IBOY Satellite Projects
Reefs and Mangroves: Modeling and Visualization (website)
and coral reefs are being destroyed or degraded at an alarming rate.
The problem is exacerbated by the lack of communication between oceanographers,
biologists and resource managers. This project concerns the use of
computer technology to enable interaction between physical oceanographers,
biologists and resource managers to help remedy this situation and
to assist in the further understanding and sustainable management
of marine resources. Dr. Eric Wolanski FTSE is leading the project.
A number of projects have been completed and others are underway:
of Guam Project
of this on-going research are:
- To determine the
classes and concentrations of coastal pollutants associated
with watershed discharges of greatest concern to reef health,
to collect quantitative data on physical and chemical characteristics
of coastal waters affected by watershed discharge and apply
these to developing integrated management schemes
- To apply these to
developing integrated management schemes
- To assess societal
costs of insufficient watershed protection measures as they
affect reefs and associated marine resources
- To determine if
coral reef restoration activities are practical if coupled with
watershed restoration efforts and
- To make this information
readily accessible to stakeholders as a means of affecting appropriate
2. KEPCO Mangrove
research agreement was signed in late 1995 between AIMS and two
Japanese companies, the Kansai Electric Power Company Inc. (KEPCO),
and its subsidiary Kansai Environmental Engineering Center Co. Ltd.
(KEEC). The three organizations will share scientific information
and relevant technologies during the course of the research project.
The joint research project will study the production and transport
of organic carbon in mangrove and coastal areas in the Hinchinbrook
Channel for the first two years of the project, and then in a similar,
but more disturbed ecosystem in Sawi Bay, Thailand. The research
will evaluate the role that tropical ecosystems play in fixing and
storing atmospheric carbon dioxide, with or without serious human
represents an important new step in understanding the role of tropical
ecosystems in a regional and global context. Given the growing urgency
of problems confronting coastal ecosystems worldwide, the Institute
is seeking to make the strongest possible contribution to an understanding
of these important natural systems and the effects of human impacts
on these areas.
outputs of this project are:
- Special issue December
1998 of Mangroves and Salt Marshes. "Carbon Fixation
and Storage in Mangroves" Guest editor: T. Ayukai
- Contribution to
the special issue Phuket Marine Biological Center Special
Publication 22 (2000). "Carbon Cycling in a
Tropical Coastal Ecosystem, Sawi Bay, southern Thailand."
86pp, edited by B. Brown and P. Limpsaichol.
- New book: E. Wolanski
(ed). (2001). Oceanographic Processes of Coral Reefs: Physical
and Biological Links in the Great Barrier Reef. CRC Press, Boca
Raton, Florida, 356pp. A CD with extensive visualization accompanies
3. IBM Modeling
and Visualization Project
1994 an oceanography team from AIMS merged forces with technology
giant IBM, to improve management of Australia's Great Barrier Reef.
With a $1.4 M supply of computing power and excellent IBM visualization
software, AIMS has in a short period of time produced computer visualizations
which break down the barriers of communication between oceanographers,
biologists and resource managers. Formally called "Coral Reefs
and Mangroves: Modeling and Management (CRAMMM)", the AIMS/IBM
project will also benefit Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia who are
seeking to protect their coastal environments. A major output of
the research is the publication of the book E. Wolanski (2001) Oceanographic
Processes of Coral Reefs: Physical and Biological Links on the Great
Barrier Reef. CRC Press. Boca Raton, Florida. 356pp. Details
are available here.
of the Serengeti ecosystem, Tanzania
but important spin off of the IBM project was the extensive use
of computer technology to:
- Explore historical
hydrological, water quality and animal migration and animal
- Develop a model
predicting the onset of the annual migration of the large herds
of wildebeest and zebras as well as their population dynamics
from 1960 until 2000.
are summarized in a review paper in the November-December 1999 issue
of American Scientist (1999), 87, 526-533.
