eCite Digital Repository

Bioregions in marine environments: combining biological and environmental data for management and scientific understanding


Woolley, SNC and Foster, SD and Bax, NJ and Currie, JC and Dunn, DC and Hansen, C and Hill, N and O'Hara, TD and Ovaskainen, O and Sayre, R and Vanhatalo, JP and Dunstan, PK, Bioregions in marine environments: combining biological and environmental data for management and scientific understanding, Bioscience, 70, (1) pp. 48-59. ISSN 0006-3568 (2019) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2019 the authors

DOI: doi:10.1093/biosci/biz133


Bioregions are important tools for understanding and managing natural resources. Bioregions should describe locations of relatively homogenous assemblages of species occur, enabling managers to better regulate activities that might affect these assemblages. Many existing bioregionalization approaches, which rely on expert-derived, Delphic comparisons or environmental surrogates, do not explicitly include observed biological data in such analyses. We highlight that, for bioregionalizations to be useful and reliable for systems scientists and managers, the bioregionalizations need to be based on biological data; to include an easily understood assessment of uncertainty, preferably in a spatial format matching the bioregions; and to be scientifically transparent and reproducible. Statistical models provide a scientifically robust, transparent, and interpretable approach for ensuring that bioregions are formed on the basis of observed biological and physical data. Using statistically derived bioregions provides a repeatable framework for the spatial representation of biodiversity at multiple spatial scales. This results in better-informed management decisions and biodiversity conservation outcomes.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:biogeography, community ecology, statistics, marine biology
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Environmental management
Research Field:Natural resource management
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Marine systems and management
Objective Field:Marine biodiversity
UTAS Author:Bax, NJ (Professor Nicholas Bax)
UTAS Author:Hill, N (Dr Nicole Hill)
ID Code:137438
Year Published:2019
Web of Science® Times Cited:9
Deposited By:Directorate
Deposited On:2020-02-13
Last Modified:2020-09-18

Repository Staff Only: item control page