A quick, easy and non-intrusive method for underwater volume and surface area evaluation of benthic organisms by 3D computer modelling

Lavy, Adi, Eyal, Gal, Neal, Benjamin, Keren, Ray, Loya, Yossi and Ilan, Micha (2015) A quick, easy and non-intrusive method for underwater volume and surface area evaluation of benthic organisms by 3D computer modelling. Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 6 5: 521-531. doi:10.1111/2041-210X.12331


Author Lavy, Adi
Eyal, Gal
Neal, Benjamin
Keren, Ray
Loya, Yossi
Ilan, Micha
Title A quick, easy and non-intrusive method for underwater volume and surface area evaluation of benthic organisms by 3D computer modelling
Journal name Methods in Ecology and Evolution   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 2041-210X
Publication date 2015-05-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/2041-210X.12331
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 6
Issue 5
Start page 521
End page 531
Total pages 11
Place of publication Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Collection year 2016
Language eng
Formatted abstract
1. In order to understand physiological, ecological and biological processes, it is often crucial to determine an organism's volume and surface area (SA). Most of the available methods require sacrificing the organism or at least removing it from its natural habitat, in order to measure these parameters. Advances in computer vision algorithms now allow us to determine these parameters using non-destructive, three-dimensional modelling. The addition of cloud computing and the availability of freeware make this tool widely accessible.

2. Photographs of corals and sponges were taken in natura and used to create digital 3D models using the ‘structure-from-motion’ technique. Modelling was done online using 123D CATCH freeware (Autodesk Inc.). Volume and SA of the corals and sponges were calculated from these 3D models.

3. Comparing in situ 3D modelling to current measuring methods (e.g. water displacement, paraffin dipping) showed that volume calculation by 3D modelling gave fast results accurate to within 8% of estimated true volume. Using cloud computing enabled the creation of a 3D model in <30 min. SA accuracy was found to differ significantly, depending on the shape of the modelled object, with an accuracy ranging widely from 2% to 18%.

4. We found that in situ volume and SA measurements created by 3D modelling enable easy, fast and non-intrusive studies of benthic aquatic organisms, without removing the subject organisms from their habitat, thus enabling continuous study of natural growth over extended time periods. The freely available freeware, along with ease of use, makes this method accessible to many areas of research.
Keyword 123D CATCH
3D modelling
Benthic organisms
Computer vision
Corals
Sponges
Surface area evaluation
Volume evaluation
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Global Change Institute Publications
Official 2016 Collection
 
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