Elisabeth M. A. Strain

Elisabeth M. A. Strain
University of Tasmania · Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS)

PhD

About

69
Publications
34,763
Reads
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4,045
Citations
Citations since 2017
43 Research Items
3270 Citations
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20172018201920202021202220230100200300400500600700
20172018201920202021202220230100200300400500600700
Additional affiliations
October 2013 - present
University of Tasmania
Position
  • Honorary Research
June 2011 - November 2013
University of Bologna
Position
  • PostDoc Position

Publications

Publications (69)
Article
Tasmania is an island state in south-eastern Australia that has a long and rich history of seaweed use, research, and development. It is a cool-temperate system with 750 macroalgal species currently described. Tasmanian Aboriginal peoples have lived on this land for at least 40,000 years utilising seaweed as food, shelter, water carriers and medici...
Article
1 – The influence of habitat complexity on biodiversity is a central theme in ecology, with many studies reporting positive relationships. Reconciliation approaches in urbanised areas, such as eco‐engineering, have increasingly focused on ‘re‐building’ the complexity of degraded and/or homogenised habitats to support biodiversity. Yet the effects o...
Article
Coastal flooding and erosion cause significant social and economic impacts, globally. There is a growing interest in using natural habitats such as mangroves to defend coastlines. The protective services of mangroves, however, have not been assessed in the same rigorous engineering and socio-economic terms as rock revetments, and therefore are ofte...
Article
Urbanisation of coastal areas and growth in the blue economy drive the proliferation of artificial structures in marine environments. These structures support distinct ecological communities compared to natural hard substrates, potentially reflecting differences in the materials from which they are constructed. We undertook a meta-analysis of 46 st...
Article
The human population is increasingly reliant on the marine environment for food, trade, tourism, transport, communication and other vital ecosystem services. These services require extensive marine infrastructure, all of which have direct or indirect ecological impacts on marine environments. The rise in global marine infrastructure has led to ligh...
Article
There is growing demand for novel coastal protection approaches that also provide co-benefits such as enhanced biodiversity. Rock-fillets, which are used to stabilise eroding banks in estuaries, can be colonised by mangroves, and may provide habitat for estuarine fauna. However, it is unknown whether hybrid mangrove/rock-fillet habitats are functio...
Article
Full-text available
Increasing human population, urbanisation, and climate change have resulted in the proliferation of hard coastal infrastructure such as seawalls and breakwaters. There is increasing impetus to create multifunctional coastal defence structures with the primary function of protecting people and property in addition to providing habitat for marine org...
Article
Kelp beds are a defining feature of temperate reefs worldwide, playing a fundamental role as ecosystem engineers and primary producers. Overgrazing by the native sea urchin Heliocidaris erythrogramma has driven a phase shift from kelp beds of Ecklonia radiata to barrens across much of Port Phillip Bay, Victoria. Here we present the results of a tra...
Article
Natural coastlines are being replaced by artificial structures (pilings, pontoons, breakwaters), with negative environmental impacts, particularly in marinas. Ropes seeded with mussels (Mytilus galloprovincialis) were added to artificial structures in a marina, using aquaculture techniques, to reduce the colonisation of invasive taxa. After 6-month...
Article
Full-text available
In response to the environmental damage caused by urbanization, Nature-based Solutions (NbS) are being implemented to enhance biodiversity and ecosystem processes with mutual benefits for society and nature. Although the field of NbS is flourishing, experiments in different geographic locations and environmental contexts have produced variable resu...
Article
Kelps are ecosystem engineers, which collectively form forests that provide a variety of important ecosystem services for humans and other organisms. Kelp forests are threatened by multiple local and global stressors, one of the most notable is herbivory. Overabundant sea; urchins can consume kelp, leading to a phase shift from productive forests t...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Nature-based methods use the creation or restoration of coastal habitats for hazard risk reduction. This can be done through restoring the habitat alone (“soft” approach), or in combination with hard structures that support habitat establishment (“hybrid” approaches). The need to develop, test and apply more sustainable techniques to mitigate the i...
Article
Restoration of kelp forests typically relies on transplanting sporophylls to new locations and has limited application in regions with low remnant kelp cover. Cultivated kelp requires fewer sporophylls and is a potential alternative and sustainable source of transplants for large‐scale restoration projects. Naturally sourced fertile sporophylls, ho...
Article
