Can juvenile corals be surveyed effectively using digital photography?: Implications for rapid assessment techniques

Burgess, Scott C., Osborne, Kate, Sfiligoj, Bianca and Sweatman, Hugh (2010) Can juvenile corals be surveyed effectively using digital photography?: Implications for rapid assessment techniques. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 171 1-4: 345-351. doi:10.1007/s10661-009-1282-1


Author Burgess, Scott C.
Osborne, Kate
Sfiligoj, Bianca
Sweatman, Hugh
Title Can juvenile corals be surveyed effectively using digital photography?: Implications for rapid assessment techniques
Journal name Environmental Monitoring and Assessment   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0167-6369
1573-2959
Publication date 2010-12
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1007/s10661-009-1282-1
Volume 171
Issue 1-4
Start page 345
End page 351
Total pages 7
Place of publication Dordrecht, Netherlands
Publisher Springer Netherlands
Collection year 2011
Language eng
Abstract The widespread decline of coral reefs requires integrated management measures across whole regions. Knowledge of demographic processes of reef organisms is important for informed management, yet current techniques for assessing such processes are time consuming, making it impractical to gather relevant information over large scales. We tested the usefulness of digital still photography as a rapid assessment technique to estimate coral recruitment-an important process in coral reef recovery. Estimates of the density and diversity of juvenile hard corals from digital images were compared with direct visual estimates from the same plots made in the field. Multiple plots were sampled on four reefs from a range of locations on Australia's Great Barrier Reef. On average, estimates of juvenile densities from photographic images were lower, in both absolute and relative terms, than that estimated from images. This was the case whether colonies <20 mm or <50 mm in diameter were considered. Overall differences between methods were generally greater at reefs where recruitment was higher, though proportional differences (density from images/density from direct visual census) still varied among reefs. Although the ranking of taxa, in terms of their densities, from the two methods were similar, the density of common genera was generally underestimated in images, and the occurrence of 'unknown' taxa was higher. We conclude that photographic images do not constitute a reliable rapid assessment method for estimating the spatial patterns in the density or diversity of juvenile hard corals. © 2009 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
Keyword Coral recruitment
Digital photography
Method comparison
Monitoring methods
Rapid assessment methods
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2011 Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
 
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Created: Sun, 28 Nov 2010, 00:06:37 EST