Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

First broad-scale maps of life on Australia's sea-shelf

Date:
April 4, 2011
Source:
CSIRO Australia
Summary:
Marine scientists from five research agencies have pooled their skills and resources to compile a directory of life on Australia's continental shelf.

A new species of shrimp discovered in deep water of Western Australia.
Credit: Museum Victoria

Marine scientists from five research agencies have pooled their skills and resources to compile a directory of life on Australia's continental shelf.

They examined the shelf seascape during a three-year program of the Commonwealth Environment Research Facilities (CERF) Marine Biodiversity Hub.

Hub director, Professor Nic Bax of CSIRO and the University of Tasmania, says the program developed and applied a consistent, national approach to biodiversity mapping.

"The program compiled existing biological survey datasets, mapped 1868 square kilometres of seabed with multibeam sonar, recorded 171 km of underwater video, and collected nearly 1000 samples of seabed sediments and marine life," Professor Bax said.

"At a national level we identified 37 environmental factors that shape seabed life, such as depth, oceanography, the type of seafloor, food availability, and the strength of currents and waves.

"Statistical modelling was then used to predict seabed biodiversity, at a scale of one km2, across more than two million km2 of the continental shelf.

"Genetic techniques examined the links between biodiversity in different areas, and economic studies examined new options for biodiversity management."

Professor Bax said the new maps and knowledge highlight the complex patterns of biodiversity across Australia's shelf habitats, while emphasising how much more we need to know.

Some of the maps have already been used by the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (SEWPaC) to improve its understanding of Australia's oceans as part of the marine bioregional planning process.

All of the new information will be incorporated into the Australia Ocean Data Network and the Atlas of Living Australia to improve access to essential information on Australia's biodiversity.

The program also completed finer scale mapping of previously unknown areas of the seabed in four important areas around Australia: Jervis Bay, Lord Howe Island, Southern-eastern Tasmania and Carnarvon Shelf.

"These studies have helped local marine managers to fine-tune reserve design, and will assist in monitoring individual marine reserves," Professor Bax said.

The Marine Biodiversity Research Hub brought together the University of Tasmania, CSIRO, Geoscience Australia, the Australian Institute of Marine Science and Museum Victoria under the Commonwealth Environment Research Facilities program. The CERF program is administered by SEWPaC.

The final report of the CEF Marine Biodiversity Hub is available at: www.marinehub.org.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by CSIRO Australia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

CSIRO Australia. "First broad-scale maps of life on Australia's sea-shelf." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 April 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110401121452.htm>.
CSIRO Australia. (2011, April 4). First broad-scale maps of life on Australia's sea-shelf. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110401121452.htm
CSIRO Australia. "First broad-scale maps of life on Australia's sea-shelf." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110401121452.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

San Diego Zoo Welcomes New, Rare Rhino Calf

San Diego Zoo Welcomes New, Rare Rhino Calf

Reuters - US Online Video (July 21, 2014) An endangered black rhino baby is the newest resident at the San Diego Zoo. Sasha Salama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shark Sightings a Big Catch for Cape Tourism

Shark Sightings a Big Catch for Cape Tourism

AP (July 21, 2014) A rise in shark sightings along the shores of Chatham, Massachusetts is driving a surge of eager vacationers to the beach town looking to catch a glimpse of a great white. (July 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

Newsy (July 20, 2014) Cynthia Robinson claims R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company hid the health and addiction risks of its products, leading to the death of her husband in 1996. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
A Centuries' Old British Tradition Is Far from a Swan Song

A Centuries' Old British Tradition Is Far from a Swan Song

AFP (July 19, 2014) As if it weren't enough that the Queen is the Sovereign of the UK and 15 other Commonwealth realms, she is also the owner of all Britain's unmarked swans. Duration: 02:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins