Ecological monitoring on the flower garden banks: Study design and field methods

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Ecological monitoring on the flower garden banks: Study design and field methods

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Title: Ecological monitoring on the flower garden banks: Study design and field methods
Author: Gittings, SR; Deslarzes, KJP; Holland, BS; Boland, GS
Abstract: A long-term ecological monitoring program is being conducted at the East and west Flower Garden Banks, in the northwestern Gulf of Mexico. Sampling takes place semi-annually. Three of six scheduled cruises over a three-year initial study period have been completed. There are 100m2 monitoring sites on reefs on the two banks. Each site has 120 permanent, repetitive photographic stations for monitoring the encrusting growth of two dominant coral species, 40posts to mark8m2 repetitively photographed stations for studying individual coral colonies, and 30 stations to measure accretionary coral growth. All stations are located by divers using underwater site maps and sampled using underwater photography or by direct measurement. Also, during each sampling effort, twenty 10m stratified random transects are photographed at each site and two repetitive 100 m transects are videotaped. Data will be used to assess: 1) coral population levels; 2) temporal variability in coral covet; coral growth, relative abundance, relative dominance, diversity and evenness; and 3) periodic changes in macrophytic algae cover (e.g., blooms) and abundance of other conspicuous associated organisms.
Description: American Academy of Underwater Sciences (http://www.aaus.org/)
URI: http://archive.rubicon-foundation.org/9549
Date: 1990

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