Event Title

MarineGEO BC; International and provincial networks for nearshore habitat monitoring

Presentation Abstract

Nearshore vegetated habitats play critical roles in coastal ecosystems. From carbon storage to nursery function, they provide valuable services for linked social ecological systems. Yet, monitoring efforts to track change in these critical habitats are often poorly resolved in geographic scope and methodological standardization. This hinders the use of monitoring data to inform management and conservation decisions. Monitoring networks with spatial reach offer coordinated and standardized efforts to address broad questions of both global and local import including: 1) How are habitats changing spatially and temporally? 2) What factors drive productivity of nearshore habitats? and 3) How does habitat-associated biodiversity affect metrics of its resilience? MarineGEO is a new Smithsonian program that brings together an international consortium of research sites. Its goal is to conduct monitoring of nearshore habitats with a focus on common overarching research questions, standardized methodologies, and comparative-experimental approaches. The Hakai Institute’s research center on Calvert Island will the primary node for MarineGEO in British Columbia. Here, monitoring will focus on vegetated habitats including seagrass beds, kelp forests, rocky intertidal benches and soft sediment flats. In all habitats, methodology will focus on annual censuses of habitat-associated biodiversity and seasonal productivity of macrophytes. Water column physicochemical variables, and predation assays will allow for understanding of top-down and bottom-up metrics of change in these systems. Monitoring efforts will be strongly tied with other research projects led by Hakai scientists and university affiliates. In BC, the Hakai Institute is also building networks with other groups working on nearshore habitat research and monitoring throughout the province. Our aim is for MarineGEO BC to coalesce existing data and support future monitoring efforts, with a focus on gathering data for public use in an era of pressing change in coastal marine ecosystems.

Session Title

The Role of Eelgrass Ecosystems in the Salish Sea

Conference Track

Habitat

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (2016 : Vancouver, B.C.)

Document Type

Event

Location

2016SSEC

Type of Presentation

Poster

Contributing Repository

Digital content made available by University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Rights

This resource is displayed for educational purposes only and may be subject to U.S. and international copyright laws. For more information about rights or obtaining copies of this resource, please contact University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225-9103, USA (360-650-7534; heritage.resources@wwu.edu) and refer to the collection name and identifier. Any materials cited must be attributed to the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference Records, University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Type

Text

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

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MarineGEO BC; International and provincial networks for nearshore habitat monitoring

2016SSEC

Nearshore vegetated habitats play critical roles in coastal ecosystems. From carbon storage to nursery function, they provide valuable services for linked social ecological systems. Yet, monitoring efforts to track change in these critical habitats are often poorly resolved in geographic scope and methodological standardization. This hinders the use of monitoring data to inform management and conservation decisions. Monitoring networks with spatial reach offer coordinated and standardized efforts to address broad questions of both global and local import including: 1) How are habitats changing spatially and temporally? 2) What factors drive productivity of nearshore habitats? and 3) How does habitat-associated biodiversity affect metrics of its resilience? MarineGEO is a new Smithsonian program that brings together an international consortium of research sites. Its goal is to conduct monitoring of nearshore habitats with a focus on common overarching research questions, standardized methodologies, and comparative-experimental approaches. The Hakai Institute’s research center on Calvert Island will the primary node for MarineGEO in British Columbia. Here, monitoring will focus on vegetated habitats including seagrass beds, kelp forests, rocky intertidal benches and soft sediment flats. In all habitats, methodology will focus on annual censuses of habitat-associated biodiversity and seasonal productivity of macrophytes. Water column physicochemical variables, and predation assays will allow for understanding of top-down and bottom-up metrics of change in these systems. Monitoring efforts will be strongly tied with other research projects led by Hakai scientists and university affiliates. In BC, the Hakai Institute is also building networks with other groups working on nearshore habitat research and monitoring throughout the province. Our aim is for MarineGEO BC to coalesce existing data and support future monitoring efforts, with a focus on gathering data for public use in an era of pressing change in coastal marine ecosystems.