Marine ecological processes and prediction
CSIRO is providing knowledge, tools and advice for marine environmental management in tune with the natural system.
8 February 2011 | Updated 14 October 2011
CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research (CMAR) maintain wide ranging expertise in the field of marine ecological processes and prediction.
Scientists involved in this research are based at CMAR laboratories at Hobart (Tasmania) Floreat (Western Australia) and Brisbane (Queensland).
They study the ecological dynamics of Australia’s ocean and coastal systems and provide research and scientific advice on related threats and impacts, as well as predicting the results of management actions.
Extensive field research programs, and laboratory and field-based experimental studies investigate the:
This knowledge is harnessed in computer models that explore alternative patterns of resource use, and seek effective management pathways responsive to climate change, seasonal habits of marine organisms, and socio-economic change.
The research underpins a shift towards adaptive and flexible allocation of marine resources at finer spatial and timescales in areas such as fisheries regulation, biodiversity conservation and the balancing of multiple demands on the coastal zone.
It has been applied to:
- understanding open ocean (pelagic) systems: from plankton communities and benthic habitats to apex predators
- assessing the impacts of trawling on tropical communities and species (turtles, sharks, rays, fish, invertebrates, sea birds)
- understanding the impacts of climate change on marine communities
- the design of a National Representative System of Marine Protected Areas.
Aquaculture production: functional and applied genetics, molecular biology and virology, feed processing technology, and high intensity animal and algal culture.
Taxonomy and biogeography: maintenance of the Australian National Fish Collection:
- marine specimen curation
- teleost and elasmobranch taxonomy
- systematics of Indo-Pacific fishes
- shelf, slope, and deep sea biodiversity, biogeography and phylogeography
- marine bioregionalisation and habitat classification
- fish ecomorphology.
Oceanscape genetics and connectivity: developing genetic tools for understanding the movements, population structures and spatial dynamics of marine organisms:
- biodiversity, molecular and analytical population genetics
- population genomics; phylogeography
- DNA sequencing; recombinant genetics
- non-invasive mark and recapture modelling
- ancient and historical DNA analysis
- oceanographic connectivity modelling
- marine community ecology.
Benthic and pelagic spatial analyses: quantitative fisheries acoustics, deep water data collection techniques, quantitative benthic ecology and spatial mapping; quantitative assessments of oceanic benthic and midwater communities.
Long-term ecosystem dynamics: biological oceanography, zooplankton and phytoplankton ecology, and ecosystem and climate impact assessment and is focused on describing impacts of climate variability on marine environments and oceanic plankton dynamics.
Management of impacts on biodiversity: tools and assessments for marine spatial planning, including impacts of climate drivers and biodiversity conservation:
- quantitative marine community and fisheries ecology
- biophysical coupling; integration of ecosystem models
- ecological risk assessment
- threatened, endangered and protected species conservation
- spatial tracking
- nature reserve management.
Multiple use ecosystems: multiple use management of tropical exploited, high value, coastal shelf systems:
- quantitative benthic and coral reef ecology
- frameworks for multiple use management
- video deployment and analysis
- database management; geographic information system analysis.
Pelagic spatial dynamics: marine spatial planning and decision support tools for fisheries and conservation planning:
- ecological statistics
- population modelling
- fleet dynamics
- economic incentives
- decision theory
- movement, migration, behaviour and trophodynamics of pelagic predators
- deployment and analysis of satellite, pop-up, archival and acoustic tag data
- fisheries oceanography
- climate impacts.
Shelf and coastal processes: understanding coastal and shelf community dynamics and assessment of spatial planning tools for biodiversity conservation:
- temperate and coral reef ecosystem dynamics
- benthic invertebrate community processes and ecology
- bentho-pelagic coupling
- acoustic tracking; application of stable isotopes and biomarkers
- underwater video data collection and analyses
- underwater visual survey.
- Biosecure aquaria and laboratories
- Chemistry, biology and molecular laboratories
- Australian National Algae Culture Collection
- Electronics, engineering and moorings workshop
- Oceanographic observation equipment
- Marine research vessels
- Australian National Fish Collection
CMAR capability in marine ecological processes and prediction is applied to research projects undertaken by the CSIRO Wealth from Oceans Flagship and the Food Futures Flagship.
Read more about CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research.