30 October 2013
A new paper published in the journal Marine Biology
Research sheds light on the biodiversity of undersea canyons
off South Australia. The lead author is Dr David Currie, Principal
Marine Scientist at GHD, one of the world’s leading engineering,
architecture and environmental consulting companies.
biodiversity in two contrasting submarine canyons on Australia’s
southern continental margin,” the paper was co-authored with
Shirley Sorokin from the South Australian Research and Development
“Undersea canyons are increasingly recognised as potential
hotspots of biodiversity and biological productivity, but a lot is
still unknown about the organisms that live along the bottom. In
particular, the remote undersea canyons of southern Australia are
poorly explored,” David says.
David’s paper compares du Couedic and Bonney canyons off the
coast of South Australia, using samples collected by a marine
expedition aboard the vessel RV Southern Surveyor in 2008.
The paper looks at many types of organisms known collectively as
“benthic megafauna”. It concludes that du Couedic contains a lot
more species due to organically enriched seasonal outflows from
“The South Australian canyons also appear to be a lot more
species-rich than similar environments in the North Sea and the
Atlantic,” David says.
This project was jointly funded by South Australian and
Australian federal governments.
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For more information about this release, contact Kirill Reztsov