Influence of coral cover and structural complexity on the accuracy of visual surveys of coral-reef fish communities
KAUST DepartmentBiological and Environmental Sciences and Engineering (BESE) Division
Red Sea Research Center (RSRC)
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AbstractUsing manipulated patch reefs with combinations of varying live-coral cover (low, medium and high) and structural complexity (low and high), common community metrics (abundance, diversity, richness and community composition) collected through standard underwater visual census techniques were compared with exhaustive collections using a fish anaesthetic (clove oil). This study showed that reef condition did not influence underwater visual census estimates at a community level, but reef condition can influence the detectability of some small and cryptic species and this may be exacerbated if surveys are conducted on a larger scale.
CitationCoker DJ, Nowicki JP, Graham NAJ (2017) Influence of coral cover and structural complexity on the accuracy of visual surveys of coral-reef fish communities. Journal of Fish Biology. Available: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jfb.13298.
SponsorsWe thank N. Coker for her assistance in the field and logistical support from Lizard Island Research Station staff. We also acknowledge all the fishes that were sacrificed for science. This study was part of a project funded by an ARC Australian Postdoctoral Fellowship to N.A.J.G. This study was completed in accordance with the JCU animal ethics board under permit number A1682
JournalJournal of Fish Biology