The components with condition scores at or below the 25th percentile in the Worst10% (the ‘worst of the worst’) included 11 habitats, 16 species or species groups, 3 ecological processes and 1 physical process (Table 6). Nineteen components (10 habitats, 6 species groups, 2 ecological processes, and 1 physical/chemical buy AZD6244 process) occur in both
the ‘best of the best’ and ‘worst of the worst’ categories, indicating a high level of spatial variability in their condition at the national scale. The condition and trends in the biodiversity and ecosystem health data of the N and SE regions demonstrate contrasting patterns. The regions have contrasting patterns of condition between the Best10% and Worst10% areas, and although both regions had high levels of stability overall, in both regions the Worst10% areas were considered to have Selleckchem Bortezomib low levels of region-specific stability and high levels of region-specific deterioration (Fig. 5, Fig. 6). This region-specific pattern of condition, stability and deterioration mainly results from the scores and grades
assigned to habitats, although this was a weaker pattern in the N where the condition scores were overall higher than in the SE region. The overall condition of Australia’s marine environment was judged to be consistent with the ‘Good’ grade as defined in the scoring gradient (Table 2). This was determined using the median of all scores assigned to condition for all components in all regions. However, as GNA12 expected, substantive variability between regions was identified. The condition overall of biodiversity and ecosystem health in the N region is considered to be better than that of the two southern regions (SW and SE), and there is considerable large-scale
variability within each region. These patterns are related to the greater impacts of the human development and sea-based pressures. Within a single region, the range between the best and worst conditions is greatest in the SE, E and SW regions, adjacent to the landmass where the majority of Australia’s population reside, and where the history of pressures is greatest (eg Hewitt et al., 2004). Nonetheless, all regions have areas where there are high levels of past and current pressure that have substantively affected the condition of biodiversity and ecosystem health. While the national marine environment as a whole and that of each individual region was graded as either Good or Very Good, and the greatest number of biodiversity and ecosystem health components are considered to be Stable, the number of components that are considered to be Deteriorating substantially exceed the number of components that are Improving in condition. System trajectory overall therefore appears to be trending downwards. Also, there are examples of components where decline in condition is considered to have been halted, but there are few examples where components have recovered to Good or Very Good condition.