Marine & Environmental Sciences Faculty Articles
National-scale marine bioregions for the Southwest Pacific
Marine Pollution Bulletin
Bioregionalisation, Conservation planning data, Species distribution modelling, Hierarchical cluster analysis, Pelagic environment, Coral reef biodiversity
Existing marine bioregions covering the Pacific Ocean are conceptualised at spatial scales that are too broad for national marine spatial planning. Here, we developed the first combined oceanic and coastal marine bioregionalisation at national scales, delineating 262 deep-water and 103 reef-associated bioregions across the southwest Pacific. The deep-water bioregions were informed by thirty biophysical environmental variables. For reef-associated environments, records for 806 taxa at 7369 sites were used to predict the probability of observing taxa based on environmental variables. Both deep-water and reef-associated bioregions were defined with cluster analysis applied to the environmental variables and predicted species observation probabilities, respectively to classify areas with high taxonomic similarity. Local experts further refined the delineation of the bioregions at national scales for four countries. This work provides marine bioregions that enable the design of ecologically representative national systems of marine protected areas within offshore and inshore environments in the Pacific.
This study was supported by the country representatives of the Marine and Coastal Biodiversity Managementin Pacific Island Countries (MACBIO) project. We particularly thank in-country experts who helped refine and finalise the marine bioregions for use in their respective countries. MACBIO was funded by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety's (BMUB's) International Climate Initiative (IKI). It was implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) with the countries of Fiji, Kiribati, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu. It had technical support from the Oceania Regional Office of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and worked in close collaboration with the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Program (SPREP). Significant assistance with data provision was provided by the following people and institutions: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; Reef Life Survey; Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC); Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP); The Nature Conservancy (TNC); UNEP-WCMC; WorldFish Centre; World Resources Institute (WRI), Gerry Allen, Simon Donner (UBC), Maël Imirizaldu (Marine Conservation Consulting), Stuart Sandin (Scripps Institution of Oceanography), Karen Stone (Vava'u Environmental Protection Association), Paul Muir (Museum of Tropical Queensland), Yashika Nand and Waisea Naisilisili (Wildlife Conservation Society Fiji), Peter Houk (University of Guam) and the Micronesia Coral Reef Monitoring program, Emre Turak, and Kate Fraser, Badi R Samaniego, Janet Eyre working with the Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation. We are further grateful to the University of Queensland and the University of Leeds for assistance with administration, and to Geoscience Australia for releasing Mr Sullivan for this project. The report benefitted from comments by Mark Spalding and Piers Dunstan, and the help of Roopinder Nagra.
Maria Beger, Hans Wendt, Jonah Sullivan, Claire Mason, Jimaima LeGrand, Kate Davey, Stacy Jupiter, Daniela M. Ceccarelli, Alex Dempsey, Graham Edgar, David A. Feary, Douglas Fenner, Marian Gauna, Hannah Grice, Sahar Noor Kirmani, Sangeeta Mangubhai, Sam Purkis, Zoe T. Richards, Randi Rotjan, Rick Stuart-Smith, Helen Sykes, Naushad Yakub, Andrew G. Bauman, Alec Hughes, Jason Raubani, Adam Lewis, and Leanne Fernandes. 2020. National-scale marine bioregions for the Southwest Pacific .Marine Pollution Bulletin : 110710 . https://nsuworks.nova.edu/occ_facarticles/1288.
All code and data to rerun the analysis is deposited in https://github.com/MACBIO/National-scale-marine-bioregions-for-the-Southwest-Pacific.
The ecoregion files are provided here:
Solomon Islands: http://macbio-pacific.info/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/SLB-Bioregions-Data.zip.
Multimedia Component 1: MS Word Document
Multimedia Component 2: XML File