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Biogeography of the Lord Howe Rise region, Tasman Sea


Przeslawski, R and Williams, A and Nichol, SL and Hughes, MG and Anderson, TJ and Althaus, F, Biogeography of the Lord Howe Rise region, Tasman Sea, Deep-Sea Research. Part 2: Topical Studies in Oceanography, 58, (7-8) pp. 959-969. ISSN 0967-0645 (2011) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.dsr2.2010.10.051


The two principal aims of this study were to synthesise physical and biological information to characterise the Lord Howe Rise (LHR) region and to use recent survey collections of benthic invertebrates (mostly large benthic epifauna) to describe its biogeography at regional and sub-regional scales. The LHR region is large (1.95millionkm2), spans tropical and cool temperate latitudes (18.4 to 40.3S), and is influenced by several ocean currents, notably the East Australian Current and the Tasman Front. Our analyses revealed that biological patterns were related to two groups of geomorphic morphotypes found in this topographically complex region: subdued bathymetric features (expansive soft sediment basins and plateaus) and raised bathymetric features (scattered seamounts, guyots, knolls, and pinnacles). Raised bathymetric features in the LHR region were more likely to support richer and more abundant epifaunal assemblages dominated by suspension feeding invertebrates on hard substrata compared to subdued features which were dominated by infauna and detritivores in soft sediments. However, this trend does not apply to all raised bathymetric features (e.g., Gifford Guyot), with variations in depth, elevation, latitude, and particularly substrata affected the composition of biological assemblages. In addition, some demersal fishes, ophiuroids, and other benthic invertebrates showed distinct north-south delineations that coincide with the influence of the Tasman Front and thermal gradients. While the lack of spatially- and temporally- replicated data in the region limits our interpretation of survey data, paleo-environmental processes and examples from other regions provide some indication of how dispersal influences migration, speciation, and endemism in the LHR region. Although our current knowledge is limited, it is hoped that this review will help inform future studies in the area, as equitable examination of biological, geological, and oceanographic characteristics will facilitate future assessments of LHR biogeography and permit the inclusion of this region in biogeographic studies with a national or global context.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:endemism, geology, geomorphology, Lord Howe Plateau, oceanography, Southwest Pacific
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Environmental management
Research Field:Conservation and biodiversity
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Other environmental management
Objective Field:Other environmental management not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Williams, A (Dr Alan Williams)
ID Code:119860
Year Published:2011
Web of Science® Times Cited:15
Deposited By:Ecology and Biodiversity
Deposited On:2017-08-07
Last Modified:2017-08-07

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