Abstract:

As part of a national study of submarine canyons, Marine Hub researchers have produced a summary fact sheet describing the distribution of canyons on the Australian margin, their relationship to Commonwealth Marine Reserves and the degree to which canyons are connected through the exchange of marine larvae. This latter aspect has been explored through connectivity modelling and provides a proxy for understanding the role that canyons play in influencing marine biodiversity patterns. Two case studies are presented in the fact sheet, the Albany Canyons (South-west region) and Cape Range Canyons (North-west region). These examples highlight the strong influence of ocean currents in larval transport across groups of canyons and moreover that the larger, more topographically complex canyons have a greater capacity to function as a source for larvae for canyons nearby. This in turn has implications for identifying those canyons that have greater relative importance as potential biodiversity hotspots.

Related information

  • Fact sheet - Submarine Canyons: their role in shaping biodiversity patterns on the Australian margin, March 2015
  • Datasets - National Submarine Canyons of Australia dataset published by Geoscience Australia
  • Journal article - Classification of submarine canyons of the Australian continental margin, Marine Geology, 2014
  • Poster - Submarine Canyon Mapping, Nov 2014

 

Also see other Information Sheets from the Marine Hub

Document Type: 
Document
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