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Genomics Builds Marine Know-How

Modern genomics can contribute to marine conservation and management.
by Staff Writers
Sorrento, Italy (SPX) Nov 01, 2006
CSIRO's Wealth from Oceans Flagship is exploring how modern genomics can contribute to marine conservation and management by providing data more effectively and perhaps yielding new types of data.

"This work has a wide range of applications, ranging from the use of genetic information to assist with taxonomy of species, to examining movements of plankton in the oceans and the impact that this has on the food webs, to revealing the influence of environmental variations such as heat, salinity or pollutants," the Flagship's Science Coordinator, Dr Kate Wilson, said in Sorrento, Italy today.

In her address to the 2006 International Marine Genomics Conference in Sorrento, Dr Wilson said that integrated marine ecosystem management is a major activity within the Flagship's Regional Marine Development and Growth research theme.

"Sustainable development, based on Australia's huge marine and coastal ecosystems, is a major opportunity for the coming decades," she said.

"Achieving sustainable economic and social benefits from this development will require a new approach to ocean management and the science that guides it. This new approach takes a system view of the multiple human uses of ocean ecosystems and their management.

"For effective marine ecosystem management, the development of national and state regional marine plans will draw heavily on Australia's marine science and socioeconomic base. At CSIRO, Management Strategy Evaluation (MSE) is being used to build models of an entire regional ecosystem, encapsulating both the biophysics of the marine ecosystem and its interdependence on the associated human socioeconomic uses of the region.

"This MSE approach then allows the possible consequences of different management actions to be evaluated. It is also used to predict the optimal monitoring strategy, including appropriate indicators, to be used to ensure successful management of the marine ecosystem."

Wealth from Oceans is one of Australia's six National Research Flagships. The Flagship, led by CSIRO, is one of the largest scientific undertakings in Australia's history, bringing together the scientific and commercial communities to tackle major issues facing the nation such as climate change, farm yields, national security and the environment.

Related Links
CSIRO Wealth from Oceans Flagship
Darwin Today At

Bats More Than Just Another Pretty Face
Krau Wildlife Reserve, Malaysia (SPX) Nov 01, 2006
Most people view bats as disagreeable things that go bump in the night, but there is much more to these small, winged mammals. Earthwatch volunteers from around the world are traveling to Malaysia to explore the world of bats in the rich, lowland rainforest of Krau Wildlife Reserve.

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