Dataset: Southern Surveyor Voyage SS 05/2007 - Voyage of discovery - Sediments of the deep continental shelf and slope in Australia's "North West Region"


The overall aims were to provide data on the distribution of deep seabed habitats and fauna that are amenable to scientific hypothesis testing, can be immediately applied to marine resource management processes, and that enable strategic development of tools and techniques for understanding the processes that maintain deep sea biodiversity. This work was to support the process of NWR Estate inventory and management performance assessment by providing interpreted benthic habitat maps, faunal inventories, distribution maps and conservation values. Data will be collected at scientific reference sites from potential MPA areas that can be re-visited for monitoring purposes in the future. Sampling along environmental gradients (geographic range and depth) in this section of Australia's coast will also provide the opportunity to evaluate biogeographic hypotheses. Further refinement of predictive methods for identifying seabed habitat types, initially developed in temperate and cool-temperate environments, will be enabled by data collection from this tropical location in Australia. We intended to highlight the importance of this underlying science as a modern "Voyage of Discovery" given the likely significance of the findings in terms of Australia's biodiversity and its biogeography and evolution. (From Voyage Plan). Sediment samples were divided into two samples: an elutrition sample for macroinvertebrates that was sent to Robin Wilson at MV for analysis and a sediment sample to be analysed by Geoscience Australia.

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