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Identifying indicators and essential variables for marine ecosystems


Hayes, KR and Dambacher, JM and Hosack, GR and Bax, NJ and Dunstan, PK and Fulton, EA and Thompson, PA and Hartog, JR and Hobday, AJ and Bradford, R and Foster, SD and Hedge, P and Smith, DC and Marshall, CJ, Identifying indicators and essential variables for marine ecosystems, Ecological Indicators, 57 pp. 409-419. ISSN 1470-160X (2015) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2015 Elsevier Ltd

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.ecolind.2015.05.006


Identifying essential biological variables in marine ecosystems is harder than essential ocean variables because choices about the latter are guided by the needs of global oceanic models, and the number of candidate variables to choose from is much smaller. We present a process designed to assist managers identify biological indicators and essential variables for marine ecosystems, and demonstrate its application to Australiaís Exclusive Economic Zone. The process begins with a spatially explicit description of key ecological systems and predicts how these systems are impacted by anthropogenic pressures. The process does not require experts to agree on the systemís structure or the activities that threaten the ecosystem. Rather it defines a suite of pressure scenarios that accommodate uncertainty in these aspects,and seeks to identify indicators that are predicted to respond in a consistent fashion across these scenarios. When the process is applied at national or regional scales, essential biological variables emerge as the set of consistent indicators that are common to similar but spatially distinct systems.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:ecological indicators, essential variables, monitoring, ecosystem health
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Environmental Science and Management
Research Field:Environmental Monitoring
Objective Division:Environment
Objective Group:Ecosystem Assessment and Management
Objective Field:Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Marine Environments
UTAS Author:Bax, NJ (Professor Nicholas Bax)
UTAS Author:Fulton, EA (Dr Elizabeth Fulton)
UTAS Author:Hedge, P (Mr Paul Hedge)
ID Code:100921
Year Published:2015
Web of Science® Times Cited:32
Deposited By:IMAS Research and Education Centre
Deposited On:2015-06-03
Last Modified:2018-02-16

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