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  • This record provides an overview of the NESP Marine and Coastal Hub small-scale study - "A national framework for improving seagrass restoration". For specific data outputs from this project, please see child records associated with this metadata. -------------------- Across Australia, the loss of >275,000 ha of seagrass meadows and associated ecosystem services – valued at AU$ 5.3 billion – has contributed to the long-term degradation of estuarine and coastal marine ecosystems. Restoration of seagrass is critical for improving the health and function of these ecosystems and sustaining coastal communities and industries that depend on them. This is primarily because restoration practices are piecemeal and driven by local drivers and are generally not conducted at scales of seagrass loss. We address this problem by bringing together scientists and key stakeholders to collate knowledge on seagrass ecology and restoration and generate a framework to scaling-up restoration nationally. We also build on ongoing restoration trials to test the proposed framework.These are: assessing sediment quality and manipulations (Gamay Rangers, UNSW); use of sediment filled hessian tubes for seed and seedling capture (Malgana Rangers, UWA), and: scaling up seed collection for seed-based restoration (Seeds for Snapper, OZFISH, UWA). Planned Outputs • Effect of sediment quality and manipulation on seagrass transplant success (field data) • Locations and health of beachcast fragments of Posidonia in Botany Bay (field data) • Effect of engineering hydrodynamics (by use of hessian socks) on seagrass transplant success (field data)

  • This record provides an overview of the NESP Marine and Coastal Hub small-scale study - "Towards a consolidated and open-science framework for restoration monitoring". No data outputs are planned for this project. -------------------- Coastal habitat restoration is scaling up rapidly in Australia and covers a range of habitats including oyster reefs, seagrass meadows, mangrove forests, kelp forests, and saltmarshes. Every restoration project includes some attempt at monitoring outcomes but currently these are piecemeal, uncoordinated, often poorly funded, and rarely follow Open Science protocols. Previous NESP-funded projects have improved understanding of the ecology and service provision of threatened ecosystems and established targets for repair based on reference conditions (e.g. Marine Biodiversity project B4). They have also established an extensive database of marine and coastal restoration projects (ARCN: project E5), and have supported the development of monitoring, evaluation, reporting and improvement systems (MERI) for various sectors or projects. By combining the knowledge of all Australian researchers undertaking monitoring of restoration projects, across multiple habitats, this project will build upon these previous projects to synthesise the approaches for monitoring of habitat restoration. It will also explore integration of new technologies, such as automation, artificial intelligence, and eDNA, within the monitoring framework to improve efficiency and cost-effectiveness. The primary output will be a co-ordinated and open-science framework for restoration monitoring across projects, scales and habitats, that integrates clearly articulated hypotheses to determine the goals for restoration. This framework will streamline development of future restoration projects and ensure that maximum value from monitoring activities is achieved. Planned Outputs • Literature review [written] • Guidelines document (best-practice toolkit) [written] ---no data outputs are planned for this project---

  • This record provides an overview of the scope and research output of NESP Marine Biodiversity Hub project E7 - "Assessing the feasibility of restoring giant kelp beds in eastern Tasmania". For specific data outputs from this project, please see child records associated with this metadata. -------------------- This project will extend an externally funded project conducted through UTAS commencing in 2018 to select for thermally tolerant and low-nutrient-tolerant giant kelp (Macrocystis pyrifera) genotypes, and to examine effects of acclimation of selected genotypes by pre-exposure to warm, nutrient-poor conditions. The proposed project will outplant pre-exposed selected genotypes of giant kelp as micro-sporophytes in an experiment with and without provision of an added source of nutrient. The work is designed to assess the feasibility of this approach as a means to develop minimum patch sizes for giant kelp that can be self-replacing and self-expanding, thus providing restoration and future climate-proofing options for this EPBC-listed marine community. Planned Outputs • Experimental data from macrocystis restoration • Final report