Biodiversity Values of Restored Rainforest (Queensland, Australia)
The restoration of forest cover to cleared land is an
important environmental goal; however, conservation is not the sole
impetus for replanting. In Australia, previously agricultural land
is being planted with rainforest trees by agencies interested in conservation,
small-scale cabinet timber plantations, and large-scale monoculture
logging. The unassisted return of abandoned pasture to forest is another
way of regaining tree cover. Our research as part of the Rainforest
Cooperative Research Centre is examining the relative biodiversity
values of these different methods of reforestation. We are using a
set of 104 sites on the east coast of Queensland, Australia, to address
many questions, including:
of replanting result in the most 'typical' assemblages of rainforest
plants and animals?
on-site diversity of one group of animals (e.g. birds) correlate with
that of others (herpetofauna, litter insects, mites)?
style affect ecological processes (seed
predation, seedling recruitment, decomposition rate)?
Flora and Fauna of Bass Strait Coasts and Islands
From 2001 - 2003 the Nature Conservation Branch of
the Department of Primary Industries, Water and Environment of the
Tasmanian Government is surveying the extremely diverse, but poorly
known, fauna and flora of the coasts and islands of the Bass Strait.
It is extremely important to document and monitor
the biodiversity of islands. Their isolation from external species
invasions makes them hotbeds of evolution often containing endemic
species found nowhere else on Earth. At the same time, their isolation
makes them extremely vulnerable to negative effects of human activities.
The isolated fauna and flora have not evolved to withstand pressures
of species invasions that can occur naturally for continental species.
Therefore, species invasions resulting from human activities such
as trade and travel can have especially devastating impacts on island
species and habitats.
"The Flora and Fauna of the Bass Strait Coasts
and Islands" is surveying the vascular flora and the fauna
on the numerous islands in the stretch of water between Tasmania
and Australia, including the archipelago of the Outer Furneaux Islands.
The region is at the junction of two major sea currents and occupies
several distinctive marine provinces. It also lies at the eastern
extremity of a southern Mediterranean climatic belt. The confluence
of these several ecological regions cause the area to be an ecological
"transition zone” and, as is characteristic of transition
zones, it is rich in biodiversity values. The transition zone between
the ocean eco-tones contributes to high biomass of seabirds and
marine fauna, while the climatic transition zone contributes to
a diverse assemblage of vascular flora and plant communities. Furthermore,
due to the palaeoecological history the region is a fascinating
area in which to study the interactions of fire, humans, sea level
rise and isolation on the flora and fauna of southeastern Australia.
There are species endemic to Bass Strait and clearly a number of
as yet undescribed species and interesting morphological variants.
The project is documenting prospective areas of high
biodiversity values by combining flora and fauna expertise in field
expeditions. This study is contributing much to the understanding
of human influences on island biodiversity.
The first publication of the project, a product of
three year survey, “One Hundred Islands: The Flora of the
Outer Furneaux," (cover
illustration) reveals that while not all the Outer Furneaux
Islands are pristine and many bear some marks of human influence,
there are still others that are relatively untouched. Even more
encouraging is that there are islands that demonstrate that human
existence can coexist with important natural values.
Results will continue to be published over the next
two years in a series of books and scientific papers. The project
leaders are publicizing the findings of the project through lectures
to the public, specialist groups and students.
Harris, S., Buchanan A. and A. Connolly. One Hundred Islands: The
Flora of the Outer Furneaux. Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries,
Water and Environment, Hobart 2001.
Harris and Sally Bryant
diversity of southwestern Australian reefs
objective is to research the diversity of invertebrate herbivores of rocky
reefs in southwestern Australia. These reefs remain almost unstudied in
comparison to their more celebrated tropical counterparts. As a result,
even basic information, such as distribution and habitat preferences,
of the organisms are at best poorly known. The main focus of this project
is to research and document the distribution and habitat preferences of
large invertebrate herbivores, but also investigating their interactions
with other organisms. In so doing, the aim is to compile the distribution
of species diversity (which can then be compared to current conservation
efforts), and develop models that predict the effects of this diversity
on reef functioning.
The research has
recently been highlighted in Australian Geographic.
