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Project details

Great Australian Bight Research Program

Id: 2437
Short Name: RV Investigator Charter - GAB Research Program
Investigator(s): Rudy Kloser
CSIRO Oceans & Atmosphere - Hobart [details]

Description: GAB deep-water pelagic and benthic ecosystem study. RV Investigator Charter in2015_c02
Description (full): The Great Australian Bight Research Program aims to obtain information about the unique marine environment and potential marine resources within the Great Australian Bight (GAB), and will provide information to decision makers to support sustainable development in the region and monitor possible future impacts.
Years: 2015
Hierachy: Great Australian Bight Research Program



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List of surveys that this project was on.

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Survey InvestigatorDescription

R. Kloser (CSIRO O&A) RV Investigator Research Charter Voyage in2015_c02. Great Australian Bight (GAB) Deep water pelagic and benthic ecosystem study. Scientific Objectives: This voyage will characterise deep-water pelagic and benthic community structure and identify key ecological processes in the central and eastern GAB, and forms part of the GAB Research Program that aims to describe the key elements of the GAB marine ecosystem. This understanding of the structure and function of the ecosystem will be used to inform future integrated and sustainable ocean management and assessment/mitigation of potential future impacts. An overarching objective of the voyage is to contribute to developing models of ecosystem-level structure and function for the GAB The pelagic ecosystem structure in the eastern GAB, which is characterised by seasonal upwelling and a narrower continental slope, will be compared with the poorly sampled central GAB, where year-round downwelling is predicted and the shelf and slope are wider with the following GAB Research Program objectives; 1.Compare the eastern and central GAB continental margin zooplankton and micronekton communities in terms of their species composition, size range, biomass, nutrient source/trophic pathways and habitat. 2.Testing the hypothesis that the "microbial food web" is the dominant planktonic food web over the deep GAB continental margin, particularly in the central GAB where year-round downwelling is thought to be the prevailing cross-margin flow, and that the more efficient "classic food web" only dominates in the eastern GAB during periods of nutrient-rich upwelling. 3.Describing the community structure, dynamics, biodiversity and endemism of microbes (i.e., viruses and bacteria), plankton (i.e., phytoplankton, zooplankton, ichthyoplankton) and micronekton (including squids, small pelagic and mesopelagic fish and gelatinous organisms). Benthic characterisation is important because there are virtually no existing benthic biological data beyond continental shelf depths (<200 m); because conservation values attributed to Commonwealth Marine Reserves (CMR) spanning wide depth ranges are untested on the mid- and lower continental slope; and because oil and gas lease areas extend across the GAB Marine Park (GAB MP). Within the GAB Research Program, the Benthic Biodiversity project has the following objectives: 1.Quantify spatial patterns in the physical environment, and composition and abundance of benthic fauna in BP leases and adjacent continental slope areas of the Great Australian Bight (GAB) to provide baseline metrics relevant to monitoring the potential future impacts of oil and gas exploration on benthic communities. 2.Determine requirements (including identifying indicators and metrics), and identify suitable control sites, for future ecological monitoring in the GAB - especially to detect and quantify ecological impacts from oil and gas exploration on benthic communities of the GAB Marine Park. Extract from in2015_c02 voyage plan, please see plan for full details.
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