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Database contains information on eggs and larvae of redbait (Emmelichthys nitidus) collected during surveys conducted around eastern to south-western Tasmania in October 2005 and 2006. The database also contains details of each sampled station (e.g. depth, Lat, Long, sampling time) as well as information on the volume of water sampled by each net which is needed to estimate relative abundance of eggs and larvae (numbers per metre square). A separate database contains all data of physical variables recorded by depth simultaneously with each sample, including temperature and salinity.
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 impact of the introduced New Zealand screw shell, Maoricolpus roseus, were assessed using a cageing experiment in SE Tasmania (Bligh Point, D'Entrecasteaux Channel). Three treatments consisted of different substratum type (live, dead and empty shells, and dead shells with 50% occupancy by hermit crabs); which were crossed with 2 levels of screwshell density (high and low). Treatment groups were artificially maintained for 20 months before metabolic chambers were used to quantify the community metabolism of different treatment groups.
Impacts of New Zealand screwshells (Maoricolpus roseus) on native scallop distribution and behaviour
The impact of the introduction of the New Zealand screwshell (Maoricolpus roseus) on scallop distribution and behaviour in the D'Entrecasteaux Channel, SE Tasmania was investigated. The impact of both live and dead and empty M. roseus shells on the distribution of two sympatric scallop species, queen scallop (Equichlamys bifrons) and doughboy scallop (Chlamys asperrimus) was quantified at large spatial scales. Also quantified was the impact of M. roseus on the distribution and behaviour of the commercial scallop (Pecten fumatus), at both large and small spatial scales.
Growth models, age frequency and size frequency distributions of sea urchin populations (Heliocidaris erythrogramma) in native macroalgal beds and sea urchin barrens
Growth models were constructed for two sea urchin populations over a two-year period using a tag-recapture study in the Mercury Passage, Tasmania. Sea urchins were tagged using tetracycline and calcein and growth models constructed using measurements taken from sea urchin jaws.
CSV files of location data (position estimates) for hammerhead sharks tagged with Wildlife Computers miniPAT archival tags and SPOT6 tags. Note that miniPAT data estimates may be up to 100 km (Kevin Lay, Wildlife computers pers comm). Location estimates from archival miniPAT tags also need to be considered against ARGOS location classes (see http://www.argos-system.org/manual/3-location/34_location_classes.htm). Collectively, movements are restricted within state waters with no hammerheads moving across state or International boundaries.
Water samples for the analysis of pigments using High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) were collected only in the first 12 months of the sampling program. Pigment analysis is used to estimate algal community composition and concentration. Pigments which relate specifically to an algal class are termed marker or diagnostic pigments. Some of these diagnostic pigments are found exclusively in one algal class (e.g. prasinoxanthin in prasinophytes), while others are the principal pigments of one class, but are also found in other classes (e.g. fucoxanthin in diatoms and some haptophytes; 19′-butanoyloxyfucoxanthin in chrysophytes and some haptophytes). The presence or absence of these diagnostic pigments can provide a simple guide to the composition of a phytoplankton community, including identifying classes of small flagellates that cannot be determined by light microscopy techniques. There was general similarity in pigment composition between all sites, with a presence of diatoms (as indicated by fucoxanthin), haptophytes (hex-fucoxanthin), prasinophytes (prasinoxanthan), cryptophytes (alloxanthan), cyanophytes (zeaxanthan) and green algae (chl-b) in nearly all monthly samples at all sites. The green algae could be in the form of euglenophytes or prasinophytes; the absence of the pigment lutein in all samples indicates that chlorophytes are not present in Storm Bay, at least at the sites sampled.
Larval transport of the introduced Northern Pacific Seastar (Asterias amurensis) in the Derwent Estuary, SE Tasmania
This study assessed the spatial and temporal (horizontal and vertical) distribution of Asterias amurensis larvae in the Derwent Estuary and adjacent Storm Bay, SE Tasmania. Horizontal transport and development was assessed by collecting plankton samples at 2 or 4 week intervals, from July to December 2001, at 4 sites in the Derwent Estuary and 6 sites in Storm Bay. The effects of light and salinity on vertical distribution of larvae was examined over a 24 hour tidal and diel cycle.
The threatened status of shellfish reefs has been well established globally (e.g Beck et al 2011) however the ecological consequences of these losses is still largely unknown. In Australia, shellfish reefs are one of the most imperilled marine habitat types (Gillies et al 2018), due to historical overharvest and widespread eutrophication of coastal waters through the use of fertilizers, livestock and human waste. Marine bivalves are important ecosystem engineers providing habitat, shelter and a food source for other species in benthic soft-sediment environments. In addition, filter-feeding bivalves link benthic and pelagic components of ecosystems through filtration and excretion. Through their filter feeding, they produce large amounts of faeces (digested seston) and pseudofaeces (rejected particles bound up in mucus) which are deposited on the benthos. This process brings energy and nutrients from the pelagic system to the benthic system (bentho-pelagic coupling). The removal of large quantities of seston can serve an important ecosystem function by improving water quality and clarity. The filtration of water performed by bivalves has been demonstrated to reduce water turbidity, improving light penetration and thereby enhancing growing conditions for seagrasses (Wall et al 2008). In systems where healthy populations of bivalves remain, they can filter a volume equivalent or larger than the entire estuary volume within the residence time of the water (zu Ermgassen et al 2013). While such densities of oysters are rare today, this highlights the critical ecosystem services that are lost when oyster reefs decline. Furthermore, it demonstrates the potential functions that can be regained through oyster reef restoration. Given the increasing awareness of the decline of these ecosystems, interest in restoration efforts to restore critical ecosystem functions has been growing. However, conservation and restoration decision making is underpinned by reliable quantification of relevant ecosystem services (zu Ermgassen et al 2016). For example, there are plans to restore some of the natural oyster reefs of Sydney Rock Oyster (Saccostrea glomerata) in Port Stephens, New South Wales. One of the main drivers motivating this restoration project is restoring lost ecosystem services. The filtration rates of Australian oysters has been demonstrated in aquarium studies using filtered water augmented with algae, yet little is known about filtration and biodeposition rates of oysters using raw seawater. In this study, we provide the first evaluation of the filtration and biodeposition rate of four species of bivalves using raw seawater, providing a proxy for natural biodeposition rates. As such, this study provides a first indication of the filtration/nutrient cycling function that may be restored following oyster restoration efforts.
The phenotypic plasticity of habitat-forming seaweeds was investigated with a transplant experiment in which juvenile Ecklonia radiata and Phyllospora comosa were transplanted from NSW (warm conditions) to Tasmania (cool conditions) and monitored for four months. We used multiple performance indicators (growth, photosynthetic characteristics, pigment content, chemical composition, stable isotopes, nucleic acids) to assess the ecophysiology of seaweeds before and following transplantation between February 2012 and June 2012.