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EARTH SCIENCE | BIOLOGICAL CLASSIFICATION | ANIMALS/INVERTEBRATES

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  • Between 2009-2012, Geoscience Australia conducted three surveys to Joseph Bonaparte Gulf and the Timor Sea on the R.V. Solander, in collaboration with the Australian Institute of Science and the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory. The study areas overlapped the Oceanic Shoals Commonwealth Marine Reserve and the carbonate banks and terraces within it. The surveys were conducted as part of the Australian Government's Energy Security Program (2007-2011) and the National Environment Research Program (2011-2015). On the surveys, a benthic sled was deployed to collect biological samples from the seafloor. Samples were sorted onboard according to phylum, photographed and then sent to taxonomists for species-level identifications. This catalogue includes all onboard photographs taken from identified samples. Sponges were the only group of which all samples were identified, but they include high proportions of unnamed or undescribed species. The catalogue also includes taxonomic identification sheets so that users can cross-reference the species names and images with location and depth.

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    Between 2009-2012, Geoscience Australia conducted three surveys to Joseph Bonaparte Gulf and the Timor Sea on the R.V. Solander, in collaboration with the Australian Institute of Science and the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory. The study areas overlapped the Oceanic Shoals Commonwealth Marine Reserve and the carbonate banks and terraces within it. The surveys were conducted as part of the Australian Government's Energy Security Program (2007-2011) and the National Environment Research Program (2011-2015). On the surveys, a benthic sled was deployed to collect biological samples from the seafloor. Samples were sorted onboard according to phylum, photographed and then sent to taxonomists for species-level identifications. This dataset provides a list of all identified sponge species. The associated image catalogue of collected sponges can be accessed here: https://metadata.imas.utas.edu.au/geonetwork/srv/eng/catalog.search#/metadata/1216e0f4-099c-49f6-96f7-ed3eadc0cd15

  • We investigated the effects of seabird presence and seasonality on ground-active spider community structure (activity-density, family-level richness, age class and sex structure) and composition at the family-level across five short-tailed shearwater breeding islands around south-eastern Tasmania, Australia. Using 75 pitfall traps (15 per island), spiders were collected inside, near and outside seabird colonies on each island, at five different stages of the short-tailed shearwater breeding cycle over a year. 3. Pitfall traps were deployed for a total of 2,674 days, capturing 1,592 spiders from 26 families with Linyphiidae and Lycosidae the most common.

  • The Marine Futures Project was designed to benchmark the current status of key Western Australian marine ecosystems, based on an improved understanding of the relationship between marine habitats, biodiversity and our use of these values. Approximately 1,500 km2 of seafloor were mapped using hydroacoustics (Reson 8101 Multibeam), and expected benthic habitats "ground-truthed" using towed video transects and baited remote underwater video systems. Both sources of information were then combined in a spatial predictive modelling framework to produce fine-scale habitat maps showing the extent of substrate types, biotic formations, etc. Surveys took place across 9 study areas, including Rottnest Island, a popular family holiday destination just 20 km off the Perth coast. One of the main drawcards of the island is the diverse marine life inhabiting the surounding waters, which Western Australian locals and tourists can experience by snorkelling, diving, boating and fishing. The marine environment around Rottnest includes seagrass meadows, kelp-covered reef tops, coral patches, and sponge gardens in deeper water. As a result of the warm, southward flowing Leeuwin Current, the island represents the southern limit of the distributions of many tropical corals and fish. The marine life around Rottnest therefore represents a unique mix of tropical and temperate species and habitats.

  • The Marine Futures Project was designed to benchmark the current status of key Western Australian marine ecosystems, based on an improved understanding of the relationship between marine habitats, biodiversity and our use of these values. Approximately 1,500 km2 of seafloor were mapped using hydroacoustics (Reson 8101 Multibeam), and expected benthic habitats "ground-truthed" using towed video transects and baited remote underwater video systems. Both sources of information were then combined in a spatial predictive modelling framework to produce fine-scale habitat maps showing the extent of substrate types, biotic formations, etc. Surveys took place across 9 study areas, including Jurien Bay. The Jurien Bay marine environment is highly diverse, and is home to a wide variety of species, including sea lions and sea birds on the many offshore islands. Limestone reef and seagrass habitats in the area support a diverse fish and invertebrate fauna, and a local crayfishing industry is based around the Western Rock Lobster (Panulirus cygnus).

