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The results of this survey are based primarily on the first hand experience of Craig Sanderson who was doing his masters thesis at the time on aspects of the biology of Macrocystis pyrifera (Linnaeus) C. Agardh 1820. In need of significant beds of M. pyrifera for research much of the east coast was searched by boat. Significant stands (>1/2 acre) were found at Darlington, Southerly Bottom (East North Bay), Fortesque Bay and George III Rock, (near Actaeon Island). The status of the few areas not visited was determined from anecdotal reports.
-- 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 A widespread consequence is that in many places, complex and highly productive kelp habitats have been replaced by structurally simple and less productive turf algae habitats.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.
Impacts of the Northern Pacific Seastar (Asterias amurensis) and European green crab (Carcinus maenas) on soft sediment assemblages in south east Tasmania
This study compared the individual and combined effects of two introduced marine species in SE Tasmania - the northern Pacific seastar (Asterias amurensis) and the European green crab (Carcinus maenas) - and investigated their impact on native invertebrate fauna using in situ caging experiments. Both species predate upon bivalves, and this study assessed the biological interaction between these introduced species and native bivalve species - allowing the impact of multiple exotic predator species to be investigated in one system. The cage experiments have 5 treatment groups, including all combinations of presence (single animal) and absence of seastars and crabs, and a control with neither. Predator activity (number and type of bivalves consumed) was recorded after 8 weeks by suction-sampling each cage and counting and identifying fauna.
[This data has been superseded by a synthesised global dataset which includes additional ecological data contributed by non-RLS entities (National Reef Monitoring Network). Please visit the corresponding NRMN Collection (IMOS - National Reef Monitoring Network Sub-Facility - Global mobile macroinvertebrate abundance) for the most current version of this data. See "Downloads and Links" section below.] Reef Life Survey is designed to develop and resource a network of skilled recreational divers for rapid and cost-effective assessment of the state of the inshore marine environment at the global scale. The project uses standardised underwater visual census methods employed by trained SCUBA divers to survey fish and invertebrate species and to record habitat type using photo quadrats - this dataset refers to the cryptic fish and invertebrate survey component only.
A survey of the east Tasmanian coastline from Musselroe Bay to South East Cape revealed a total of 10 km2 of Macrocystis pyrifera (Linnaeus) C. Agardh 1820 kelp forest. Average harvestable quantities based on Alginates (Australia) Company records (1965-72) show that cropping can expect to yield 5 ton/acre or 1.23 kg/m2. This realizes a total of 12,300 tonne available on the East Coast of Tasmania in 1986. Review of past records show fluctuations in total amounts harvested, due possibly to factors such as high oceanic water temperatures with subsequent low nutrient concentrations and storm damage. The survey was conducted from a light aeroplane. Areas of Macrocystis pyrifera beds were marked on 1:100,000 topographical land tenure maps using landmarks as references. Digitising of bed outlines on maps was done using Mapinfo. Weight of Macrocystis per unit area is also estimated from quadrats harvested at a number of sites along the coast.
