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  • Underwater visual census surveys were conducted at 15 sites in eastern Tasmania to quantify the abundance of the sea urchin Heliocidaris erythrogramma and several putative predators.

  • Growth models were constructed for two sea urchin populations over a two-year period using a tag-recapture study in the Mercury Passage, Tasmania. Sea urchins were tagged using tetracycline and calcein and growth models constructed using measurements taken from sea urchin jaws.

  • Sea urchin tagged using tetracycline display visible marks in jaw elements and test plates that can be used to determine growth and subsequently an individuals age. Natural growth lines in the same structures can be used to determine age if natural lines are deposited at a consistent rates independent of age. Sea urchins were tagged using tetracycline and age determined from both fitted growth models and the number of bands deposited. Rates of natural line deposition were also quantified.

  • The spatial extent of the long spined sea urchin, Centrostephanus rodgersii, was estimated by divers using underwater visual census methods to survey rocky reef habitats at 13 regions along Tasmania's east coast (between Eddystone Point and Recherche Bay). Within each region 3 subsites were surveyed, and within each subsite 4 belt transects were surveyed. Divers recorded depth, percent substrata type, percent C. rodgersii barrens habitat; abundance of urchins (C. rodgersii and H. erythrogramma), rock lobster (J. edwardsii) and abalone (H. rubra). Divers also recorded algal cover (estimated), C. rodgersii barrens and substratum type using set categories (see below).

  • Mortality rates of the sea urchin Heliocidaris erythrogramma where estimated under experimental conditions to determine the importance of natural and predation mortality in structuring sea urchin populations. Data was obtained from tethering, tagging and caging experiments at four sites within Mercury Passage and the Derwent Estuary in eastern Tasmania.

  • Quantitative surveys were undertaken at five sites in the Kent Group, north eastern Tasmania (Murray Pass, Winter Cove, Little Squally Cove,and southern end of Erith Island) by divers using underwater visual census methods to survey the reef habitat. Additional spot dive surveys were undertaken at northern side of East Cove, Garden Cove, Winter Cove, Squally Cove (Deal Island), northern and southern sides of West Cove (Erith Island) and north east and north west coasts of Dover Island. Divers recorded numbers of sea urchins (Centrostephanus rodgersii and Heliocidaris erythrogramma), as well as extent of urchin barrens, size of algal patches, and measured boundaries of macroalgal patches of Macrocystis angustifolia, Phyllospora comosa and Ecklonia radiata-fucoid communities. Spot dives detailed additional qualitative observations of C. rodgersii.

  • Categories  

    Quantitative surveys were undertaken at four sites in the Kent Group, north eastern Tasmania (southern and northern shores of East Cove at Deal Island, Winter Cove at Deal Island, NE coast of Dover Island) by divers using underwater visual census methods to survey the reef habitat.

  • Categories    

    The effect of barrens formed by the long spined sea urchin, Centrostephanus rodgersii, on the standing stocks of southern rock lobsters (Jasus edwardsii) and black lip abalone (Haliotis rubra) was estimated by divers using underwater visual census methods to compare lobster and abalone abundance in barrens with that in adjacent kelp habitat. Abalone (H. rubra) and rock-lobster (J. edwardsii) populations were compared on C. rodgersii barrens and in adjacent algal-dominated habitat at the same depth and on the same substratum type at three sites in eastern Tasmania (Elephant Rock:Binalong Bay, St Helens Is, and Mistaken Cape:Maria Island). At Elephant Rock and St Helens Island , the barrens are extensive and well established Type 1 barrens, while at Mistaken Cape the barrens in 8-14 m are incipient Type 4 barrens, comprising small barren patches in the algal bed (see FRDC report for classification of barren types). Note that while there are extensive barrens in deeper water (>18 m) at Mistaken Cape, at these depths working time is limited and it was difficult to locate intact macroalgal beds on equivalent substrata.