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This record provides an overview of the scope and research output of NESP Marine Biodiversity Hub Synthesis Study - "National trends in coral species following heatwaves". For specific data outputs from this project, please see child records associated with this metadata. -------------------- This project engaged coral taxonomic experts to annotate existing Reef Life Survey (RLS) photoquadrats taken across northern Australia before and after major disturbances, to allow: • Quantification of the spatial and species-level responses of Australian corals to the 2016 and 2017 marine heatwave and mass bleaching events (and cyclones that occurred during this period). • Identification of the species most threatened by warming and cyclones, and species likely to respond best to restoration efforts. • Contribution to a coral-specific analysis to the next national State of the Environment report. Planned Outputs • Dataset on % cover of corals to highest taxonomic resolution possible from surveys around northern Australia before and after the 2016 mass bleaching event.
Achived photoquadrats are available from Reef Life Survey (RLS) surveys undertaken before and after a 2016 bleaching event at all major coral reef systems in Australia. This collection was analysed by experts to annotate coral cover to the highest possible taxonomic resolution for ~40,000 images. Specific Australian Marine Parks included are Ashmore Reef, Mermaid Reef and Coral Sea. NOTE: The high resolution coral taxonomic identification data has been assimilated into the larger global RLS photoquadrats data collection, currently held by AODN. This data is intended to be published before the end of 2020. Once published, the subset of annotation data generated by this project will be published as an excerpt attached to this record.
We have used a quantitative definition of marine heatwaves to detect all events which have occurred in 12 regions across the continental shelf off eastern Tasmania over 1993-2015. For each event in each region this atlas includes information on (i) event properties including intensity, duration and depth, (ii) maps of regional ocean circulation and ocean temperature during the event, and (iii) maps of regional atmospheric conditions during the event (air temperature and surface wind). Also provided are summary statistics including the typical conditions which give rise to marine heatwaves in each region and annual time series demonstrating interannual variability and long term trends in marine heatwave properties. Provided is a comprehensive document presenting the atlas and a set of CSV files containing the underlying data.