Mapping and characterisation of the inter-reefal benthic assemblages of the Torres Strait

Haywood, M.D.E., Pitcher, C.R., Ellis, N., Wassenberg, T.J., Smith, G., Forcey, K., McLeod, I., Carter, A., Strickland, C., and Coles, R. (2008) Mapping and characterisation of the inter-reefal benthic assemblages of the Torres Strait. Continental Shelf Research, 28 (16). pp. 2304-2316.

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Abstract

A comprehensive survey of the benthic assemblages of the Torres Strait was conducted in order to provide critical baseline information for regional marine planning, assessing the environmental sustainability of fisheries and understanding the ecosystems of the region. Over 150 sites throughout the region were sampled with a modified prawn trawl, towed underwater video, pipe dredge and epibenthic sled. This manuscript provides a broad overview of the activities undertaken and data collected. Two thousand three hundred and seventy-two different nominal species were sampled by the trawl and sled, only 728 by both gears. The towed video was not able to provide the same level of taxonomic resolution of epibenthic taxa, but was particularly useful in areas where the seabed was too rough to be sampled. Data from the trawl, sled and video were combined to characterise the epibenthic assemblages of the region. Data from the towed video was also used to provide a characterisation of the inter-reefal benthic habitats, which was then analysed in combination with physical covariate data to examine relationships between the two. Levels of mud and gravel in the sediments, trawling effort and seabed current stress were the covariates most significantly correlated with the nature of the seabed habitats.

Item ID: 35761
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1873-6955
Keywords: seafloor mapping, benthic environment, aquatic communities, underwater video, Australia, Queensland, Torres Strait
Date Deposited: 15 Oct 2014 16:44
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 100%
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