Thesis: Biogeographical patterns of rocky intertidal assemblages along Indo-West Australian waters under current and future climate scenarios
The Marine Ecoregions of the World classifies the oceans into 12 realms, 62 provinces, and 232 ecoregions to help setting marine protected areas (MPAs). This classification becomes more relevant as climate change allows species to move in and out of the existing MPAs. However, the biogeographical zonation of rocky intertidal assemblages does not fit well with this classification due to differences in the distribution patterns. Rocky intertidal shores are extensively available along Indo-West Australian waters, yet the biogeographical patterns of rocky intertidal assemblages here are poorly understood. My research will analyse the biogeographical patterns of rocky intertidal assemblages along those waters under current and future climate scenarios. There will be a series of four chapters with more specific aims: analysing the distribution of algal assemblages and their relationships with the marine environment, identifying and describing Syllidae worm species from the study area, analysing the distribution of worm assemblages and their complex relationships with the marine environment and algal assemblages, and analysing changes in the distribution and composition of annelid assemblages under future temperature and future patterns of algal assemblages. My research will use a variety of approachs, including taxonomic analysis, multivariate analyses, ecological modelling, and species distribution modelling. It is expected that this research will increase knowledge and understanding of biodiversity on rocky intertidal shores in the Indo-West Australian region, promote an understanding and appreciation for the complex interactions between rocky intertidal assemblages and the surrounding environment, and the use of microhabitat change to predict the distribution of marine species under future climate scenarios.
Why my research is important
The significant contributions are: (1) the current and future biogeographical patterns of rocky intertidal assemblages that can help the Indonesian and Western Australian governments to design marine conservation and management areas, (2) a list of Syllidae worm species that can help taxonomists to update the record of marine biodiversity in the Indo-West Australian waters, (3) a conceptual model that can help researcher to analyse complex interactions between rocky intertidal assemblages and the marine environment, and (4) an alternative approach that can help researchers to predict the distribution of rocky intertidal species under future climate.