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  • [This data has been superseded by a synthesised global dataset which includes additional ecological data contributed by non-RLS entities (National Reef Monitoring Network). Please visit the corresponding NRMN Collection (IMOS - National Reef Monitoring Network Sub-Facility - Global cryptobenthic fish abundance) for the most current version of this data. See "Downloads and Links" section below.] Reef Life Survey is designed to develop and resource a network of skilled recreational divers for rapid and cost-effective assessment of the state of the inshore marine environment at the global scale. The project uses standardised underwater visual census methods employed by trained SCUBA divers to survey fish and invertebrate species and to record habitat type using photo quadrats - this dataset refers to the cryptic fish and invertebrate survey component only.

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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 main aim of this research program was to determine the potential for reducing the density of urchins to encourage the return of seaweeds and an improvement in urchin roe quality and quantity from remaining urchins. Tasmanian Sea Urchin Developments used two widely-separated sub-tidal experimental lease areas. One of these areas was at Meredith Point, on the east coast, and the other at Hope Island, on the south coast. Both sites had been subject to some overgrazing by urchins. At Meredith Point, the study area was divided into plots containing urchins at three densities: artificially enhanced, continually harvested and control (undisturbed). At Hope Island, controlled clearings of urchins and limpets from barrens areas were conducted. Recovery of vegetation was monitored as well as urchin roe quality and quantity. The data represented by this record was collected at Hope Island, and includes results from an inital survey collected at the site before the main study commenced.

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    Sixty animals were collected from each of Bass Pt, New South Wales (lat 34°35' S, long 150°54' E; August 2000); south side of East Cove, Deal Is, Bass St. (lat 39°28.4' S, long 147°18.4' E; June 2000) and Fortescue Bay, Tasmania (lat 43°8.5' S, long 148°0.0' E; October 2000 and April 2001). To examine the genetic relationship between the three site populations of Centrostephanus rodgersii, allelic diversity and heterozygosity among the three sites was compared using BIOSYS.

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    The main aim of this research program was to determine the potential for reducing the density of urchins to encourage the return of seaweeds and an improvement in urchin roe quality and quantity from remaining urchins. Tasmanian Sea Urchin Developments used two widely-separated sub-tidal experimental lease areas. One of these areas was at Meredith Point, on the east coast, and the other at Hope Island, on the south coast. Both sites had been subject to some overgrazing by urchins. At Meredith Point, the study area was divided into plots containing urchins at three densities: artificially enhanced, continually harvested and control (undisturbed). At Hope Island, controlled clearings of urchins and limpets from barrens areas were conducted. Recovery of vegetation was monitored as well as urchin roe quality and quantity. The data represented by this record was collected at Meredith Point.

  • [This data has been superseded by a synthesised global dataset which includes additional ecological data contributed by non-RLS entities (National Reef Monitoring Network). Please visit the corresponding NRMN Collection (IMOS - National Reef Monitoring Network Sub-Facility - Global mobile macroinvertebrate abundance) for the most current version of this data. See "Downloads and Links" section below.] Reef Life Survey is designed to develop and resource a network of skilled recreational divers for rapid and cost-effective assessment of the state of the inshore marine environment at the global scale. The project uses standardised underwater visual census methods employed by trained SCUBA divers to survey fish and invertebrate species and to record habitat type using photo quadrats - this dataset refers to the cryptic fish and invertebrate survey component only.

  • Data is PCR amplification results of southern rock lobster (Jasus edwardsii) faecal material tested for sea urchin DNA (using unique primers for Centrostephanus rodgersii and Heliocidaris erythrogramma) in an attempt to determine in situ rates of consumption of sea urchins by lobsters. An efficient and non-lethal method was used to source and screen lobster faecal samples for the presence of DNA from ecologically important sea urchins. Lobster faecal samples were collected from trap caught specimens sourced in winter & summer seasons over 2 years (2009-2011) within two no-take research reserves; declared specifically for the purpose of rebuilding large predatory-capable lobsters to assess the potential for predator-driven remediation of kelp beds on rocky reefs extensively overgrazed by sea urchins (North Eastern Tasmania) and reefs showing initial signs of overgrazing (South Eastern Tasmania). Data for molecular assays showed high variability in the proportion of lobsters testing positive to sea urchins, with significant variability detected across different years and seasons but this was found to vary depending on different lobster size-classes. Sea urchin DNA was also amplifiable from sediments and urchin faeces collected from the reef surface where urchins occurred in high abundance. Furthermore, positive sea urchin DNA assays were obtainable from lobster faeces after lobsteres were fed sediment and urchin faecal material. Rates of predation obtained with genetics tests can also be compared to independent rates of urchin losses given known lobster abundances within research reserves (and at control sites). Data of changes in urchin abundances and lobster abundances are therefore also lodged as part of this record.

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    The barrens-forming sea urchin Centrostephanus rodgersii has undergone poleward range extension to eastern Tasmania. This data compares growth, morphology, reproductive investment and gonad indices between individuals inhabiting barrens ('barrens-maintaining' urchins') with those found on kelp beds ('barrens-forming' urchins) in north eastern Tasmania. The data set is comprised of 3 files. The first (Centrostephanus_biometrics_kelp_vs_barrens_urch.xls) compares biometrics of urchins across 3 sites and 2 habitats in eastern Tasmania. The second (Copy_of_Centrostephanus_annual_jaw_growth_increments.xls) compares annual growth increments of urchins in kelp bed and barren habitat including an additional site in south eastern Tasmania (The Lanterns - Tasman Peninsula) to allow comparison of growth across the newly extended range. The third (Jaw_TD_allometery.xlsx) provides a conversion between the allometry of jaw length and test diameter. Ultimately a generalised growth model for the sea urchin in kelp bed habitat was obtained for eastern Tasmania.

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    Recent poleward range expansion of the barrens-forming sea urchin Centrostephanus rodgersii (Diadematidae) from mainland Australia to Tasmania, has emphasized the need to understand the population dynamics of this ecologically important species in Tasmania. This work informs potential population dynamics of C. rodgersii in Tasmania by examination of its reproductive ecology. Reproductive periodicity (gonad index and propensity to spawn) was assessed bimonthly for 18 months at 4 sites in eastern Tasmania. Gamete viability was assessed by fertilization and early development trials. Temperature tolerance of Tasmanian C. rodgersii larvae was also assessed to determine whether this species has undergone an adaptive shift to the cooler Tasmanian environment. There was also no evidence for an adaptive shift in reproductive phenology. Reproductive phenology was assessed by determination of peak spawning period (gonad index analysis).

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    The long spined sea urchin Centrostephanus rodgersii (Diadematidae) has recently undergone poleward range expansion to eastern Tasmania (southeast Australia). This species is associated with barrens habitat which has been grazed free of macroalgae, and therefore has potentially important consequences for reef structure and biodiversity. This study used urchin removal experiments from barrens patches in eastern Tasmania to monitor the subsequent response of the macroalgae relative to unmanipulated barrens patches. In removal patches, there was a rapid proliferation of canopy-forming macroalgae (Ecklonia radiata and Phyllospora comosa), and within 24 months the algae community structure had converged with that of nearby areas without urchins. Faunal species richness was comparatively low in barrens habitat, with C. rodgersii grazing activity resulting in an estimated minimum net loss of approximately 150 taxa compared with intact macroalgal habitats.