National Coral Reef Monitoring Program: Benthic cover derived from analysis of images collected during stratified random surveys (StRS) across the Pacific Remote Island Areas

The benthic cover data in this collection result from the analysis of images produced by benthic photo-quadrat surveys. These surveys were conducted along transects at stratified random sites across the Pacific Remote Island Areas since 2014 as a part of the ongoing National Coral Reef Monitoring Program's (NCRMP) Rapid Ecological Assessment (REA) surveys for corals and fish. Benthic cover data and the associated images are both included in this collection.

A stratified random sampling (StRS) design was employed to survey the coral reef ecosystems throughout the U.S. Pacific regions. The survey domain encompassed the majority of the mapped area of reef and hard bottom habitats in the 0-30 m depth range. The stratification scheme included island, reef zone, and depth. Sampling effort was allocated based on strata area and sites were randomly located within strata. Sites were surveyed using photo-quadrats along transects to collect benthic imagery to ultimately produce estimates of relative abundance (percent cover), frequency of occurrence, benthic community taxonomic composition and relative generic richness.

Benthic habitat imagery were quantitatively analyzed using Coral Point Count with Excel extensions (CPCe; Kohler and Gill, 2006) software in 2014 and a web-based annotation tool called CoralNet (Beijbom et al. 2015) thereafter. In general, images were analyzed to produce three functional group levels of benthic cover: Tier 1 (e.g., hard coral, soft coral, macroalgae, turf algae, etc.), Tier 2 (e.g., Hard Coral = massive, branching, foliose, encrusting, etc.; Macroalgae = upright macroalgae, encrusting macroalgae, bluegreen macroalgae, and Halimeda, etc.), and Tier 3 (e.g., Hard Coral = Astreopora sp, Favia sp, Pocillopora, etc.; Macroalgae = Caulerpa sp, Dictyosphaeria sp, Padina sp, etc.).

Data and Resources

Additional Info

Field Value
Last Updated December 29, 2019, 19:21
Created October 24, 2018, 02:31
access_constraints ["Cite as: NOAA Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center, Ecosystem Sciences Division (2018). National Coral Reef Monitoring Program: Benthic cover derived from analysis of images collected during stratified random surveys (StRS) across the Pacific Remote Island Areas. [indicate subset used]. NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information. Dataset. Accessed [date].", "Use liability: NOAA and NCEI cannot provide any warranty as to the accuracy, reliability, or completeness of furnished data. Users assume responsibility to determine the usability of these data. The user is responsible for the results of any application of this data for other than its intended purpose."]
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