ABC News 13 Jan 09;
Scientists say long-term monitoring has identified three high risk areas for seagrass - two of them in far north Queensland.
The Reef and Rainforest Research Centre (RRRC) says seagrass in Trinity Bay in Cairns, the Hinchinbrook Channel and in Cleveland Bay, near Townsville, is under considerable pressure.
RRRC chief executive Sheridan Morris says urban and agricultural run-off is having a big impact on these areas - which are important breeding grounds for numerous marine species.
She says the seagrasses are expected to recover, but they are particularly vulnerable to climate change.
"When water temperatures - particularly in shallow areas - rise above 43 degrees Celsius, we know the seagrasses will just die," Ms Morris said.
"Even when it rises to around 40 [degrees] - which it can do in these shallow areas - it puts the seagrass under a lot of pressure."