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Australia's marine biogeography revisited: Back to the future?


Waters, JM and Wernberg, T and Connell, SD and Thomsen, MS and Zuccarello, GC and Kraft, GT and Sanderson, JC and West, JA and Gurgel, CFD, Australia's marine biogeography revisited: Back to the future?, Austral Ecology, 35, (8) pp. 988-992. ISSN 1442-9985 (2010) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1111/j.1442-9993.2010.02114.x


The recognition of broad biogeographic provinces provides an important framework for ecological and conservation biological research. Marine biologists have long recognized distinct biogeographic provinces in southern Australia, primarily on the basis of qualitative differences in intertidal species assemblages. Here we provide an a priori test for these traditional eastern (Peronian), western (Flindersian) and south-eastern (Maugean) provinces. Specifically, we analyse distributional data for approximately 1500 algal species using the newly available Australian Virtual Herbarium, an online database of herbarium specimens. Our quantitative algal analyses across southern Australia identify three distinct biogeographic assemblages, consistent with traditional qualitative provinces. We argue that these broad provinces provide a highly effective framework for understanding and managing Australia's marine biodiversity. In particular, biogeographic provinces provide a regional framework for integrating the ongoing discovery of biological variation at finer scales. More broadly therefore we recommend that biologists undertake quantitative analyses to test provincial biogeographic boundaries around the globe.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Australia; bioregion; macroalgae; marine biogeography; phylogeography; province; seaweed; subtidal
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Oceanography
Research Field:Biological oceanography
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Marine systems and management
Objective Field:Marine biodiversity
UTAS Author:Sanderson, JC (Dr Craig Sanderson)
ID Code:70507
Year Published:2010
Web of Science® Times Cited:59
Deposited By:Research Division
Deposited On:2011-06-23
Last Modified:2015-02-10

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