This study investigated estuarine acidification, associated with drainage and excavation of acid sulfate soils, in areas used for commercial cultivation of Sydneyrock oysters (Saccostrea glomerata). Regular measurements of pH and electrical conductivity were collected in oyster cultivation areas and acidified reaches of the Hastings River estuary and Port Stephens estuary located on the mid north coast of New South Wales, Australia. Water quality information from acidified floodplain drains was also collected in theHastingsRiverfollowing heavy rainfall. Both estuaries experienced acidification of tributaries following periods of heavy rainfall. Drain outflow waters were acidic (pH < 3.5); contained elevated concentrations of iron, aluminium, manganese and zinc; and polluted areas used for oyster production. The extent and duration of estuarine acidification events was capable of causing a variety of short- and long-term impacts to oysters as well as other aquatic organisms in affected areas.
Cite this paper
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