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Developing long-term monitoring programs in offshore waters with little prior knowledge: Comparison of GRTS based sampling with swath mapping


Lawrence, E and Nichol, S and Hayes, K and Kool, J and Lucieer, VL and Dambacher, J and Hill, Nicole and Barrett, NS and Williams, A and Althaus, F, Developing long-term monitoring programs in offshore waters with little prior knowledge: Comparison of GRTS based sampling with swath mapping, Program Handbook and Abstracts, 7-11 July 2013, Gold Coast, Australia, pp. 175. (2013) [Conference Extract]


The Australian Commonwealth Marine Reserve (CMR) Network covers a total of 2.7 million square kilometres of continental shelf and slope, and abyssal habitat. Whilst many areas of continental slope habitats have been previously swath mapped, and benthic habitats characterised, relatively little is known about the habitats in the shelf and abyssal environments. The inability to extrapolate information to unsurveyed areas, represents a considerable challenge to the future management of biodiversity in the CMR estate, particularly for the shelf because it is where habitat diversity and many elements of biodiversity are expected to be relatively rich and where anthropogenic pressures are greatest. Here we report on the results of a pilot program undertaken in Flinders CMR (northeast Queensland), designed to test the costs and benefits of two approaches to characterising shelf habitats in the context of biodiversity management: (i) multibeam sonar mapping of a continuous (~30 km2) area judgementally selected on the basis of its representivity of seabed habitats, versus; (ii) targeted mapping of a greater number of smaller, but spatially balanced, locations using a Generalized Random Tessellation Stratified (GRTS) sample design. We present the first quantitative estimates of habitat type on the shelf of the Flinders CMR, using both approaches, and contrast the costs and quality of information that both approaches offer. We then consider the implications for future inventory of benthic habitats in shelf environments in the context of monitoring the CMR estate.

Item Details

Item Type:Conference Extract
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Environmental management
Research Field:Conservation and biodiversity
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Management of Antarctic and Southern Ocean environments
Objective Field:Assessment and management of Antarctic and Southern Ocean ecosystems
UTAS Author:Lucieer, VL (Dr Vanessa Lucieer)
UTAS Author:Hill, Nicole (Dr Nicole Hill)
UTAS Author:Barrett, NS (Associate Professor Neville Barrett)
ID Code:86039
Year Published:2013
Deposited By:Sustainable Marine Research Collaboration
Deposited On:2013-08-20
Last Modified:2013-08-20

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