About the theme


This study reviewed environmental windows for organisms other than corals and fish such as sessile invertebrates, macroalgae and seagrasses. Environmental windows are periods of critical importance to the life history of a marine species, like reproduction and recruitment.


  • To review the scientific literature on the timing and spatial extent of critical ecological processes relevant to tropical WA for marine primary producers and invertebrates (i.e. organisms other than coral and finfish) and the state of knowledge regarding potential effects of dredging on these key ecological processes. The review also had a particular focus on ecological processes in marine primary producers and invertebrates that occur during discrete, predictable periods, and on organisms that are potentially invasive species.
  • To identify potentially critical periods (ecological windows) and locations when mitigating scheduling and other management processes could be implemented to reduce the impact of dredging on non- coral and non-finfish biota and the potential for invasive species to become established. As well as this review, the management need is: to guide and target management to minimise disruption to both the critical ecological windows and dredging programs.


Project News

Saving seagrass sanctuaries

Can Environmental Windows be effective in managing effects of dredging?


Fraser, M.W., Short, J., Kendrick, G., McLean, D., Keesing, J., Byrne M., Caley, M.J., Clarke, D., Davis, A.R., Erftemeijer, P.L.A., Field, S., Gustin-Craig, S., Huisman,, J., Keough, M., Lavery, P.S., Masini, R., McMahon, K., Mengersen, K., Rasheed, M., Statton , J., Stoddart, J., Wu, P. 2017. Effects of dredging on critical ecological processes for marine invertebrates, seagrasses and macroalgae, and the potential for management using environmental windows using Western Australia as a case study. Ecological Indicators 78:229-242.

For a copy of the reprint contact the author:

Wu, P. P-Y., Mengersen, K., McMahon, K., Kendrick, G.A., Chartrand, K., York, P.H., Rasheed, M. A., Caley, M.J. 2017. Timing anthropogenic stressors to mitigate their impact on marine ecosystem resilience. Nature Communications 8:1263. DOI: 10.1038/s41467-017001306-9.

Wu, P, P-Y, Caley, M.J., Kendrick, G. A., McMahon, K, Mengersen, K. 2018. Dynamic Bayesian Network Inferencing for Non homogeneous Complex Systems. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society C: Applied Statistics 67(2): 417-434. DOI 10.1111/rssc.12228

Wu, P. P-Y., McMahon, K., Rasheed, M. A., Kendrick, G.A., York, P.H., Chartrand, K., Caley, M.J., Mengersen, K., 2018. Managing Seagrass Resilience Under Cumulative Dredging Affecting Light: Predicting Risk Using Dynamic Bayesian Networks. Journal of Applied Ecology 55:1339–1350, DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.13037

Referred conference proceedings

Wu, P. P.-Y. , Mengersen, K., McMahon, K. , Kendrick, G. A. , Caley, M. J. 2015. Predicting the temporal response of seagrass meadows to dredging using Dynamic Bayesian Networks. In Weber, T., McPhee, M.J., & Anderssen, R.S. (Eds.) MODSIM2015 21st International Congress on Modelling and Simulation: Proceedings, Modelling and Simulation Society of Australia and New Zealand, Gold Coast, Qld.


Effects of dredging related pressures on critical ecological processes for organisms other than fish or coral. (2017 WAMSI Research Conference)


Program: Dredging Science Program

Location: Pilbara and Kimberley

Theme Leader: Gary Kendrick (UWA)


Final Report