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Predicting structural complexity of reefs and fish abundance using acoustic remote sensing (RoxAnn)
Bejarano, S.; Mumby, P.J.; Sotheran, I. (2011). Predicting structural complexity of reefs and fish abundance using acoustic remote sensing (RoxAnn). Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 158(3): 489-504.
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Bejarano, S.
  • Mumby, P.J.
  • Sotheran, I.

    This study determined whether the acoustic roughness of Caribbean reef habitats is an accurate proxy for their topographic complexity and a significant predictor of their fish abundance. Fish abundance was measured in 25 sites along the forereef of Glovers Atoll (Belize). At each site, in situ rugosity (ISR) was estimated using the “chain and tape” method, and acoustic roughness (E1) was acquired using RoxAnn. The relationships between E1 and ISR, and between both E1 and ISR and the abundance of 17 common species and the presence of 10 uncommon species were tested. E1 was a significant predictor of the topographic complexity (r 2 = 0.66), the abundance of 10 common species of surgeonfishes, pomacentrids, scarids, grunts and serranids and the presence of 4 uncommon species of pomacentrids and snappers. Small differences in E1 (i.e. ?0.05–0.07) reflected in subtle but significant differences in fish abundance (~1 individual 200 m-2 and 116 g 200 m-2) among sites. Although we required the use of IKONOS data to obtain a large number of echoes per site, future studies will be able to utilise RoxAnn data alone to detect spatial patterns in substrate complexity and fish abundance, provided that a minimum of 50 RoxAnn echoes are collected per site.

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