Weld Altitudinal Transect (website)
joint Forestry Tasmania/DPIWE (Department of Primary Industry, Water and
Environment) Nature Conservation Branch project is examining changes in
biodiversity of invertebrate fauna with altitude and over a long-term
An altitudinal transect has been established with permanent
floristic plots every 100 meters in altitude from 100 meters to 1300 meters
above sea level. Along the transect, a wide range of biological and topographical
observations are made on a regular basis. As part of the Warra LTER invertebrate
program, pitfall and Malaise traps to collect invertebrates, have been
set up at each 100 meters increment. These are monitored monthly.
Monitoring will continue for one year to obtain a baseline
database of invertebrates. Based on this data set selected invertebrate
groups will be intensively studied to obtain indicators of change. Monitoring
of other biological parameters will continue and be linked to the invertebrate
project. A poster display was presented to the Australian Entomological
Society Scientific Conference to be held in Sydney in September 2001 to
draw attention to the project. A paper on the baseline data presented
will be presented at the 6th Invertebrate Biodiversity and Conservation
Conference in Australia December 2002.
Dr. Bashford is also an affiliate member of the IBOY
Core Network Project, GLIDE
Global Litter Invertebrate Decomposition Experiment. A site description
on the Warra GLIDE site can be found at http://www.nrel.colostate.edu/projects/glide/warra.html
Zealand Birds (website)
Edward O. Wilson
wrote in his book on biodiversity that we should "aim at nothing
less than a full count, a complete catalogue of life on earth," the
web site, New Zealand Birds, is a small contribution to that effort.
in developing this web site is to bring New Zealand's birds, and the dangers
that imperil them, to the attention of the world. Also, the website emphasizes
that New Zealand is the land of birds, even though what New Zealand has
now is a mere remnant of its earlier fauna. This project intends to have
all the endemic birds fully listed, articles written and graphically illustrated
by the end of the year 2002. More than two-thirds have already been done.
A homestay and
the birdwatching program are being developed in conjunction with the directory
of New Zealand's birds. Eco-tourism is a very useful tool in conserving
and drawing attention to the natural world. Birdwatching has a very important
educational function. Once birds and their habitats become economically
important then there will be more emphasis placed on conserving them.
Representative Areas Program (RAP) - protecting the biodiversity
of the Great Barrier Reef (website)
During 2001-2002, research institutions, museums, universities,
government organizations and private consultancies across Queensland
are collaborating with the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority
to develop an innovative approach to managing the biodiversity
of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR), called the Representative Areas
Program (RAP). The RAP aims to increase protection of the biodiversity
across the entire World Heritage Area (the largest marine protected
area in the world and an area half the size of Texas), by establishing
a network of highly protected areas that includes examples of
all known habitats and communities. Some 70 broad scale areas
(termed bioregions) have been mapped; each bioregion possesses
distinct biodiversity and ecosystem processes, many are ecologically
connected and together they support a divers and functioning
GBR. Importantly, in selecting the representative areas network,
RAP considers not only the biology and ecology of all bioregions,
but also takes social, economic and cultural information into
account and will engage in major public participation programs
to select areas that best protect the biodiversity while minimizing
negative impacts on existing users.
The program has a number of
- 1999 - develop map
of bioregions across the entire GBR
- 1999-2000 - develop/refine
the analytical tools for identification and selection of the reserve
- 2000-2001 - collate
social, economic & cultural data and gain public acceptance
of the RAP approach
- early 2001 - identify
the potential networks of candidate area and seek public comment
- late 2001- assess
social/economic/cultural/practical implications to refine candidate
- early 2002 - select
network(s) of highly protected areas and prepare draft zoning
- mid 2002 - release
the draft zoning plan for public comment
- late 2002 - finalize
the zoning plan and seek Parliamentary approval
already products from RAP that deliver new information on biodiversity,
which are also useful for the planning and management of the GBR,
- a map of bioregions
of the GBR
- several analytical
tools ('Marxan' and 'Trader') that assist in selecting network
options for representative areas
in 2001 and 2002 will include:
- maps of 'candidate
area potential', based on the 70 bioregions (early 2001)
- a new statutory
zoning plan for the GBR comprising a network of highly protected
areas (late 2002)
- a series of technical
reports detailing the methods and outcomes of RAP (late 2002)
information on RAP including a map of the bioregions, see GBRMPA web
on RAP are available from GBRMPA (email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Day, Leanne Fernandes
A CD-ROM on "Tasmanian
Earthworms" is now available that includes a comprehensive introduction
to biology/morphology/reproduction, plus a revision of the megadrile families
of the world. This 800 page monograph with 222 figures would be of value
to ecologists, taxonomists, teachers, and students involved in this field
of study, particularly those in Australia but also workers from other
regions of the Globe.
