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  • Ecosystem data was collected as part of an integrated study of the continental shelf over a 2 and a half year period between November 2015 and January 2018. Data were collected bi-monthly through the spring to autumn (November, January, March, May). Stations were situated perpendicular to shelf bathymetry, ranging in depth from ~50 m to 100 m near the edge of the shelf and were located between 5 km and 15 km from land; encompassing from south Storm Bay, past the southern tip of Bruny Island and into the Southern Ocean (south-east Tasmania, Australia). Data collected focused on each trophic level, characterizing the zooplankton community, fish schools and marine predators. The overarching aim of the study was to investigate the effects of long term warming, and a marine heatwave event on zooplankton dynamics in terms of community response variables and the flow-on effects of changing lower-trophic level dynamics for top predators.

  • Southeastern Australia's marine waters are undergoing a trend of increased warming, surpassing the global average. This area has emerged as an alluring location for research on planktic microfossils, particularly dinoflagellate cysts, which are abundant in contemporary and Late Quaternary sediments. The composition of dinoflagellate cyst assemblages offers valuable information about the physical and biogeochemical properties of mid-latitude waters in this region. This study presents an analysis of cyst assemblages from marine sediment cores from waters inshore and offshore Maria Island, Tasmania, southeast Australia, up to 9 kyrs BP. The dominant cysts were Protoceratium reticulatum, Protoperidinium spp. (P. avellana, P. conicum, P.minutum, P. oblongum, P. subinerme, P. shanghaiense) and Spiniferites spp. (S. bulloideus, S. hyperacanthus, S. membranaceus, S. mirabilis, S. pachydermus, and S. ramosus). Inshore, Spiniferites spp. were more abundant (up to 61%), while P. reticulatum was dominant (up to 80%) at the offshore site. Impagidinium spp. and Nematosphaeropsis labyrinthus were exclusively detected offshore, with their increasing occurrence from 6 kyrs BP to present suggesting a transition from shallow coastal to stable deep-water habitat. Cysts of the Alexandrium tamarense complex were detected over the past 140 years and 9 kyrs BP at the inshore and offshore sites respectively, indicating an endemic long-term presence. Low abundances of Gymnodinium catenatum cysts were detected exclusively inshore from 50 years ago to present, suggesting recent bloom events. The limited southward penetration of the East Australian Current is indicated by the lack of warm-water cyst taxa such as Lingulodinium machaerophorum. Unlike coccolithophores, previously studied in the same sediment core, no discernible shift from cold to warm-water dinoflagellate cyst species was observed. The documentation of dinoflagellate cyst assemblages presented in this study will aid in predicting the effects of climate change, eutrophication, and introduction of novel species on local and broader community dynamics.