5What is the condition and trend in seagrass meadows on a regional-level in the Great Barrier Reef Region, and what has influenced these patterns?B - Key values
BscQ6What are the characteristics of seabed habitats, assemblages and species (including distribution, abundance, species composition, species biology, and exposure to fishing effort) of the continental slope in the southern Great Barrier Reef Region?B - Key values
BscQ7What key forms of competition are there on islands (e.g. rainforest/woodland/grassland), especially on islands that have been highly modified in the past and may still be recovering? B - Key values
BscQ8How do coastal and freshwater wetlands function on catchment and smaller scales, including hydrology and ecology?B - Key values
BscQ9What are the effects of pressures on recruitment?B - Key values
BscQ10Ecosystem process modelling, including pressures and activities, such as Atlantis, to improve understanding of ecosystem-level risks.B - Key values
BscQ11Where are the foraging areas for Great Barrier Reef coastal bird populations?B - Key values
BscQ12Regular long term monitoring of key seabird populations, islands and foraging groundsB - Key values
BscQ13Can we predict the vulnerability of seabird species and breeding colonies to manage risks proactively?B - Key values
BscQ14What is the value of various taxa such as turtles and large bony fish to marine and island-based tourism in the GBRWHA?B - Key values
BscQ15What is the condition and trend of key fish spawning aggregations in the Great Barrier Reef and adjacent coastal waters?B - Key values
BscQ16How are changes to connectivity affecting commercially and recreationally important fish species that have life histories linked to estuaries and the catchment?B - Key values
BscQ17What is the life history of targeted fish stocks, including pelagic, and bycatch, especially of species identified as being ‘at risk’ (through vulnerability assessments)?.B - Key values
BscQ18What are the stocks of key targeted fish species? B - Key values
BscQ19What are the distribution, abundance, population dynamics, and true interaction rates for seahorse and pipefish with each trawl fishing sectorB - Key values
BscQ20What are the movement patterns and habitat use of sharks and rays in the Great Barrier Reef? How do these patterns of movement and habitat use relate to existing and potential management arrangements concerning sharks and rays?B - Key values
BscQ21What are current trends in distribution and abundance of marine mammals?B - Key values
BscQ22Long-term Dugong population estimates (5-yearly dugong population surveys)B - Key values
BscQ23What are current trends in distribution and abundance of marine turtles? B - Key values
BscQ24Improved understanding of marine turtle foraging ecology and habitat useB - Key values
BscQ25Monitoring and reporting of marine turtle breeding success at key locations, particularly quantification of loggerhead turtle recruitmentB - Key values
BscQ26 How do migratory patterns and diving behaviour of dugongs affect the likelihood of boat strike event, taking into account forecast increases in shipping traffic?B - Key values
BscQ27What is the distribution and abundance of inshore dolphins, including snubfinB - Key values
BscQ28What is the condition and trend of key habitats and food sources for inshore dolphins? B - Key values
BscQ29What are the pressures on Great Barrier Reef marine turtles and dugongs outside the boundaries of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park?B - Key values
BscQ30What are the trends in quality and quantity of Reef fish consumed by households and tourists?B - Key values
BscQ31What are the population dynamics, distribution and behaviour of Irukandji and box jellyfish?B - Key values
BscQ32What is the status of beche-de-mer populations that were historically targeted by the fishery?B - Key values
BscQ33What are the distribution, abundance and population dynamics of sea snakes?B - Key values
BscQ34What is the role of, and risk to sea snakes?B - Key values
BscQ35What are trends in the balance between accretion and erosion for coral reefs and coastlines in different locations of the Region?B - Key values
BscQ36What are the dynamics of dissolved organic and non-organic carbon cycling in the Region?B - Key values
BscQ37What are the effects of ocean acidification on forams and how may these affect islands, cays and shoreline? B - Key values
BscQ38What is the condition and trend of market and non-market values of the Reef?B - Key values
BscQ39How can non-monetary values of the GBRWHA be defined and measured over time, including aesthetics, sense of place and pride?B - Key values
BscQ40What are the Indigenous heritage values of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area? What is their condition and trend?B - Key values
BscQ41What is the condition and trend of aesthetic values of the Region?B - Key values
BscQ42How many, where, and in what condition, are the significant shipwrecks, plane wrecks, and other sites and items of cultural significance, in the Great Barrier Reef? B - Key values