The monograph includes background
information, a comprehensive introduction to study methods, and describes
228 species in 38 genera belonging to 4 families of earthworms from Tasmania.
Prior to 1997 approximately 55 species were known while in the three years
to 2000 studies by the author had almost doubled this to 95 species comprising:
69 natives, 1 new-endemic, 23 exotics and 2 translocated mainland endemics.
The current account makes new combinations and adds 136 new native taxa,
several with interesting morphological adaptations never before seen,
to nearly triple the total of Tasmanian endemics to 202 species in 24
genera. This biodiversity compares with species totals of approximately:
- 48 from Britain and
- 78 from Japan
- 160 from North America
- 174 from Myanmar
- 180 from France
- 192 from New Zealand
- 350 from the Indian
- 350 from mainland Australia
Previously known species are fully revised, some are placed in synonym,
a few are restored, and in two cases, neotypes are designated. Tasmania,
an island state about the same size as Ireland, Sri Lanka, or Hispaniola,
can now claim the first earthworm described from Australasia viz. Megascolides
orthostichon (Schmarda, 1861), the first Australian report of Lumbricus
terrestris Linnaeus, 1758, a new littoral species of Pontodrilus
Perrier, 1874 with an argument for Australian endemicity of this genus,
as well as the first well known loss of a native species from the World
fauna due to the extinction of Hypolimnus pedderensis the Lake
Pedder Earthworm. All 18 megadrile Oligochaeta Families of the world are
reviewed and revised in order to place Tasmanian genera in the context of
the global fauna. The long anticipated "missing-link" of Octochaetidae
in Australia is newly determined, e.g. Octochaetus ambrosensis (Blakemore
1997). No endemic Acanthodrilidae or Octochaetidae occur in Tasmania as
are found on both the North and South Islands of New Zealand and in northern
Australia. All Tasmania's earthworms belong to the Megascolecidae s. strict.
A new Family is proposed in order to remove a 'troublesome' and 'puzzling'
element, the genus Exxus Gates, 1959 that complied with the Octochaetidae
except that its two pairs of prostates had the apomorphic racemose state,
and which was placed by disparate authors in either a restricted Megascolecidae
or an expanded Acanthodrilidae, although it actually complied with neither.
Presumed to be an Australian genus, the present study concludes that it
is most likely from Central America (possibly around Puerto Rico). The fresh
classification presented, like more previous ones, owes much to the 'Classical
System' originally devised by Michaelsen (1900, 1907, 1921, 1929), presented
in its final form by Stephenson (1930), and modified by Lee (1959), Gates
(1959, 1972), and Sims (1966, 1982).
The price for the "Tasmanian
Earthworms" CD-ROM is AUS$100, US$55, or £UK38. There are special
prices for schools, to non-institutionalized students, and for CSIRO
Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization.
Details of these are available on application to the author. All prices
include tax but there is an additional postage and handling fee of AUS$10
per CD (or equivalent currency) that needs to be added to invoice totals.
PC format is Microsoft Word '97 or higher, the ability to read CDs and
to view GIF/JPEG files. A complementary DELTA/INTKEY interactive computer
guide to the species is also available for distribution to accompany the
CD-ROM monograph. Enquiries in the first instance should be made to the
author: Rob Blakemore PhD, P.O. Box 404 Kippax, Canberra ACT 2615 Australia.
Telephone: + 61 2 6278 5610 Email: email@example.com