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Loss of native rocky reef biodiversity in Australian metropolitan embayments


Stuart-Smith, RD and Edgar, GJ and Stuart-Smith, JF and Barrett, NS and Fowles, AE and Hill, NA and Cooper, AT and Myers, AP and Oh, ES and Pocklington, JB and Thompson, RJ, Loss of native rocky reef biodiversity in Australian metropolitan embayments, Marine Pollution Bulletin, 95, (1) pp. 324-332. ISSN 0025-326X (2015) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.marpolbul.2015.03.023


Urbanisation of the coastal zone represents a key threat to marine biodiversity, including rocky reef communities which often possess disproportionate ecological, recreational and commercial importance. The nature and magnitude of local urban impacts on reef biodiversity near three Australian capital cities were quantified using visual census methods. The most impacted reefs in urbanised embayments were consistently characterised by smaller, faster growing species, reduced fish biomass and richness, and reduced mobile invertebrate abundance and richness. Reef faunal distribution varied significantly with heavy metals, local population density, and proximity to city ports, while native fish and invertebrate communities were most depauperate in locations where invasive species were abundant. Our study adds impetus for improved urban planning and pollution management practises, while also highlighting the potential for skilled volunteers to improve the tracking of changes in marine biodiversity values and the effectiveness of management intervention.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:temperate ecology, heavy metals, invasive species, anthropogenic stressors, urbanisation
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology)
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Terrestrial systems and management
Objective Field:Assessment and management of terrestrial ecosystems
UTAS Author:Stuart-Smith, RD (Dr Rick Stuart-Smith)
UTAS Author:Edgar, GJ (Professor Graham Edgar)
UTAS Author:Stuart-Smith, JF (Dr Jemina Stuart-Smith)
UTAS Author:Barrett, NS (Associate Professor Neville Barrett)
UTAS Author:Fowles, AE (Ms Amelia Fowles)
UTAS Author:Hill, NA (Dr Nicole Hill)
UTAS Author:Cooper, AT (Miss Antonia Cooper)
UTAS Author:Oh, ES (Miss Lizzi Oh)
UTAS Author:Thompson, RJ (Mr Ryan Thompson)
ID Code:100309
Year Published:2015
Web of Science® Times Cited:17
Deposited By:Sustainable Marine Research Collaboration
Deposited On:2015-05-11
Last Modified:2018-03-20

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