Marine Natural Values Atlas of Eastern Indonesia
Eastern Indonesia is a bottleneck between the Pacific and Indian Oceans. The largest surface currents on Earth, thousands of islands, deep ocean basins, diverse topography and bathymetry create a complex and rich environment. These factors determine the likelihood of animal abundance because they combine here, on a scale like nowhere else on our planet, it makes this region one of the most important for driving ocean-climate linked biodiversity processes (Chapter 3). This makes Eastern Indonesia a principle source-ecosystem for global biodiversity, fisheries and food.
This document is a detailed literature review and discussion of ocean-climate-linked biodiversity processes and how this is driven by animals. Published data and maps were georeferenced in QGIS, enabling regional-scale processes to be overlaid with biodiversity. Assumptions about surface productivity, sea currents and animal behaviour, were ground-truthed using observations made during trips to the region over the last few years
It is not the physical factors that create or drive outcomes. The mechanism for this is the structure and function of ocean food chains. These concentrate nutrients at the right time and place, prolonging productivity events and even contributing directly to rain-formation (Chapter 4). The intensity of these effects is equivalent to many of the greatest physical factors. Physical conditions only set up the likelihood (Chapter 5) but would have little consequence for food security and climate, without marine vertebrates.
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The next phase of this work is to create a bioregional evaluation that takes the results of the report and identifies a set of principle characteristics of each marine ecoregion. From there, it's possible to create a decision support tool to help local villages and management authorities evaluate the significance of marine wildlife at the local to regional level. This would make an important contribution to marine planning for this important location.