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Distribution models of temperate rocky reef habitat-forming species on the continental shelf in Eastern Australia: setting the baseline to monitor and predict future changes

Citation

Marzloff, MP and James, L and Barrett, N and Holbrook, N and Oliver, ECJ and Johnson, CR, Distribution models of temperate rocky reef habitat-forming species on the continental shelf in Eastern Australia: setting the baseline to monitor and predict future changes, Programme for the ICES Annual Science Conference 2015, 21-25 September 2015, Copenhagen, Denmark, pp. N11. (2015) [Conference Extract]


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Abstract

Habitat-formers (e.g. kelp beds, corals, sessile invertebrate assemblages) are key to the structure and functioning of reef ecosystems worldwide. In southeast Australia, a region identified as a global hotspot for climate-driven ocean warming, the structure and distribution of deep (> 30 m) benthic sessile communities are poorly known given these habitats are hard to quantitatively survey. Using high-resolution imagery of the seafloor from a recent national-scale AUV-based survey program, we establish a critical baseline about the latitudinal gradient in benthic community composition from 27S to 43S on the eastern seaboard of Australia. Large-scale latitudinal variability between three major community types (sub-tropical, warm temperate and cool temperate) mostly correlates with primary productivity and temperature climatology, while local scale variability relates well with depth. Using environmental variables that capture past climatology both in terms of mean and extreme conditions, we develop alternative distribution models for several habitat-forming species. We compare model performance, discriminate between different types of latitudinal distribution (e.g. truncated or continuous), and discuss these results in the context of ongoing and future ocean changes. Our study provides an important benchmark to detect and predict future climate-driven changes in SE Australia, and our methodology has general applicability for monitoring of deep reef environments.

Item Details

Item Type:Conference Extract
Keywords:Autonomous Underwater Vehicle, climate change, deep reef communities, invertebrate benthic communities, seafloor imagery, East Australian Current, distribution modelling, temperate reef community composition, deep reef habitat formers
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Ecological Applications
Research Field:Ecosystem Function
Objective Division:Environment
Objective Group:Ecosystem Assessment and Management
Objective Field:Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Marine Environments
Author:Marzloff, MP (Dr Martin Marzloff)
Author:James, L (Ms Lainey James)
Author:Barrett, N (Dr Neville Barrett)
Author:Holbrook, N (Associate Professor Neil Holbrook)
Author:Oliver, ECJ (Dr Eric Oliver)
Author:Johnson, CR (Professor Craig Johnson)
ID Code:107669
Year Published:2015
Deposited By:IMAS Research and Education Centre
Deposited On:2016-03-22
Last Modified:2016-03-22
Downloads:0

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