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The conservation-related benefits of a systematic marine biological sampling programme: the Tasmanian reef bioregionalisation as a case study


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Edgar, GJ, Moverley, J, Barrett, NS, Peters, D and Reed, C 1997 , 'The conservation-related benefits of a systematic marine biological sampling programme: the Tasmanian reef bioregionalisation as a case study' , Biological Conservation, vol. 79, no. 2-3 , pp. 227-240 , doi: 10.1016/S0006-3207(96)00095-X.

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In order to maximise the conservation value of sites within
a proposed system of representative marine protected
areas ( MPAs) around Tasmania, quantitative surveys of
plants and animals were made at over 150 shallow rocky
reef sites around the Tasmanian coastline and Bass Strait
islands. Data were analysed using several dierent meth-
ods (overlap of species ranges, multidimensional scaling
and ecotone analysis) to produce a state bioregionalisa-
lion. Reef communities in the northern Bass Strait area
were found to be distinctly different from those occurring
further south, and are considered here to reflect a division
between two biogeographical provinces. These two areas
were each divisible into four biogeographical regions
(bioregions), which occurred along the northern, north-
eastern, southeastern, southern and western coasts of
Tasmania, and around the Kent Group, the Furneaux
Group and King Island in Bass Strait. At least one marine
reserve within each bioregion would be required within an
integrated system of representative MPAs. In addition to
the production of a state-wide bioregionalisation and the
identification of appropriate MPA sites, the systematic
sampling programme generated a number of other bene-
fits. Tasmanian data have been used as baseline data (1)
to assess the impact of MPAs after they have been
declared,' (2) to determine the biologicial effects of an oil
spill,. (3) to monitor changes in the ranges of introduced
species (e.g. the kelp Undaria pinnatifda ) and to detect
their impacts on native species, and (4) to identify asso-
ciations between marine plants and animals, including
species of commercial importance. Data are also expected
to be used for monitoring long-term effecis of `climate

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Edgar, GJ and Moverley, J and Barrett, NS and Peters, D and Reed, C
Keywords: marine; Tasmanian reef; biological sampling
Journal or Publication Title: Biological Conservation
ISSN: 0006-3207
DOI / ID Number: 10.1016/S0006-3207(96)00095-X
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