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2016

11 record(s)
 
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    Rocky reefs form an important habitat on the continental shelf and one subject to disproportionate fishing pressure given the high productivity of this habitat relative to adjacent sandy seabed. Despite this, little is known of the extent and nature of these systems beyond their value to the fishing industry. This project collated all known mapping data from government and industry (including data acquired during CERF and NERP Hubs) to provide an updated map of this key habitat around Australia. A geomorphological classification system is also being developed for these reefs, and associated cross-shelf habitats with the aim of it being accepted and adopted nationally, and it is being tested and refined for biological applicability. This record describes the national habitat map data product generated from multiple datasets collated as part of NESP MBH Project D3. The individual habitat mapping datasets collected as part of the data collation process have also been published and are linked to this record.

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    Shifts from productive kelp beds to impoverished sea urchin barrens occur globally and represent a wholesale change to the ecology of sub-tidal temperate reefs. Although the theory of shifts between alternative stable states is well advanced, there are few field studies detailing the dynamics of these kinds of transitions. In this study, sea urchin herbivory (a ‘top-down’ driver of ecosystems) was manipulated over 12 months to estimate (1) the sea urchin density at which kelp beds collapse to sea urchin barrens, and (2) the minimum sea urchin density required to maintain urchin barrens on experimental reefs in the urbanised Port Phillip Bay, Australia. In parallel, the role of one of the ‘bottom-up’ drivers of ecosystem structure was examined by (3) manipulating local nutrient levels and thus attempting to alter primary production on the experimental reefs. It was found that densities of 8 or more urchins m-2 (≥ 427 g m-2 biomass) lead to complete overgrazing of kelp beds while kelp bed recovery occurred when densities were reduced to ≤ 4 urchins m-2 (≤ 213 g m-2 biomass). This experiment provided further insight into the dynamics of transition between urchin barrens and kelp beds by exploring possible tipping-points which in this system can be found between 4 and 8 urchins m-2 (213 and 427 g m-2 respectively). Local enhancement of nutrient loading did not change the urchin density required for overgrazing or kelp bed recovery, as algal growth was not affected by nutrient enhancement.

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    The Flinders CMR AUV survey was a pilot study undertaken in June 2013 as part of the National Marine Biodiversity Hub's National monitoring, evaluation and reporting theme. The aim of this theme is to develop a blueprint for the sustained monitoring of the South-east Commonwealth Marine Reserve Network. The particular aim of the survey was to contribute to an inventory of the distribution and cover of epibenthic biota in the reserve using IMOS AUV 'Sirius'. Data contained here represents a scored subset of the ~ 36,700 images collected at the Flinders CMR. Images were scored for proportion cover of visible macrobiota using 25 random points superimposed on each image. Taxon were biologically classified using CATAMI (http://catami.org/).

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    The Tasman Fracture CMR AUV survey was a pilot study undertaken in 2014/15 as part of the National Marine Biodiversity Hub's National monitoring, evaluation and reporting theme. The aim of this theme is to develop a bluepint for the sustained monitoring of the South-east Commonwealth Marine Reserve Network. The particular aim of the survey was to contribute to an inventory of the distribution and abundance of demersal fishes in the reserve and adjacent reference sites using BRUVs. Data contained here represents footage collected using these drops and the associated scored data (abundance and lengths).

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    The Tasman Fracture CMR AUV survey was a pilot study undertaken in 2014/15 as part of the National Marine Biodiversity Hub's National monitoring, evaluation and reporting theme. The aim of this theme is to develop a bluepint for the sustained monitoring of the South-east Commonwealth Marine Reserve Network. The particular aim of the survey was to contribute to an inventory of the distribution and cover of epibenthic biota in the reserve using IMOS AUV 'Sirius'. Data contained here represents a scored subset of the ~ 18,400 images collected at the Tasman Fracture CMR. Images were scored for proportion cover of visible macrobiota using 25 random points superimposed on each image. Taxon were biologically classified using UTAS morphospecies classification scheme, which can be mapped back to CATAMI (http://catami.org/).

  • Categories  

    The Tasman Fracture CMR AUV survey was a pilot study undertaken in 2014/15 as part of the National Marine Biodiversity Hub's National monitoring, evaluation and reporting theme. The aim of this theme is to develop a blueprint for the sustained monitoring of the South-east Commonwealth Marine Reserve Network. The particular aim of the survey was to contribute to an inventory of the distribution and abundance of southern rock lobster (Jasus edwardsi). Data contained here represents the data collected from lobster potting component of the study. This includes lobster abundance, gender and length. Bycatch is also recorded.

  • The data here presented shows the relationship between sea urchin numbers and algal cover in the Western Mediterranean. Data was collected in several underwater surveys using subdivided quadrats. The grazing effect of urchins on the macroalgal community was evaluated.

  • 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.

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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.