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    The data is the quantitative abundance of fish derived from underwater visual census methods involving transect counts at rocky reef sites around Tasmania. This data forms part of a larger dataset that also surveyed megafaunal invertebrate abundance and algal cover for the area. The aggregated dataset allows examination of changes in Tasmanian shallow reef floral and faunal communities over a decadal scale - initial surveys were conducted in 1992-1995, and again at the same sites in 2006-2007. There are plans for ongoing surveys. An additional component was added in the latter study - a boat ramp study looking at the proximity of boat ramps and their effects of fishing. We analysed underwater visual census data on fishes and macroinvertebrates (abalone and rock lobsters) at 133 shallow rocky reef sites around Tasmania that ranged from 0.6 - 131 km from the nearest boat ramp. These sites were not all the same as those used for the comparison of 1994 and 2006 reef communities. The subset of 133 sites examined in this component consisted of only those sites that were characterized by the two major algal (kelp) types (laminarian or fucoid dominated). Sites with atypical algal assemblages were omitted from the 196 sites surveyed in 2006. This study aimed to examine reef community data for changes at the community level, changes in species richness and introduced species populations, and changes that may have resulted from ocean warming and fishing. The methods are described in detail in Edgar and Barrett (1997). Primarily the data are derived from transects at 5 m depth and/or 10 m depth at each site surveyed. The underwater visual census (UVC) methodology used to survey rocky reef communities was designed to maximise detection of (i) changes in population numbers and size-structure (ii) cascading ecosystem effects associated with disturbances such as fishing, (iii) long term change and variability in reef assemblages.

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    -- Layton et al. Chemical microenvironments within macroalgal assemblages: implications for the inhibition of kelp recruitment by turf algae. Limnology & Oceanography. DOI:10.1002/lno.11138 -- Kelp forests around the world are under increasing pressure from anthropogenic stressors. A widespread consequence is that in many places, complex and highly productive kelp habitats have been replaced by structurally simple and less productive turf algae habitats. Turf algae habitats resist re-establishment of kelp via recruitment inhibition; however little is known about the specific mechanisms involved. One potential factor is the chemical environment within the turf algae and into which kelp propagules settle and develop. Using laboratory trials, we illustrate that the chemical microenvironment (O2 concentration and pH) 0.0–50 mm above the benthos within four multispecies macroalgal assemblages (including a turf-sediment assemblage and an Ecklonia radiata kelp-dominated assemblage) are characterised by elevated O2 and pH relative to the surrounding seawater. Notably however, O2 and pH were significantly higher within turf-sediment assemblages than in kelp-dominated assemblages, and at levels that have previously been demonstrated to impair the photosynthetic or physiological capacity of kelp propagules. Field observations of the experimental assemblages confirmed that recruitment of kelp was significantly lower into treatments with dense turf algae than in the kelp-dominated assemblages. We demonstrate differences between the chemical microenvironments of kelp and turf algae assemblages that correlate with differences in kelp recruitment, highlighting how degradation of kelp habitats might result in the persistence of turf algae habitats and the localised absence of kelp.

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    Phytoplankton was counted and identified from five sites over the 5-year period. Annual cycles in abundance are available (as cells mL-1), along with detailed species identification. Cell measurements and approximate geometric shape were also recorded for the calculation of biovolume (μL cell-1). Diatoms and dinoflagellates dominated the samples in terms of biomass, however, small cells were also very abundant throughout each year. The data are restricted to an integrated sample from the top 12 m of the water column. Fluorescence profiles elsewhere in this dataset can provide an indication of phytoplankton presence lower in the water column.

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    We implemented a monitoring program developed by Crawford and White (2006), which was designed to assess the current condition of six key estuaries in NW Tasmania: Port Sorell, the Leven, Inglis, Black, Montagu and Arthur River estuaries. This study considered a range of water quality and ecological indictors commonly used to monitor estuaries. These included: salinity, temperature, dissolved oxygen, turbidity, pH, nutrients (nitrate + nitrite, dissolved reactive phosphorus and ammonia), silica molybdate reactive and chlorophyll a for the water column; chlorophyll a and macroinvertebrate community structure amongst the sediments. The data represented by this record was collected in Black River.

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    The spatial extent of C. rodgersii "barrens" was estimated by surveying rocky reef habitat with a towed underwater video system. Sampling took place at 13 regions along the east coast of Tasmania, each comprising 3 subsites, this dataset refers to the Schouten Island, and its 3 subsites: Baudin, Sarah and Sonerat.

  • This dataset comes from the Floating Forests project (http://floatingforests.org). Floating Forests is an online citizen science project attempting to map the cover of surface-canopy forming kelps, primarily the giant kelp Macrocystis pyrifera, using Landsat data. To acquire the data, citizen scientists were given tiles of images taken from the Landsat series of satellites (https://landsat.usgs.gov/) scenes that had been manipulated to make kelp more visible. Landsat has a roughly two week repeat time for the entire globe and a 30m resolution, although given variability in weather quarterly aggregation is recommended. Each image was scene at minimum four times. If no kelp was noted, then it was retired and scored as a zero. If kelp was noted in the first four classifications, then an individual image was shown to fifteen people total. The polygons of kelp beds presented here represent consensus classifications from the platform and are tagged with minimum number of users who classified pixels in the polygons as kelp. For example, at the five user threshold, each area represents pixels where at least five users - not neccesarily the same five users - said there was kelp present. This consensus classification has been shown to match very closely to expert classifications. For more information and links to outputs, see http://blog.floatingforests.org in addition to the main project site. Or go to the main project site, and start a conversation in the "talk" section of the site.

  • This global meta-analysis documents data from underwater visual surveys used to determine the effect of kelp bed disturbance and canopy density on the abundance and structure of fish communities. Spatial, temporal and ontogenetic variability of many key fish species was examined at various levels of kelp disturbance at sites spanning a global temperate distribution. Rocky reef habitats and fisheries management regimes of sites were also examined as covariates. This data spans from 1984 to present. Note that Emma has completely fabricated this abstract, and requires direct input from KEEN.

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    We implemented a monitoring program developed by Crawford and White (2006), which was designed to assess the current condition of six key estuaries in NW Tasmania: Port Sorell, the Leven, Inglis, Black, Montagu and Arthur River estuaries. This study considered a range of water quality and ecological indictors commonly used to monitor estuaries. These included: salinity, temperature, dissolved oxygen, turbidity, pH, nutrients (nitrate + nitrite, dissolved reactive phosphorus and ammonia), silica molybdate reactive and chlorophyll a for the water column; chlorophyll a and macroinvertebrate community structure amongst the sediments. The data represented by this record was collected in Montagu River.

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    The phenotypic plasticity of habitat-forming seaweeds was investigated with a transplant experiment in which juvenile Ecklonia radiata and Phyllospora comosa were transplanted from NSW (warm conditions) to Tasmania (cool conditions) and monitored for four months. We used multiple performance indicators (growth, photosynthetic characteristics, pigment content, chemical composition, stable isotopes, nucleic acids) to assess the ecophysiology of seaweeds before and following transplantation between February 2012 and June 2012.

  • This global meta-analysis documents seasonal and interannual variability in the structure of reef-based kelp dominated communities. Temporal trends in kelp biomass, stipe density, percent cover, and rates of change of kelp density are measured across various ecoregions in global temperate zones.