Abstract

Williams et al. (2009) report on new multibeam sonar bathymetry and underwater video data collected from submarine canyons and seamounts on Australia's southeast continental margin to 'investigate the degree to which geomorphic features act as surrogates for benthic megafaunal biodiversity' (p. 214). The authors describe what they view as deficiencies in the design of the Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in the southeast region of Australia, in which geomorphology information was employed as a surrogate to infer regional-scale patterns of benthic biodiversity. This comment is designed to support and underscore the importance of evaluating MPA designs and the validity of using abiotic surrogates such as geomorphology to infer biodiversity patterns, and seeks to clarify some of the discrepancies in geomorphic terminologies and approaches used between the original study and the Williams et al. (2009) evaluation. It is our opinion that the MPA design criteria used by the Australian Government are incorrectly reported by Williams et al. (2009). In particular, we emphasise the necessity for consistent terminology and approaches when undertaking comparative analyses of geomorphic features. We show that the MPA selection criteria used by the Australian Government addressed the issues of false homogeneity described by Williams et al. (2009), but that final placement of MPAs was based on additional stakeholder considerations. Finally, we argue that although the Williams et al. (2009) study provides valuable information on biological distributions within seamounts and canyons, the hypothesis that geomorphic features (particularly seamounts and submarine canyons) are surrogates for benthic biodiversity is not tested explicitly by their study.
Google map showing geographic bounding box with values North bound -8.0 East bound 165.0 West bound 105.0 South bound -50.0
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For information on acquiring this product,
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Product Type/Sub Type

dataset - External Publication - Scientific Journal Paper

Constraints

license
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia Licence

IP Owner

Commonwealth of Australia (Geoscience Australia)

Author(s)

Date (publication)

2009

Product Type

dataset

Topic Category

geoscientificInformation

Keywords

External Publication
Scientific Journal Paper
marine
Earth Sciences

Resource Language

English

Resource Character Set

utf8

Resource Security Classification

unclassified

Geographic Extent

North bound
-8.0
East bound
165.0
West bound
105.0
South bound
-50.0

Lineage

Unknown

Digital Transfer Options

onLine

DISTRIBUTION Format

pdf

Distributor

Role
distributor
Organisation Name
Geoscience Australia
City
Canberra
Administrative Area
ACT
Postal Code
2601
Country
Australia
Email Address

Metadata File Identifier

a05f7892-ef46-7506-e044-00144fdd4fa6

Metadata Standard Name

ANZLIC Metadata Profile: An Australian/New Zealand Profile of AS/NZS ISO 19115:2005, Geographic information - Metadata

Metadata Standard Version

1.1

Metadata Date Stamp

2009-03-19

METADATA SECURITY CLASSIFICATION

unclassified

Metadata Contact

Role
pointOfContact
Organisation Name
Geoscience Australia
City
Canberra
Administrative Area
ACT
Postal Code
2601
Country
Australia
Email Address
Related Links
For information on acquiring this product,
please contact the Geoscience Australia Sales Centre via:

fax:
+61 2 6249 9960; or
phone:
1800 800 173 (within Australia);
 
+61 2 6249 9966 (outside Australia).

Please note that support hours are 9 am to 5 pm weekdays