BscQ43What are the perceptions, benefits and costs to Reef-dependent industries in relation to Great Barrier Reef world heritage status or loss there of?B - Key values
BscQ44To what extent is ecosystem health valued by residents, visitors and Reef-dependent industries?B - Key values
BscQ45What components of the Reef are most valued by residents, Traditional Owners, visitors and Reef-dependent industries, and why?B - Key values
BscQ46What are the trends in people’s relationship with the Reef – including social, economic and cultural significance of the Reef to people? Includes trends in global, national and regional concern for the future of the Reef; Reef-based recreation; Reef-based industries such as commercial fishing, tourismB - Key values
BscQ47What are the perceptions of residents, Traditional Owners, visitors, and other Reef users in relation to the aesthetic qualities of the Great Barrier Reef Region? B - Key values
BscQ48How is the Reef valued and used by different sectors of the community and how do these values and uses change over time?B - Key values
BscQ49Where do Reef residents, recreational fishers and visitors go; what do they do when they get to the Reef; how much time do they spend there; and how do they access the Reef? How do these trends in use patterns change over time? B - Key values
BscQ50What are the perceptions of residents, Traditional Owners, visitors and Reef-dependent industries in relation to equitable access to different parts of the Reef, and how might these perceptions change (a) according to different sectors of the community; (b) spatially and (c) temporally?B - Key values
BscQ51What are the trends in economic valuation (including economic contribution) of the GBRWHA to local, regional and national economies?B - Key values
BscQ52What are the trends in community and visitor knowledge, enjoyment, appreciation and understanding of the GBRWHA?B - Key values
CkeyQ1What constitutes healthy Great Barrier Reef habitats and what is understood by ecosystem health and function?C - Thresholds and desired condition
CkeyQ2What might be realistic, regionally-specific desired states for the Region’s values that management should be directed towards, taking into account social, cultural, heritage and economic aspects, and the cost to manage versus restore?C - Thresholds and desired condition
CkeyQ3What are suitable proxies of ecosystem health for monitoring and reporting now and into the future?C - Thresholds and desired condition
CkeyQ4In a given high-impact area (embayment scale) what are the primary causes of cumulative effects? For which of these does management intervention most effectively improve ecosystem health and function?C - Thresholds and desired condition
CkeyQ5What are critical and early-warning ecosystem thresholds for coral reefs, seagrass meadows and other key coastal habitats such as mangroves? C - Thresholds and desired condition
CkeyQ6What are ecosystem thresholds from a Traditional Owner perspective and do they compare with western thinking?C - Thresholds and desired condition
CkeyQ7What are spatially-explicit critical thresholds for dugong abundance?C - Thresholds and desired condition
CkeyQ8What thresholds can be established for very high risk species such as snubfin dolphin in hotspot habitat areas?C - Thresholds and desired condition
CkeyQ9How do cumulative disturbances affect the productivity, recovery, fecundity and survival of key habitats and species and ecosystem function?C - Thresholds and desired condition
CkeyQ10How can recording and mapping of social, heritage and cultural values; community recollections; traditional ecological knowledge; and historical records be used to increase understanding of shifting baselines?C - Thresholds and desired condition
CkeyQ11What are appropriate levels of fishing to help ensure fisheries are ecologically sustainable and viable in the long term, including consideration of target stocks, bycatch and the broader environment? What management arrangements would support this?C - Thresholds and desired condition
CkeyQ12How can climate-induced geographic shifts of species and habitats be effectively taken into account in management measures?C - Thresholds and desired condition
CscQ1What are the spatial and temporal scales (zones of influence) at which multiple pressures and values occur and interact with each other? To what extent (positively or negatively)? How do these interactions determine regionally-based ecosystem thresholds, thresholds for biocultural diversity, and tipping points for those interactions?C - Thresholds and desired condition
CscQ2What have been the effects from legacy pressures on values of the Great Barrier Reef?C - Thresholds and desired condition
CscQ3What is the specific sensitivity of the Great Barrier Reef ecosystem to gradual decline in different functional groups/species, to what extent is there functional redundancy and can different species ‘cover’ for each other? C - Thresholds and desired condition
