Hierarchical methods and sampling design for conservation monitoring of tropical marine hard bottom communities

Kathleen Sealey, M. Chiappone

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

8 Scopus citations


Two low-relief sponge/octocoral communities were selected from natural colour photography to gain a broader perspective on spatial variability in the benthic community structure of similar community types. Changes in benthic spatial patterning were studied using 1) substrata and lifeform coverage characterization; 2) species inventories; 3) belt quadrat measurements of taxa-level (algae, sponges, octocorals and stony corals) density, area coverage and size; and 4) belt quadrat measurements of species-level density, area coverage and area per individual or colony. A sampling hierarchy of multiple parameters was utilized to detect changes in benthic community divesity. Substrata and lifeform characterizations (at the taxa-versus species-level) were the least sensitive and serve as indicators of catastrophic change in community structure. Changes in spatial patterning of the benthos that may be attributed to low-level, chronic anthropogenic disturbances can be best studied utilizing belt quadrat measurements. -from Authors

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAquatic Conservation
Number of pages19
StatePublished - Dec 1 1993
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)
  • Environmental Science(all)

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