The marine environment is being increasingly modified by the construction of artificial structures, the impacts of which may be mitigated through eco-engineering. To date, eco-engineering has predominantly aimed to increase biodiversity, but enhancing other ecological functions is arguably of equal importance for artificial structures. Here, we man...
Article
Full-text available
The sprawl of marine construction is one of the most extreme human modifications to global seascapes. Nevertheless, its global extent remains largely unquantified compared to that on land. We synthesized disparate information from a diversity of sources to provide a global assessment of the extent of existing and projected marine construction and i...
Article
Full-text available
In England about 5 million properties are at risk of flooding. Socio-economic growth, rising sea levels and extreme weather will exacerbate this issue in the next 100 years. Building coastal resilience is vital worldwide to save people from the impact of flooding and the costs of damage and insurance. In Australia the use of mussel reefs and mangro...
Article
Abstract Aim: Topographic complexity is widely accepted as a key driver of biodiversity, but at the patch-scale, complexity–biodiversity relationships may vary spatially and temporally according to the environmental stressors complexity mitigates, and the species richness and identity of potential colonists. Using a manipulative experiment, we asse...
Article
Recent studies have suggested that increasing habitat complexity of artificial seawalls by modifying surface heterogeneity could enhance exploitable habitat and therefore species richness and abundance. We tested the effects of adding complex tiles (with crevices/ledges) of different heterogeneity (i.e., flat tiles resembling the seawall vs. tiles...
Article
There is increasing interest in mitigating the loss of kelp forests through restoration, but this has received scant attention relative to other coastal habitats. We evaluate current knowledge centered on key restoration principles to provide guidelines for best practice in kelp restoration. The cause and scale of degradation is fundamental in dete...
Article
Full-text available
The construction of artificial structures, such as seawalls, is increasing globally, resulting in loss of habitat complexity and native species biodiversity. There is increasing interest in mitigating this biodiversity loss by adding topographic habitat to these structures, and/or seeding them with habitat-forming species. Settlement tile experimen...
Article
Australia’s rapid coastal population growth coupled with the increased risk of hazards driven by climate change creates an urgent need to start adaptation planning for the future. The most common solutions for protecting the coast (seawalls, breakwaters) are expensive and non-adaptive (i.e., they need to be rebuilt, upgraded and maintained in respo...
Article
Full-text available
Human population growth and accelerating coastal development have been the drivers for unprecedented construction of artificial structures along shorelines globally. Construction has been recently amplified by societal responses to reduce flood and erosion risks from rising sea levels and more extreme storms resulting from climate change. Such stru...
Chapter
Full-text available
Human population growth and accelerating coastal development have been the drivers for unprecedented construction of artificial structures along shorelines globally. Construction has been recently amplified by societal responses to reduce flood and erosion risks from rising sea levels and more extreme storms resulting from climate change. Such stru...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Increased human use and climate change over the last decades has put huge pressure on coastal area. To shield coastal settlements and facilities from hazardous events, the most common management strategy used is the building of hard structures such as seawalls and breakwaters. However, hard engineered structures often have low ecological values and...
Article
Marine harbours are the focus of a diverse range of activities and subject to multiple anthropogenically induced pressures. Support for environmental management options aimed at improving degraded harbours depends on understanding the factors which influence people's perceptions of harbour environments. We used an online survey, across 12 harbours,...
Article
Full-text available
Expanding urbanization in estuaries and the increase in pollutants from anthropogenic point sources can affect nearby benthic assemblages. Using a paired impact-control design, we assessed the effects of pollution from anthropogenic point sources (marinas, storm-water drains, sewage outfalls and fish farms) on algal and sessile invertebrate recruit...
Article
Full-text available
Ecological engineering principles are increasingly being applied to develop multifunctional artificial structures or rehabilitated habitats in coastal areas. Ecological engineering initiatives are primarily driven by marine scientists and coastal managers, but often the views of key user groups, which can strongly influence the success of projects,...
Article
Aim Marine protected areas (MPAs) are increasingly implemented to conserve or restore coral reef biodiversity, yet evidence of their benefits for enhancing coral cover is limited and variable. Location 30 MPAs worldwide and nearby sites (within 10 km). Taxa Cover of key functional groups for coral (total, branching, massive and tabular), and alga...
Article
Full-text available
