|Title||High-resolution, habitat-suitability maps for the conservation and management of vulnerable marine ecosystems on the Louisville Seamount Chain, south Pacific Ocean|
|Download||Download (whole publication) |
|Author||Rowden, A A; Anderson, O F; Georgian, S E; Bowden, D A; Clark, M R; Pallentin, A; Miller, A|
|Source||Program and abstracts: 2017 GeoHab Conference, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada; by Todd, B J; Brown, C J; Lacharité, M; Gazzola, V; McCormack, E; Geological Survey of Canada, Open File 8295, 2017 p. 102,
https://doi.org/10.4095/305921 (Open Access)|
|Publisher||Natural Resources Canada|
|Meeting||2017 GeoHab: Marine Geological and Biological Habitat Mapping; Dartmouth, NS; CA; May 1-4, 2017|
|Related||This publication is contained in Todd, B J; Brown, C J;
Lacharité, M; Gazzola, V; McCormack, E; (2017). Program and abstracts: 2017 GeoHab Conference, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada, Geological Survey of Canada, Open File 8295|
|Lat/Long WENS||-178.0000 -145.0000 -25.0000 -50.0000|
|Subjects||marine geology; surficial geology/geomorphology; environmental geology; geophysics; engineering geology; mapping techniques; oceanography; marine environments; coastal studies; conservation; marine
organisms; marine ecology; resource management; biological communities; environmental studies; ecosystems; modelling; bathymetry; seafloor topography; geophysical surveys; acoustic surveys, marine; sonar surveys; side-scan sonar; photography;
submarine features; seamounts; submarine ridges; marine sediments; reefs; Louisville Seamount Chain; Corals; geological mapping; geological mapping techniques; biology; habitat mapping; habitat conservation; habitat management; fisheries|
|Program||Offshore Geoscience, Ocean Management Geoscience|
|Released||2017 09 26|
|Abstract||Vulnerable marine ecosystems (VMEs) are ecosystems at risk from the effects of fishing activity or other kinds of disturbance, as determined by the vulnerability of their components (e.g., habitats,
communities or species). Habitat suitability modelling is being used increasingly to predict distribution patterns of VME indicator taxa in the deep sea (where data are particularly sparse), and the models are considered useful for marine ecosystem
The Louisville Seamount Chain is located within the South Pacific Regional Fishery Management Organisation (SPRFMO) Convention Area, and some seamounts are the subject of bottom trawling for orange roughy by the New Zealand fishery.
The aim of the present study was to produce high-resolution, habitat suitability maps for VME indicator taxa and VME habitat on these seamounts, in order to aid the design of within-seamount spatial closures to protect VMEs.
We used a multi-model
habitat suitability mapping approach, based on bathymetric and backscatter data collected by multibeam echo sounder survey, and data for the stony coral and habitat-forming VME indicator species Solenosmilia variablis collected by towed underwater
camera. Maps resulting from our models showed that suitable habitat for this species is distributed around the summit-slope break of seamounts, and along ridges that extend down the seamount flanks. Only the flat, soft sediment summits are predicted
to be unsuitable habitat for this stony coral species. We translated a definition for stony coral-reef habitat into a Solenosmilia variablis abundance-based threshold in order to use our models to map this VME habitat. These maps showed that
coral-reef occurred in small and isolated patches, with most of the seamounts predicted to be unsuitable habitat for this VME.
We discuss the implications of these results for spatial management closures on the Louisville Seamount Chain seamounts
and the wider SPRFMO area, and future modelling improvements that could aid efforts to use habitat suitability maps for managing the impact of fishing on vulnerable marine ecosystems.