Influence of coral cover and structural complexity on the accuracy of visual surveys of coral-reef fish communities

Type
Article

Authors
Coker, Darren James
Nowicki, J. P.
Graham, N. A. J.

KAUST Department
Biological and Environmental Sciences and Engineering (BESE) Division
Red Sea Research Center (RSRC)

Online Publication Date
2017-04-19

Print Publication Date
2017-06

Date
2017-04-19

Abstract
Using 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.

Citation
Coker 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.

Acknowledgements
We 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

Publisher
Wiley

Journal
Journal of Fish Biology

DOI
10.1111/jfb.13298

Additional Links
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jfb.13298/full

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