A hierarchical classification of benthic biodiversity and assessment of protected areas in the Southern Ocean

Douglass, Lucinda L., Turner, Joel, Grantham, Hedley S., Kaiser, Stefanie, Constable, Andrew, Nicoll, Rob, Raymond, Ben, Post, Alexandra, Brandt, Angelika and Beaver, Daniel (2014) A hierarchical classification of benthic biodiversity and assessment of protected areas in the Southern Ocean. PLoS ONE, 9 7: . doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0100551


Author Douglass, Lucinda L.
Turner, Joel
Grantham, Hedley S.
Kaiser, Stefanie
Constable, Andrew
Nicoll, Rob
Raymond, Ben
Post, Alexandra
Brandt, Angelika
Beaver, Daniel
Title A hierarchical classification of benthic biodiversity and assessment of protected areas in the Southern Ocean
Journal name PLoS ONE   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1932-6203
Publication date 2014-07
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0100551
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 9
Issue 7
Total pages 16
Place of publication San Francisco, CA, United States
Publisher Public Library of Science
Collection year 2015
Language eng
Abstract An international effort is underway to establish a representative system of marine protected areas (MPAs) in the Southern Ocean to help provide for the long-term conservation of marine biodiversity in the region. Important to this undertaking is knowledge of the distribution of benthic assemblages. Here, our aim is to identify the areas where benthic marine assemblages are likely to differ from each other in the Southern Ocean including near-shore Antarctica. We achieve this by using a hierarchical spatial classification of ecoregions, bathomes and environmental types. Ecoregions are defined according to available data on biogeographic patterns and environmental drivers on dispersal. Bathomes are identified according to depth strata defined by species distributions. Environmental types are uniquely classified according to the geomorphic features found within the bathomes in each ecoregion. We identified 23 ecoregions and nine bathomes. From a set of 28 types of geomorphic features of the seabed, 562 unique environmental types were classified for the Southern Ocean. We applied the environmental types as surrogates of different assemblages of biodiversity to assess the representativeness of existing MPAs. We found that 12 ecoregions are not represented in MPAs and that no ecoregion has their full range of environmental types represented in MPAs. Current MPA planning processes, if implemented, will substantially increase the representation of environmental types particularly within 8 ecoregions. To meet internationally agreed conservation goals, additional MPAs will be needed. To assist with this process, we identified 107 spatially restricted environmental types, which should be considered for inclusion in future MPAs. Detailed supplementary data including a spatial dataset are provided.
Keyword Marine protected areas (MPAs)
Southern Ocean
Benthic biodiversity
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Article ID: e100551

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2015 Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
 
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