CscQ4How resistant are Great Barrier Reef ecosystems (including islands) to different types of disturbances, and how do these ecosystems recover after disturbances –i.e. how resilient are they?C - Thresholds and desired condition
CscQ5What are the required load reductions to meet the GBRMPA water quality guidelines?C - Thresholds and desired condition
CscQ6What are the mechanisms behind bleaching resistance and recovery after bleaching?C - Thresholds and desired condition
CscQ7To what degree do nutrient levels in flood waters reduce coral bleaching thresholds? C - Thresholds and desired condition
CscQ8What is the vulnerability of the continental slope in the southern Great Barrier Reef Region to human use – particularly trawling – and its rate of recovery? C - Thresholds and desired condition
CscQ9What is the risk to elasmobranch (sharks and rays) populations taken in commercial mesh net, trawl, line and recreational fisheries as well as the shark control program (including species and quantities taken)? What levels of mortality are sustainable?C - Thresholds and desired condition
CscQ10What roles do sharks and rays play in the ecosystem functioning and resilience of the Great Barrier Reef, and what are the ecological consequences of reducing their populations?C - Thresholds and desired condition
CscQ11How do the processes of predation, herbivory, microbial and primary production function and contribute to maintaining ecosystem resilience?C - Thresholds and desired condition
CscQ12What areas of the Great Barrier Reef can act as refuges for the next 30 years? (Which sites are the most resilient to predicted climate change and ocean acidification effects?)C - Thresholds and desired condition
CscQ13What are contemporary estimates of the total non-retained catch for fisheries operating in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, and how do these compare with the past?C - Thresholds and desired condition
CscQ14What are the direct and indirect effects of dredging on the surrounding habitats and species including thresholds for sedimentation and turbidity?C - Thresholds and desired condition
CscQ15How can the social, economic, and cultural limits of acceptable change for Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area (GBRWHA) be identified, tested and used for different management purposes? C - Thresholds and desired condition
CscQ16What are the likelihoods of permanent shifts to undesirable community states in different areas?C - Thresholds and desired condition
CscQ17What are resilience thresholds of key Great Barrier Reef species and habitats and how vulnerable are they to crossing these thresholds? C - Thresholds and desired condition
CscQ18What are the critical coral reef habitat thresholds that need to be maintained at a regional-level that are required for long-term ecosystem resilience?C - Thresholds and desired condition
CscQ19What are the effects on coastal ecosystems of continued coastal development, i.e. thresholds for coastal ecosystem function and the acceptable limit of change?C - Thresholds and desired condition
CscQ20What trigger levels for pollutants are appropriate for maintaining the health and function of non-Reef ecosystems within the Great Barrier Reef Region?C - Thresholds and desired condition
DkeyQ1What are the effects of existing management measures on the condition of the Region’s values? D - Management Responses
DkeyQ2What adaptation strategies, including improvements to current management and completely new strategies, could be used to improve the resilience of the Region’s values? D - Management Responses
DkeyQ2.1How can management strategies in the catchment and nearshore areas (planning and decision making across all uses) be improved to better protect coastal systems adjacent and connected to the Reef?D - Management Responses
DkeyQ2.2How can environmental offsets be best applied to deliver net environmental benefit?D - Management Responses
DkeyQ2.3How can fisheries of the Great Barrier Reef and adjacent areas be best managed to protect Great Barrier Reef values and meet future challenges?D - Management Responses
DkeyQ2.4What is the most effective crown-of-thorn starfish control strategy to ensure that coral cover targets are achieved?D - Management Responses
DkeyQ2.5What strategies, approaches and scales of management action can support adaptive management?D - Management Responses
DkeyQ3How do current governance arrangements, including structures and processes of decision making on matters directly or indirectly affecting the Great Barrier Reef, affect management outcomes? What efficiencies could be gained? D - Management Responses
DkeyQ4How can monitoring, targeted research and modelling and innovative science be improved and employed to more efficiently and accurately assess management effectiveness and guide management actions?D - Management Responses
DscQ1Reef Integrated Monitoring and Reporting Program to improve whole-of-system understanding and evaluate the effectiveness of on-ground actionsD - Management Responses
DscQ2How can economic indicators be clearly identified, tested and used for different management purposes, and as part of the Integrated Monitoring and Reporting Program?D - Management Responses