Urbanisation and population growth continue to impact already pressured harbour environments, resulting in a proliferation of artificial structures in the marine environment. In response, there is a growing interest in ecological engineering these structures for the benefit of both nature and humankind. Since the decision to build or adapt coastal...
Article
Wrack (stranded phyto-detritus) from terrestrial and marine sources is an important source of carbon and nutrients for many intertidal habitats. In urbanised estuaries, seawalls may act as a barrier to the transport of wrack between terrestrial and marine habitats and, where they reduce the width and habitat complexity of the intertidal zone, negat...
Article
Macroalgal beds provide important habitat structure and support primary production for rocky reef communities, but are increasingly degraded as a result of human pressures. Various sources of pollution can have both direct and interactive effects on stressed ecosystems. In particular, interactions involving invertebrate grazers could potentially we...
Article
We analyzed the occurrence and status of infralittoral fringe populations of Cystoseira spp. (Fucales) at thirteen rocky sites around the Italian coastline, and explored the relationships with relevant environmental and anthropogenic variables. We found Cystoseira populations at 11 sites: most were scattered and comprised monospecific stands of C....
Article
Full-text available
Along urbanised coastlines, urban infrastructure is increasingly becoming the dominant habitat. These structures are often poor surrogates for natural habitats, and a diversity of eco-engineering approaches have been trialled to enhance their biodiversity, with varying success. We undertook a quantitative meta-analysis and qualitative review of 109...
Article
Full-text available
Increasingly, urbanised coastlines are being armoured by shoreline protection structures, such as seawalls. Seawalls typically lack the complex microhabitats and protective spaces of natural shorelines and consequently organisms that settle on them may be particularly susceptible to predation. We tested whether the addition of complex microhabitats...
Article
Changing climate threatens the structure and function of salt marshes, which are often severely degraded by other human perturbations. Along the Mediterranean coastline, increasing temperature and decreasing rainfall have been hypothesised to trigger habitat shifts from perennial grasses to annual succulents in fragile salt marsh ecosystems, such a...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Coastal defence structures are proliferating as a result of rising sea levels and stormier seas. With the realisation that most coastal infrastructure cannot be lost or removed, research is required into ways that coastal defence structures can be built to meet engineering requirements, whilst also providing relevant ecosystem services-ecological e...
Article
Full-text available
Reporting progress against targets for international biodiversity agreements is hindered by a shortage of suitable biodiversity data. We describe a cost-effective system involving Reef Life Survey citizen scientists in the systematic collection of quantitative data covering multiple phyla that can underpin numerous marine biodiversity indicators at...
Article
Full-text available
Extensive development and construction in marine and coastal systems is driving a phenomenon known as “ocean sprawl”. Ocean sprawl removes or transforms marine habitats through the addition of artificial structures and some of the most significant impacts are occurring in sedimentary environments. Marine sediments have substantial social, ecologica...
Data
Supplementary data are available at BIOSCI online.
Article
Full-text available
A comprehensive expert consultation was conducted in order to assess the status, trends and the most important drivers of change in the abundance and geographical distribution of kelp forests in European waters. This consultation included an on-line questionnaire, results from a workshop and data provided by a selected group of experts working on k...
Article
Sydney’s Harbour is an integral part of the city providing natural, social, and economic benefits to 4.84 million residents. It has significant environmental value including a diverse range of habitats and animals. A range of anthropogenic and environmental pressures threatens these including loss and modification of habitats, oversupply of nutrien...
Article
Full-text available
Coastal systems are increasingly threatened by multiple local anthropogenic and global climatic stressors. With the difficulties in remediating global stressors, management requires alternative approaches that focus on local scales. We used manipulative experiments to test whether reducing local stressors (sediment load and nutrient concentrations)...
Chapter
Natural coastal habitats play an important role in protecting coastal areas from sea water flooding caused by storm surge events. Many of these habitats, however, have been lost completely or degraded, reducing their ability to function as a natural flood defense. Once degraded, natural habitats can potently be destroyed by storm events, further th...
Article
Over the last decades, population densities in coastal areas have strongly increased. At the same time, many intertidal coastal ecosystems that provide valuable services in terms of coastal protection have greatly degraded. As a result, coastal defense has become increasingly dependent on man-made engineering solutions. Ongoing climate change proce...
Article
