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Some Implications of High Biodiversity for Management of Tropical Marine Ecosystems—An Australian Perspective

Journal Article


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Abstract


  • While high biodiversity has been widely reported from the tropics, we suggest that in

    reality there is a considerable underestimate of the total biodiversity. We have concentrated on the

    tropical regions of Australia and the Coral Triangle. The best known groups are the corals, fish,

    and commercially important invertebrates. In considering whether this is true, we have concentrated

    on the diversity of benthic communities and water column communities which are poorly known.

    Yet at the bottom of the food chain these communities are highly dynamic and susceptible to the

    anthropogenic changes that are occurring with the rapid development in this highly populated

    region. Tropical biodiversity is under increasing stress from a synergistic combination of changes in

    climate, oceanographic regimes, increasing coastal development, overfishing, and poor water quality,

    resulting in bleaching of corals and loss of habitat and of associated fauna. These changes on reefs

    have received substantial research attention; in comparison, there is limited data on inter-reefal areas

    and water column communities and limited understanding of the ecological interconnectivity of all

    these habitats. While in this region there is growing marine protected area coverage, the major focus

    is on coral reefs with other habitats based on surrogacy with little if any ground-truthing. Within this

    region, there is limited capacity or inclination to rectify this lack of knowledge of the structure and

    ecology of the broader non-commercial benthic and pelagic communities. We suggest this lack of

    knowledge and limited expertise may be widespread throughout the tropics and compromises our

    ability to understand and predict the changes that are occurring with increasing anthropogenic

    impacts on these tropical ecosystems.

Publication Date


  • 2018

Citation


  • Kenchington, R. & Hutchings, P. (2018). Some Implications of High Biodiversity for Management of Tropical Marine Ecosystems—An Australian Perspective. Diversity, 10 (1), 1-10.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-85042224587

Ro Full-text Url


  • https://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=4726&context=lhapapers

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/lhapapers/3697

Number Of Pages


  • 9

Start Page


  • 1

End Page


  • 10

Volume


  • 10

Issue


  • 1

Place Of Publication


  • Switzerland

Abstract


  • While high biodiversity has been widely reported from the tropics, we suggest that in

    reality there is a considerable underestimate of the total biodiversity. We have concentrated on the

    tropical regions of Australia and the Coral Triangle. The best known groups are the corals, fish,

    and commercially important invertebrates. In considering whether this is true, we have concentrated

    on the diversity of benthic communities and water column communities which are poorly known.

    Yet at the bottom of the food chain these communities are highly dynamic and susceptible to the

    anthropogenic changes that are occurring with the rapid development in this highly populated

    region. Tropical biodiversity is under increasing stress from a synergistic combination of changes in

    climate, oceanographic regimes, increasing coastal development, overfishing, and poor water quality,

    resulting in bleaching of corals and loss of habitat and of associated fauna. These changes on reefs

    have received substantial research attention; in comparison, there is limited data on inter-reefal areas

    and water column communities and limited understanding of the ecological interconnectivity of all

    these habitats. While in this region there is growing marine protected area coverage, the major focus

    is on coral reefs with other habitats based on surrogacy with little if any ground-truthing. Within this

    region, there is limited capacity or inclination to rectify this lack of knowledge of the structure and

    ecology of the broader non-commercial benthic and pelagic communities. We suggest this lack of

    knowledge and limited expertise may be widespread throughout the tropics and compromises our

    ability to understand and predict the changes that are occurring with increasing anthropogenic

    impacts on these tropical ecosystems.

Publication Date


  • 2018

Citation


  • Kenchington, R. & Hutchings, P. (2018). Some Implications of High Biodiversity for Management of Tropical Marine Ecosystems—An Australian Perspective. Diversity, 10 (1), 1-10.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-85042224587

Ro Full-text Url


  • https://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=4726&context=lhapapers

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/lhapapers/3697

Number Of Pages


  • 9

Start Page


  • 1

End Page


  • 10

Volume


  • 10

Issue


  • 1

Place Of Publication


  • Switzerland