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Abundance of biota

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    Mesozooplankton community composition and structure were examined throughout the D’Entrecasteaux Channel, Huon Estuary and North West Bay, Tasmania, from November 2004 to October 2005. The composition of the mesozooplankton community was typical of inshore, temperate marine habitats, with seasonally higher abundance in summer and autumn and lower numbers in winter and spring. Copepods were the largest contributors to total abundance across all seasons and stations, while cladocerans and appendicularians were proportionally abundant in spring and summer. The faecal pellets of these three main groups, along with those of krill and amphipods, also contributed significantly to material recovered from sediment traps. Meroplanktonic larvae of benthic animals showed short-term peaks in abundance and were often absent from the water column for long periods. Spatially, North West Bay and the Channel had a higher representation of typically marine species, including Calanus australis and Labidocera cervi, while truly estuarine species, such as the copepod Gladioferens pectinatus, were more important in the Huon Estuary.

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    This dataset contains records of bony fishes and elasmobranchs collected by Reef Life Survey (RLS) divers along 50m transects on shallow rocky and coral reefs, worldwide. Abundance information is available for all records found within quantitative survey limits (50 x 5 m swathes during a single swim either side of the transect line, each distinguished as a Block), and out-of-survey records are identified as presence-only (Method 0). Although surveys are undertaken as part of monitoring programs at particular locations (mostly in Australia), this dataset contains does not include repeat surveys of sites.

  • This data is part of the 2013 report "Synthesis of seagrass mapping studies conducted by the Water Science Branch of the Department of Water".

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    The spatial and temporal dynamics of seagrasses have been studied from the leaf to patch (100 m**2) scales. However, landscape scale (> 100 km**2) seagrass population dynamics are unresolved in seagrass ecology. Previous remote sensing approaches have lacked the temporal or spatial resolution, or ecologically appropriate mapping, to fully address this issue. This paper presents a robust, semi-automated object-based image analysis approach for mapping dominant seagrass species, percentage cover and above ground biomass using a time series of field data and coincident high spatial resolution satellite imagery. The study area was a 142 km**2 shallow, clear water seagrass habitat (the Eastern Banks, Moreton Bay, Australia). Nine data sets acquired between 2004 and 2013 were used to create seagrass species and percentage cover maps through the integration of seagrass photo transect field data, and atmospherically and geometrically corrected high spatial resolution satellite image data (WorldView-2, IKONOS and Quickbird-2) using an object based image analysis approach. Biomass maps were derived using empirical models trained with in-situ above ground biomass data per seagrass species. Maps and summary plots identified inter- and intra-annual variation of seagrass species composition, percentage cover level and above ground biomass. The methods provide a rigorous approach for field and image data collection and pre-processing, a semi-automated approach to extract seagrass species and cover maps and assess accuracy, and the subsequent empirical modelling of seagrass biomass. The resultant maps provide a fundamental data set for understanding landscape scale seagrass dynamics in a shallow water environment. Our findings provide proof of concept for the use of time-series analysis of remotely sensed seagrass products for use in seagrass ecology and management.

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    This study compared the individual and combined effects of two introduced marine species in SE Tasmania - the northern Pacific seastar (Asterias amurensis) and the European green crab (Carcinus maenas) - and investigated their impact on native invertebrate fauna using in situ caging experiments. Both species predate upon bivalves, and this study assessed the biological interaction between these introduced species and native bivalve species - allowing the impact of multiple exotic predator species to be investigated in one system. The cage experiments have 5 treatment groups, including all combinations of presence (single animal) and absence of seastars and crabs, and a control with neither. Predator activity (number and type of bivalves consumed) was recorded after 8 weeks by suction-sampling each cage and counting and identifying fauna.

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    The data is the percent algal cover derived from underwater visual census methods involving transect counts at rocky reef sites around Tasmania. This data forms part of a larger dataset that also surveyed fish and megafaunal invertebrate abundance for the area. The aggregated dataset allows examination of changes in Tasmanian shallow reef floral and faunal communities over a decadal scale - initial surveys were conducted in 1992-1995, and again at the same sites in 2006-2007. There are plans for ongoing surveys. An additional component was added in the latter study - a boat ramp study looking at the proximity of boat ramps and their effects of fishing. We analysed underwater visual census data on fishes and macroinvertebrates (abalone and rock lobsters) at 133 shallow rocky reef sites around Tasmania that ranged from 0.6 - 131 km from the nearest boat ramp. These sites were not all the same as those used for the comparison of 1994 and 2006 reef communities. The subset of 133 sites examined in this component consisted of only those sites that were characterized by the two major algal (kelp) types (laminarian or fucoid dominated). Sites with atypical algal assemblages were omitted from the 196 sites surveyed in 2006. This study aimed to examine reef community data for changes at the community level, changes in species richness and introduced species populations, and changes that may have resulted from ocean warming and fishing. The methods are described in detail in Edgar and Barrett (1997). Primarily the data are derived from transects at 5 m depth and/or 10 m depth at each site surveyed. The underwater visual census (UVC) methodology used to survey rocky reef communities was designed to maximise detection of (i) changes in population numbers and size-structure (ii) cascading ecosystem effects associated with disturbances such as fishing, (iii) long term change and variability in reef assemblages.

  • 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).

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    Dive surveys using strip transects are used to determine species composition, size structure and abundance of scallops, with surveys conducted pre- and/or post fishing season. In addition, post season telephone surveys of recreational scallop dive licence-holders are conducted to collect information about scallop diving activity (including days fished, location and success), and a range of management-related issues (eg. attitudes to management options, communication strategies).

  • This data is part of the 2013 report "Synthesis of seagrass mapping studies conducted by the Water Science Branch of the Department of Water".

  • This data is part of the 2013 report "Synthesis of seagrass mapping studies conducted by the Water Science Branch of the Department of Water".