Benthic habitat model of the Oceanic Shoals Commonwealth Marine Reserve

Environment Australia is tasked with managing the networks of Commonwealth Marine Reserves (CMRs).  This is particularly challenging for the CMRs in the remote and poorly known N and NW regions, such as the Oceanic Shoals.  Multiple field campaigns have collected high resolution survey data in the region (see 'What do we know about the Oceanic Shoals Commonwealth Marine Reserve?').  Researchers from Australia's National Environmental Science Program's (NESPMarine Biodiversity Hub's D1 project used this data with regional scale topography data to build a spatial predictive model (read about how it was done and its limitations) of 10 broad classes of benthic organisms:  

  1. Alcyons,
  2. Gorgonians,
  3. Soft Corals,
  4. Hard Corals,
  5. Halimeda,
  6. Macroalgae,
  7. Seagrass,
  8. Filterers (like sponges),
  9. Burrowers (like sea urchins), and
  10. No biota detected.

Use the interactive map below to view where each modelled habitat type is predicted to be the most likely to exist across the Oceanic Shoals CMR.  

How to use the map

 Click on this icon at the top left of the map to see a full screen version.

   Click on this icon also at the top left of the map to zoom in closer to (+ ) or further from (-) the map.