Benthic habitat mapping in the Tortugas Region, Florida

Erik C. Franklin, Jerald S Ault, Steven G. Smith, Jiangang Luo, Geoffrey A. Meester, Guillermo A. Diaz, Mark Chiappone, Dione W. Swanson, Steven L. Miller, James A. Bohnsack

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

35 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Concern about declining trends in coral reef habitats and reef fish stocks in the Florida Keys contributed to the implementation of a network of no-take marine protected areas in 1997. In support of the efforts of the Dry Tortugas National Park and Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary to implement additional no-take areas in the Tortugas region in 2001, we expanded the scale of our fisheries independent monitoring program for coral reef fishes in the region. To provide a foundation for the habitat-based, stratified random sampling design of the program, we created a digital benthic habitat map of coral reef and hard-bottom habitats in a geographic information system by synthesizing data from bathymetric surveys, side-scan sonar imagery, aerial photogrammetry, existing habitat maps, and in situ visual surveys. Existing habitat maps prior to 1999 were limited to shallow-water ( < 20 m depth) soft-sediment, coral reef, and hard-bottom habitats within Dry Tortugas National Park and did not include deeper areas such as the Tortugas Bank, now partially contained within no-take marine protected area boundaries. From diver observations made during the 1999 survey, we developed a classification scheme based on habitat relief and patchiness to describe nine hard-bottom and coral reef habitats encountered from 1-33 m depth. We provide estimates of area by habitat type for no-take marine protected areas in the Tortugas region. Updated information on the spatial distribution and characteristics of benthic habitats will be used to guide future monitoring, assessment, and management activities in the region. Significant data gaps still exist for the western area of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and are a priority for future research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-34
Number of pages16
JournalMarine Geodesy
Volume26
Issue number1-2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2003

Fingerprint

habitat
coral reef
protected area
national park
sonar imagery
bathymetric survey
sidescan sonar
patchiness
monitoring
photogrammetry
habitat type
reef
relief
shallow water
fishery
spatial distribution
sampling
fish
sediment
programme

Keywords

  • Coral reefs
  • Dry Tortugas National Park
  • Essential fish habitat
  • Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary
  • Geographic information systems
  • Marine protected areas

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography

Cite this

Franklin, E. C., Ault, J. S., Smith, S. G., Luo, J., Meester, G. A., Diaz, G. A., ... Bohnsack, J. A. (2003). Benthic habitat mapping in the Tortugas Region, Florida. Marine Geodesy, 26(1-2), 19-34. https://doi.org/10.1080/01490410306706

Benthic habitat mapping in the Tortugas Region, Florida. / Franklin, Erik C.; Ault, Jerald S; Smith, Steven G.; Luo, Jiangang; Meester, Geoffrey A.; Diaz, Guillermo A.; Chiappone, Mark; Swanson, Dione W.; Miller, Steven L.; Bohnsack, James A.

In: Marine Geodesy, Vol. 26, No. 1-2, 01.01.2003, p. 19-34.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Franklin, EC, Ault, JS, Smith, SG, Luo, J, Meester, GA, Diaz, GA, Chiappone, M, Swanson, DW, Miller, SL & Bohnsack, JA 2003, 'Benthic habitat mapping in the Tortugas Region, Florida', Marine Geodesy, vol. 26, no. 1-2, pp. 19-34. https://doi.org/10.1080/01490410306706
Franklin EC, Ault JS, Smith SG, Luo J, Meester GA, Diaz GA et al. Benthic habitat mapping in the Tortugas Region, Florida. Marine Geodesy. 2003 Jan 1;26(1-2):19-34. https://doi.org/10.1080/01490410306706
Franklin, Erik C. ; Ault, Jerald S ; Smith, Steven G. ; Luo, Jiangang ; Meester, Geoffrey A. ; Diaz, Guillermo A. ; Chiappone, Mark ; Swanson, Dione W. ; Miller, Steven L. ; Bohnsack, James A. / Benthic habitat mapping in the Tortugas Region, Florida. In: Marine Geodesy. 2003 ; Vol. 26, No. 1-2. pp. 19-34.
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