  • Efforts to restore Posidonia seagrass meadows in NSW are reliant on collecting beachcast fragments as collection of donor material from extant beds is prohibited. However, to maximise the collection efforts it necessary to understand where to collect fragments from and what environmental conditions (e.g. wind direction, wind strength, tidal height) increase the availability of fragments and where to collect the most healthy fragments. This data set captures the abundance of fragments at 7 sites in Gamay (Botany Bay), an area of interest for restoration of Posidonia australis. It investigates how characteristics of wind (speed and direction), tidal height and swell (height, direction) influence the availability (abundance) and health (as determined by observations of necrosis) of shoots at sites throughout Botany Bay. The Excel data workbook is comprised of two sheets: Fragments_data sheet shows the number of P. australis fragments collected at different sites, when they were collected, and the environmental conditions at collection (see data attributes section). Shoot_data sheet shows the proportion of necrosis of shoots attached to collected fragments.

  • In March 2020 UWA and the Malgana Rangers transplanted by hand 36 pieces of Posidonia australis and Amphibolis antarctica into nearby restoration plots at Dubaut Point, Shark Bay. In March 2022 UWA went back to assess survival and shoot growth which is detailed in this dataset.

  • This record provides an overview of the scope of NESP Marine Biodiversity Hub Project E5 - "The role of restoration in conserving Matters of National Environmental Significance (MNES)". No raw data products are anticipated for this project. -------------------- This research will assess the capacity of habitat restoration to insulate against loss and degradation of MNES, through restoration key habitats and the species they support. In general, restoration techniques in marine ecosystems have been seen as embryonic and cost-prohibitive. But the risk of decline in key habitats and their potential loss through the cumulative impacts of climate change and local pressures makes the imperative for more effective and efficient techniques urgent. In several habitats, recent advances in technology suggest marked improvement in efficacy and cost-effectiveness. This project will review and assess the capacity of active restoration to secure conservation outcomes for MNES across four habitats: giant kelp forests, seagrass communities, saltmarsh communities, and shellfish communities. Planned Outputs • Report: Review – the role of restoration in conserving matters of national environmental significance • Report: Workshop outcomes - The cost-effectiveness of alternative restoration projects

  • This record provides an overview of the NESP Marine and Coastal Hub bridging study - "Future-proofing restoration & thermal physiology of kelp". For specific data outputs from this project, please see child records associated with this metadata. -------------------- For restoration to be effective, the cause of habitat decline must be understood and overcome. But this is problematic when climate change is driving habitat loss since it cannot be reversed or ameliorated prior to restoration. A previous NESP project led by this team (Project E7, Marine Biodiversity Hub) identified warmwater-tolerant strains of giant kelp from remnant patches in eastern Tasmania, where the species has experienced precipitous declines due to ocean-warming. These strains have high potential to assist with ‘future-proofing’ kelp forest restoration, however it is still unclear what the physiological mechanisms are that provide their improved thermal tolerance. This project is designed to better understand these physiological mechanisms to advance kelp restoration efforts in Australia and globally, and progress toward the identification of populations of Australian kelp that may be resilient to (or especially threatened by) ocean warming and climate change. Outputs • Ecophysiological measurements from laboratory experiments of warm-tolerant vs average giant kelp genotypes [dataset] • Final technical report with analysed data, including a short summary of recommendations for policy makers of key findings [written]

  • Data describing post-recruit (adult) fish assemblages and the abundance of recruiting cryptobenthic species associated with 28 artificial reefs of different sizes and supporting different densities of transplanted kelp (Ecklonia radiata) off the west coast of Maria island. Adult assemblages were assessed using diver-based visual surveys conducted at three times (early: spring 2015, middle: autumn: 2016, late: spring 2016). At each time, 2 surveys were conducted, and the results were averaged. Recruiting cryptobenthic fishes were assessed using SMURF (standard Monitoring Units for the Recruitment of Fishes) collectors that were deployed for a six-week period in the centre of each reef on four consecutive occasions (November 2015 to March 2016).