Observational data for the Kelp Ecosystem Ecology Network. These data come from transects of rocky reefs taken around the world using the KEEN observational data protocol (see http://kelpecosystems.org for full description of methods and handbook). See “How” for methods. Briefly, the observational data consists of the following components, all included here: site information, fish observations, quadrat sampling, band transect sampling, percent cover from uniform point counts, and kelp morphometrics. Data Files Data files included and what they contain are as follows: keen_sites.csv - Physical and locational data for all KEEN sites and transect. keen_cover.csv - Percent cover of sessile algae and invertebrates. keen_fish.csv - Counts of fish by size class along a transect. keen_quads.csv - Counts of common algae, sessile invertebrates, and demersal fish that can be individuated. keen_swath.csv - Counts of rarer algae, sessile invertebrates, and demersal fish that can be individuated. Data Use To use the observational data here for published work we ask that 1) You contact the network coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org, and notify them of your intention so that we can coordinate among any ongoing projects using the same data, 2) if the data has not been used in a publication in the literature before, we request that you reach out to the PIs responsible for the data you will be using and engage in a conversation about co-authorship, 3) if it has been used previously, merely cite the datasets associated with each PI that you use. The references are listed below. For access to the entire data cleaning and processing pipeline, see https://github.com/kelpecosystems/observational_data. For access to scans of the original data sheets, contact email@example.com. ------------------------------------------------------ For general methods: Byrnes, Jarrett E.K., Haupt, Alison J., Reed, Daniel C., Wernberg, Thomas., Pérez-Matus, Alejandro., Shears, Nick T., Konar, Brenda, Gagnon, Pat, and Vergés, Adriana. 2014. Kelp Ecosystem Ecology Network Monitoring Handbook. Kelp Ecosystem Ecology Network. For specific data sets, use the following, but also include date accessed from TemperateReefBase in order to track which version of the data you are using. Byrnes, Jarrett E.K., Haupt, Alison J., Lyman, Ted. 2014. Kelp forest communities at Appledore Island, the Boston Harbor Islands, and Salem Sound. Kelp Ecosystem Ecology Network. Dijkstra, Jennifer A., Mello, Kristen. 2015. Kelp forest communities at York, Maine. Kelp Ecosystem Ecology Network. Grabwoski, Jonathan and MacMahan, Marissa. 2015. Kelp forest communities in Nahant, Massachusetts, and Pemaquid, Maine. Kelp Ecosystem Ecology Network. Humphries Austin T., Paight C, Ben-Horin Tal, Green Lindsay, Thornber, Carol. 2016. Kelp forest communities in Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island. Kelp Ecosystem Ecology Network. Rasher, Douglass and Price, Nicole. 2017. Kelp forest communities of central and downeast Maine. Kelp Ecosystem Ecology Network. Peréz-Matus, Alejandro and Shaughnessy, Brianna. 2017. Kelp forest communities of central and northern Chile. Kelp Ecosystem Ecology Network.
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.
Enzyme analysis of long spined sea urchin (Centrostephanus rodgersii) on the south eastern seaboard of Australia
Sixty animals were collected from each of Bass Pt, New South Wales (lat 34°35' S, long 150°54' E; August 2000); south side of East Cove, Deal Is, Bass St. (lat 39°28.4' S, long 147°18.4' E; June 2000) and Fortescue Bay, Tasmania (lat 43°8.5' S, long 148°0.0' E; October 2000 and April 2001). To examine the genetic relationship between the three site populations of Centrostephanus rodgersii, allelic diversity and heterozygosity among the three sites was compared using BIOSYS.
Abundance and distribution of coastal, inshore zooplankton in the Huon Estuary and D'Entrecasteaux Channel, Tasmania: Sampling trip 08/06/2005
Mesozooplankton community composition and structure were examined throughout the D’Entrecasteaux Channel, Huon Estuary and North West Bay, Tasmania, from November 2004 to October 2005, the data represented by this record was collected on the 08/06/2005. The composition of the mesozooplankton community was typical of inshore, temperate marine habitats, with seasonally higher abundance in summer and autumn and lower numbers in winter and spring. Copepods were the largest contributors to total abundance across all seasons and stations, while cladocerans and appendicularians were proportionally abundant in spring and summer. The faecal pellets of these three main groups, along with those of krill and amphipods, also contributed significantly to material recovered from sediment traps. Meroplanktonic larvae of benthic animals showed short-term peaks in abundance and were often absent from the water column for long periods. Spatially, North West Bay and the Channel had a higher representation of typically marine species, including Calanus australis and Labidocera cervi, while truly estuarine species, such as the copepod Gladioferens pectinatus, were more important in the Huon Estuary.
NERP Marine Biodiversity Hub, Theme 1 - Tasman Fracture Commonwealth Marine Reserve Pilot Study - Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) Component
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/).