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The conservation-related benefits of a systematic marine biological sampling programme: The Tasmanian reef bioregionalisation as a case study


Edgar, GJ and Moverley, JH and Barrett, NS and Peters, D and Reed, C, The conservation-related benefits of a systematic marine biological sampling programme: The Tasmanian reef bioregionalisation as a case study, Biological Conservation, 79, (2-3) pp. 227-240. ISSN 0006-3207 (1997) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1016/S0006-3207(96)00095-X


In order to maximise the conservation value of sites within a proposed system of representative marine protected areas (MPAs) around Tasmania, quantitative surveys of plants and animals were make at over 150 shallow rocky reef sites around the Tasmanian coastline and Bass Strait islands. Data were analysed using several different methods (overlap of species ranges, multidimensional scaling and ecotone analysis) to produce a state bioregionalisation. Reef communities in the northern Bass Strait area were found to be distinctly different from those occurring further south, and are considered here to reflect a division between two biographical provinces. These two areas were each divisible into four biogeographical regions (bioregions), which occurred along the northern, northeastern, southeastern and western coasts of Tasmania, and around the Kent Group, the Furneaux Group and King Island in Bass Strait. At least one marine reserve within each bioregion would be required within an integrated system of representative MPAs. In addition to the production of a state-wide bioregionalisation and the identification of appropriate MPA sites, the systematic sampling programme generated a number of other benefits. Tasmanian data have been used as baseline data (1) to assess the impact of MPAs after they have been declared, (2) to determine the biological effects of an oil spill, (3) to monitor changes in the ranges of introduced species (e.g. the kelp Undaria pinnatifida) and to detect their impacts on native species; and (4) to identify associations between marine plants and animals, including species of commercial importance. Data are also expected to be used for monitoring long-term effects of climate change.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
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:Edgar, GJ (Professor Graham Edgar)
UTAS Author:Barrett, NS (Associate Professor Neville Barrett)
ID Code:11869
Year Published:1997
Web of Science® Times Cited:53
Deposited By:Zoology
Deposited On:1997-08-01
Last Modified:2011-08-12

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