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    The Tasman Fracture CMR AUV survey was a pilot study undertaken in 2014/15 as part of the National Marine Biodiversity Hub's National monitoring, evaluation and reporting theme. The aim of this theme is to develop a bluepint for the sustained monitoring of the South-east Commonwealth Marine Reserve Network. The particular aim of the survey was to contribute to an inventory of the distribution and abundance of demersal fishes in the reserve and adjacent reference sites using BRUVs. Data contained here represents footage collected using these drops and the associated scored data (abundance and lengths).

  • The Marine Futures Project was designed to benchmark the current status of key Western Australian marine ecosystems, based on an improved understanding of the relationship between marine habitats, biodiversity and our use of these values. Approximately 1,500 km2 of seafloor were mapped using hydroacoustics (Reson 8101 Multibeam), and expected benthic habitats "ground-truthed" using towed video transects and baited remote underwater video systems. Both sources of information were then combined in a spatial predictive modelling framework to produce fine-scale habitat maps showing the extent of substrate types, biotic formations, etc. Surveys took place across 9 study areas, including Middle Island, the project's easternmost site located within the Recherche Archipelago. The Recherche Archipelago provides habitats for a diverse range of both terrestrial and marine species, and can be accessed either by vessel from the town of Esperance, or by four wheel drive along the coastal roads adjoining the Cape Arid National Park.

  • The Marine Futures Project was designed to benchmark the current status of key Western Australian marine ecosystems, based on an improved understanding of the relationship between marine habitats, biodiversity and our use of these values. Approximately 1,500 km2 of seafloor were mapped using hydroacoustics (Reson 8101 Multibeam), and expected benthic habitats "ground-truthed" using towed video transects and baited remote underwater video systems. Both sources of information were then combined in a spatial predictive modelling framework to produce fine-scale habitat maps showing the extent of substrate types, biotic formations, etc. Surveys took place across 9 study areas, including Geographe Bay in the southwest Capes region. The marine environment at this location varies from extensive seagrass meadows in protected waters, to kelp-dominated granite and limestone reefs in areas of high wave energy. A small number of corals are also found throughout the region, reflecting the influence of the southward flow of the Leeuwin Current. The fish fauna is also diverse, with a high proportion of endemic species.

  • The Marine Futures Project was designed to benchmark the current status of key Western Australian marine ecosystems, based on an improved understanding of the relationship between marine habitats, biodiversity and our use of these values. Approximately 1,500 km2 of seafloor were mapped using hydroacoustics (Reson 8101 Multibeam), and expected benthic habitats "ground-truthed" using towed video transects and baited remote underwater video systems. Both sources of information were then combined in a spatial predictive modelling framework to produce fine-scale habitat maps showing the extent of substrate types, biotic formations, etc. Surveys took place across 9 study areas, including the Capes region of southwest Western Australia. The area is one of the most diverse temperate marine environments in Australia. Warm, tropical waters of the Leeuwin Current mingle with the cool waters of the Capes Current, resulting in high finfish diversity, including tropical and temperate species, as well as internationally significant seagrass diversity with meadows occurring at depths greater than 40 metres. The region's geomorphology is complex with an array of intertidal and subtidal reef environments. Many marine plants and animals are endemic to the southern coast of Australia due to its long geographical isolation, with seagrass, algae and estuarine habitats functioning as spawning, nursery and feeding grounds for a wide range of invertebrates and fish. Significant numbers of marine mammals also frequent the area, including the blue whale, the largest of all marine creatures.

  • The Marine Futures Project was designed to benchmark the current status of key Western Australian marine ecosystems, based on an improved understanding of the relationship between marine habitats, biodiversity and our use of these values. Approximately 1,500 km2 of seafloor were mapped using hydroacoustics (Reson 8101 Multibeam), and expected benthic habitats "ground-truthed" using towed video transects and baited remote underwater video systems. Both sources of information were then combined in a spatial predictive modelling framework to produce fine-scale habitat maps showing the extent of substrate types, biotic formations, etc. Surveys took place across 9 study areas, including Mount Gardner, a site located just off Two People’s Bay, 30km east of the town of Albany. The area is host to a number of human uses, including recreational and commercial fishing, diving, surfing, recreational boat use and shipping and mining. The marine environment at this location is different to the other three study locations on the south coast, in that it encompasses the protected Two Peoples Bay with seagrass and invertebrate communities and the more exposed rocky and macroalgal reefs around the Mt Gardner peninsula itself.