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Geology-benthos relationships on a temperate rocky bank, eastern Bass Strait, Australia


Beaman, RJ and Daniell, JJ and Harris, PT, Geology-benthos relationships on a temperate rocky bank, eastern Bass Strait, Australia, Marine and Freshwater Research, 56, (7) pp. 943-958. ISSN 1323-1650 (2005) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1071/MF04306


To better understand the possible relationships between the geology of the seabed and the associated biological communities, a multibeam sonar survey over New Zealand Star Bank in the eastern Bass Strait was conducted. A hierarchical method of benthic habitat mapping was applied to the secondary biotope and biological facies levels at the site (<10 km) scale. Four secondary biotopes and four biological facies have been defined on the basis of geomorphology revealed by the bathymetry model and the results of statistical analysis of the sediment and underwater video transect data over the bank. The major differences that control the distribution of biological communities in the New Zealand Star Bank area appear to be related to variations in substrate. (1) Hard-ground features related to high-relief granite outcrops are associated with diverse and abundant sessile and motile fauna. These faunal communities may be biologically modified to patchy barrens habitat by grazing urchins. (2) Unconsolidated sediment on a flat seabed is associated with sparse small sponges on the inner shelf. On the middle shelf and seaward of bank, the flat and muddy seabed supports a community dominated by infauna. (3) Unconsolidated sediment on a low-relief seabed is associated with an increase in the density and sizes of sponges concentrated on any low-relief feature raised above the surrounding flat seabed. © CSIRO 2005.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Oceanography
Research Field:Physical oceanography
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Terrestrial systems and management
Objective Field:Assessment and management of terrestrial ecosystems
UTAS Author:Beaman, RJ (Mr Robin Beaman)
ID Code:36191
Year Published:2005
Web of Science® Times Cited:44
Deposited By:Geography and Environmental Studies
Deposited On:2005-08-01
Last Modified:2009-04-30

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