DscQ3Develop a method for the systematic identification, mapping, monitoring and reporting of heritage values, including comprehensive maritime surveysD - Management Responses
DscQ4What are the risks associated with increased shipping traffic to the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area and what shipping traffic levels would trigger further management action?D - Management Responses
DscQ5What are the effects of wildlife disturbance from recreational and tourism activities and other permitted activities within the Region?D - Management Responses
DscQ6Are we using the best suite of indicators to describe coral condition and trend given all that is monitored?D - Management Responses
DscQ7Is compliance with water quality guidelines sufficient to restore coral reef ecosystem health and resilience, given potential hysteresis effects? D - Management Responses
DscQ8What degree of protection is provided by areas closed to fishing for species of sharks and rays?D - Management Responses
DscQ9What are the survival rates for sharks, rays and bony fish after interactions with fisheries, and how can this be improved?D - Management Responses
DscQ10What options, strategies and methods might be available to restore habitats in poor and very poor condition?D - Management Responses
DscQ11What harvest strategies should be employed for key targeted fish species?D - Management Responses
DscQ12What better gear technologies or practices can be designed to minimise habitat damage, further reduce interactions with protected species and bycatch in all commercial fisheries, and/or with protected species in shark control nets?D - Management Responses
DscQ13What are cost effective ways to monitor catch, bycatch, and protected species interactions in fisheries?D - Management Responses
DscQ14How can bycatch reduction devices for the trawl fishery be improved and installed so that they can be effectively used, inspected, policed and enforced?D - Management Responses
DscQ15What further measures can be taken to mitigate the risk from trawling to elasmobranchs, especially for skates and rays, particularly to minimise effects on smaller species including those identified as high risk?D - Management Responses
DscQ16How might the risk of tourist interactions with Irukandji jellyfish be reduced?D - Management Responses
DscQ17Development of monitoring techniques for marine mammals and turtles in turbid waters.D - Management Responses
DscQ18Development and/or refinement of decision support systems for management priorities.D - Management Responses
DscQ19Can the IUCN standard approach to assessing management effectiveness be improved or upgraded?D - Management Responses
DscQ20What policy and governance arrangements for dredging would optimise outcomes for reef biodiversity, including driving innovation and adoption of best practice in management and data handling?D - Management Responses
DscQ21What are the comprehensive economic, social and environmental costs and benefits for the Region's values of different port development options?D - Management Responses
DscQ22Develop and continue to refine alternative COTS control techniques and methods for targeted application a. Can an attractants (e.g. baited traps) be used in conjunction with manual control to increase cull efficiencies of COTS and enable small individuals to be culled (which normally reside within the reef matrix)? b. Can dispersants (e.g. triton snail chemical) be used to disrupt the aggregating behaviour of COTS and limit reproductive success? c. Can dispersants be used to deter COTS from certain areas of the reef (e.g. those of high ecological value or in a critical recovery phase)? d. Are there microbial pathogens (bacterial, viruses, etc) that can be used to control COTS in outbreak numbers? e. What factors contribute to the crash of a COTS outbreak?D - Management Responses
DscQ23What is the cost of preventative and reactive control and how does that compare to the ecological/social and economic cost of COTS outbreaks on the Great Barrier Reef (e.g. the return on investment and when that is greater)? i.e. cost the economic services provided by a resilient coral reef and determine the economic impact of an outbreak.D - Management Responses
DscQ24Ground-truth adaptive connectivity models to identify important reefs for COTS control, and whether control on these reefs has beneficial downstream effects.D - Management Responses
DscQ25How can Indigenous and non-Indigenous heritage values be recognised and protected for current and future generations?D - Management Responses
DscQ26How can cooperative practices for protection and conservation of Indigenous and non-Indigenous heritage values be improved? D - Management Responses
DscQ27How can data collection and accessibility be improved for Traditional dugong hunting?D - Management Responses
DscQ28How can the Great Barrier Reef’s contribution to human well-being be identified, tested and used for different management purposes?D - Management Responses