Quantifying multiscale habitat structural complexity: a cost-effective framework for underwater 3D modelling

Ferrari, Renata, McKinnon, David, He, Hu, Smith, Ryan, Corke, Peter, Gonzalez-Rivero, Manuel, Mumby, Peter J. and Upcroft, Ben (2016) Quantifying multiscale habitat structural complexity: a cost-effective framework for underwater 3D modelling. Remote Sensing, 8 2: 113.1-113.21. doi:10.3390/rs8020113

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Author Ferrari, Renata
McKinnon, David
He, Hu
Smith, Ryan
Corke, Peter
Gonzalez-Rivero, Manuel
Mumby, Peter J.
Upcroft, Ben
Title Quantifying multiscale habitat structural complexity: a cost-effective framework for underwater 3D modelling
Journal name Remote Sensing   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 2072-4292
Publication date 2016-01-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.3390/rs8020113
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 8
Issue 2
Start page 113.1
End page 113.21
Total pages 21
Place of publication Basel, Switzerland
Publisher M D P I AG
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Coral reef habitat structural complexity influences key ecological processes, ecosystem biodiversity, and resilience. Measuring structural complexity underwater is not trivial and researchers have been searching for accurate and cost-effective methods that can be applied across spatial extents for over 50 years. This study integrated a set of existing multi-view, image-processing algorithms, to accurately compute metrics of structural complexity (e.g., ratio of surface to planar area) underwater solely from images. This framework resulted in accurate, high-speed 3D habitat reconstructions at scales ranging from small corals to reef-scapes (10s km2). Structural complexity was accurately quantified from both contemporary and historical image datasets across three spatial scales: (i) branching coral colony (Acropora spp.); (ii) reef area (400 m2); and (iii) reef transect (2 km). At small scales, our method delivered models with <1 mm error over 90% of the surface area, while the accuracy at transect scale was 85.3% ± 6% (CI). Advantages are: no need for an a priori requirement for image size or resolution, no invasive techniques, cost-effectiveness, and utilization of existing imagery taken from off-the-shelf cameras (both monocular or stereo). This remote sensing method can be integrated to reef monitoring and improve our knowledge of key aspects of coral reef dynamics, from reef accretion to habitat provisioning and productivity, by measuring and up-scaling estimates of structural complexity.
Keyword Surface rugosity
Computer vision
Structure from motion
Coral reefs
Topographic maps
Habitat structural complexity
Surface area
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Global Change Institute Publications
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School of Biological Sciences Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 6 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Mon, 22 Feb 2016, 19:06:26 EST by Manuel Gonzalez Rivero on behalf of Global Change Institute