Coastal defence structures are proliferating as a result of rising sea levels and stormier seas. With the realisation that most coastal infrastructure cannot be lost or removed, research is required into ways that coastal defence structures can be built to meet engineering requirements, whilst also providing relevant ecosystem services—so-called ec...
Article
Full-text available
Identifying the type and strength of interactions between local anthropogenic and other stressors can help to set achievable management targets for degraded marine ecosystems and support their resilience by identifying local actions. We undertook a meta-analysis, using data from 118 studies to test the hypothesis that ongoing global declines in the...
Article
Full-text available
In line with global targets agreed under the Convention on Biological Diversity, the number of marine protected areas (MPAs) is increasing rapidly, yet socio-economic benefits generated by MPAs remain difficult to predict and under debate1, 2. MPAs often fail to reach their full potential as a consequence of factors such as illegal harvesting, regu...
Article
Full-text available
Species richness has dominated our view of global biodiversity patterns for centuries. The dominance of this paradigm is reflected in the focus by ecologists and conservation managers on richness and associated occurrence-based measures for understanding drivers of broad-scale diversity patterns and as a biological basis for management. However, th...
Article
Full-text available
Global climate change has resulted in a southerly range expansion of the habitat modifying sea urchin Centrostephanus rodgersii to the east coast of Tasmania, Australia. Various studies have suggested that this urchin outcompetes black-lipped abalone (Haliotis rubra) for resources, but experiments elucidating the mechanisms are lacking. We outline...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Coastal systems are threatened by multiple anthropogenic activities, such as urban development, organic and inorganic pollution and over-exploitation of resources. Nonetheless, current management activities are still almost exclusively developed in an impact-by-impact framework. We present results from experimental wor...
Article
We examined whether two decades of rising sea surface temperatures have resulted in significant changes in the benthic community and frequency of occurrence of Northern and Southern species in three areas of Northern Ireland, using visual census data collected by SCUBA surveys undertaken during two periods: pre-1986 and post-2006. We found little e...
Article
Full-text available
Range expanding species can have major impacts on marine ecosystems but experimental field based studies are often lacking. The urchin Centrostephanus rodgersii has recently undergone a southerly range expansion to the east coast of Tasmania, Australia. We manipulated densities of C. rodgersii and algal regrowth in urchin barrens habitat to test ef...
Article
Fisheries can have profound effects on epifaunal community function and structure. We analyzed the results from five dive surveys (1975–1976, 1980, 1983, 2003 and 2007), taken in a Special Area of Conservation, Strangford Lough, Northern Ireland before and after a ten year period of increased trawling activity between 1985 and 1995. There were no d...
Method
Full-text available
Intensive fishing can cause dramatic, long-lasting shifts in benthic habitat. This study used three approaches to test whether overharvesting of blacklip abalone (Haliotis rubra) can cause a shift in benthic habitat to a configuration that is unsuitable for abalone, on the east coast of Tasmania, Australia. After 18 months of removing abalone from...
Article
Full-text available
Habitat characteristics can influence marine herbivore densities at a range of spatial scales. We examined the relationship between benthic habitat characteristics and adult blacklip abalone (Haliotis rubra) densities across local scales (0.0625-16m(2)), at 2 depths, 4 sites and 2 locations, in Tasmania, Australia. Biotic characteristics that were...
Article
Full-text available
Incursion of the urchin Centrostephanus rodgersii into Tasmania, Australia, and its establishment at high densities raises questions about its potential interactions with another large herbivore on subtidal rocky reefs, the commercially fished abalone Haliotis rubra. Surveys on the southeast coast of Australia show a negative relationship between d...
Article
Rapid light curves (RLCs), based on pulse amplitude modulated (PAM) fluorometry, were used to investigate the spatio-temporal variability in photosynthesis versus irradiance parameters (α, Ik and Pmax) and the Fv/Fm ratio of the seagrass Zostera tasmanica (formerly Heterozostera tasmanica). Spatial variation was examined across scales ranging from...

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Projects

Projects (6)
Project
This project looks at seagrass beds near stormwater outfalls in an urban estuary. We will measure the health of seagrass beds using above and below-ground metrics, describe the microbiome community of seagrass roots and rhizosphere sediments and measure sediment nutrient loads.
Project
Understanding the role of natural, eco-engineered and restored habitats in responding to and mitigating climatic stressors and enhancing biodiversity.
Project
To publish papers that contribute to the advancement of this field. This may be novel approaches to understanding pollution impacts, or papers that integrate across disciplines (chemistry, ecotoxicology, molecular, ecological or with management, social science and economic).