Project Number # 4108-15
Project Leader: Angus Fanning
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This project will use targeted environmental tracers to define and assess the potential influence of dominant nutrient sources, namely wastewater treatment works (WWTW) effluent discharges and estuarine discharge, along the Hunter coastline from Lake Macquarie to Port Stephens, New South Wales.
The key objective of the study is to determine dominant sources of nutrients for intertidal food webs, using stable isotopes of carbon and nitrogen. By using stable isotope tracking, we will assess whether treated effluent and estuarine discharge is being integrated into the food webs of intertidal ecosystems; and if so, by sampling organisms across various trophic levels with differing turnover rates, determine both short and medium term availability of discharges on intertidal ecosystems.
Supervisors: Dr Troy Gaston [University of Newcastle] and
Dr Louise McKenzie [Hunter Water Corporation]