|Seabed habitat on the south-eastern Australian continental shelf: context, vulnerability and monitoring|
Bax, N.J.; Williams, A. (2001). Seabed habitat on the south-eastern Australian continental shelf: context, vulnerability and monitoring. Mar. Freshw. Res. 52(4): 491-512
In: Marine and Freshwater Research. CSIRO: East Melbourne. ISSN 1323-1650, more
Bottom topography; Habitat; Marine
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A hierarchical approach to mapping seabed habitat is presented. A provincial scale survey that included hydrography and geology provided the context for interpreting habitat use and vulnerability. A megascale map, developed in cooperation with local fishers, identified major seabed features (kilometres to tens of kilometres). Vulnerability of a feature was defined as its resistance to physical modification and its reslience, or capacity to recover, on removal of the modifier. Vulnerability was assessed from geological, biological and oceanological properties. Megascale features were the focus of detailed physical and biological sampling at the mesoscale level (10 m to 1 km), the level of resolution necessary for establishing baseline conditions and monitoring change. The hierarchical approach used here to map seabed habitat amalgamates scientific and fishers' information. Approached in this way, habitat mapping has the potential to build a common framework of knowledge on which effective spatial management can be based.