Historic Inventory of Acropora Around Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands

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Frequently anticipated questions:


What does this data set describe?

Title:
Historic Inventory of Acropora Around Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands
Abstract:
Atlantic acroporid corals were listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) of 1973 on May 9, 2006, and a 4(d) rule was final on October 29, 2008, applying all Section 9 prohibitions of the ESA for the protection of elkhorn and staghorn corals with some limited exceptions, such as for emergency restoration. The Center for Biological Diversity petitioned the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to list an additional 83 species of corals, 8 of which occur in the Atlantic and Caribbean, under the ESA on October 20, 2009. NMFS completed a 90-day finding and determined that a status review was merited for 7 of the 8 species occurring in the Atlantic and Caribbean. In order to address a priority in the draft Recovery Plan for threatened elkhorn and staghorn corals; specifically, to compile a historic inventory of the presence and distribution of elkhorn and staghorn corals throughout their range in Florida, Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI), NMFS submitted a proposal to the NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program (CRCP). The project also addresses a priority identified by managers in Puerto Rico and USVI that was expressed as part of the CREIOS meeting held in Puerto Rico in May 2009. The information will support recovery priorities for Atlantic acroporid corals such as reducing potential fishing, recreational, and coastal development impacts to these corals. In addition to data on Atlantic acroporid coral presence, data on the seven species of corals undergoing a status review will also be compiled. These data will be useful in the listing decision, as well as for any rule-making or recovery actions should some or all of these species be listed. The proposal was funded by CRCP and NMFS contracted GEOS Environmental, Inc. following a bidding process. The database was generated from a search of scientific studies, development projects, agency reports, and other information to obtain data on historic presence of Atlantic acroporid corals around Puerto Rico and USVI. A separate database was also created from the results of interviews with divers in Puerto Rico and USVI.

The project benefits listed corals by providing a historic inventory of where these corals were found in the past to guide recovery planning efforts toward better defining critical habitat areas and priority sites for recovery. In addition, the project will benefit USVI and Puerto Rico management actions to restrict coastal development in areas identified as priorities for recovery, including restrictions on in-water construction and impacts such as sediment transport. The data will also provide useful for siting of monitoring activities and the establishment of regulatory or management initiatives.

  1. How should this data set be cited?

    GEOS Environmental, Inc., 20111109, Historic Inventory of Acropora Around Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands: GEOS Environmental, Inc., Tampa, FL.

    Other_Citation_Details:
    Database includes review and data for seven other coral species that were undergoing a status review at the time of the project.

  2. What geographic area does the data set cover?

    West_Bounding_Coordinate: -67.98
    East_Bounding_Coordinate: -64.04
    North_Bounding_Coordinate: 18.51
    South_Bounding_Coordinate: 17.27
    Description_of_Geographic_Extent:
    Waters of the Territorial and Commonwealth seas around Puerto Rico and USVI

  3. What does it look like?

  4. Does the data set describe conditions during a particular time period?

    Beginning_Date: 13-Dec-1965
    Ending_Date: 28-Mar-2011
    Currentness_Reference: ground condition

  5. What is the general form of this data set?

    Geospatial_Data_Presentation_Form: database spreadsheets (Microsoft Excel)

  6. How does the data set represent geographic features?

    1. How are geographic features stored in the data set?

    2. What coordinate system is used to represent geographic features?

  7. How does the data set describe geographic features?


Who produced the data set?

  1. Who are the originators of the data set? (may include formal authors, digital compilers, and editors)

  2. Who also contributed to the data set?

    Joseph Fuhr (GEOS Environmental, Inc.), Dr. Lisamarie Carrubba (NMFS)

  3. To whom should users address questions about the data?

    Joseph Fuhr
    GEOS Environmental, Inc.
    Principal
    13014 N. Dale Mabry, #117
    Tampa, Florida 33618
    USA

    813-523-5408 (voice)
    813-969-1754 (FAX)
    jfuhr@geosenvironmental.com

    Hours_of_Service: Standard office hours (9 am - 5 pm EST)
    Contact_Instructions: Phone/mail/FAX/e-mail


Why was the data set created?

To compile a historic inventory of the presence of Atlantic acroporid and 7 other corals around Puerto Rico and USVI.


How was the data set created?

  1. From what previous works were the data drawn?

  2. How were the data generated, processed, and modified?

    Date: 09-Nov-2011 (process 1 of 2)
    Literature Search - A variety of sources of information on the presence of elkhorn and staghorn corals and the other 7 coral species around Puerto Rico and USVI were examined. Literature consulted included an annotated bibliography entitled, "Bibliography of Coral Reef and Coralline Communities in Puerto Rico" that was completed in November 2005 for the NMFS Caribbean Field Office, published papers in the open scientific literature and in the reference library of the NMFS Caribbean Field Office, collection and other scientific research permits available for studies in Puerto Rico through the Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources (DNER), DNER reports from internal research projects, unpublished reports for environmental studies that were part of water resources permit applications in Puerto Rico and USVI available through NMFS and the Virgin Islands Department of Planning and Natural Resources, and theses and other data from the University of Puerto Rico and the University of the Virgin Islands, U.S. Geological Survey Caribbean Field Station files. The complete title of all references consulted (with the exception of the diver interviews) and the source where the reference was found are included in the data spreadsheet.

    Interviews - GEOS Environmental, Inc. conducted interviews with divers from dive shops around Puerto Rico and USVI. During the interviews, divers were asked to mark the approximate positions of reefs they frequented on printed. Interviewers recorded the coral species viewed at each location, as well as the approximate depth and coral condition. This information was then used to create a separate spreadsheet with data only from dive shop interviews.

    Data Analysis - All of the coral species of interest identified during the literature search were entered in a searchable database by location in order to track the distribution of coral species based on available data. The database created by GEOS Environmental, Inc. was converted to Microsoft Excel spreadsheets for use and distribution by NMFS. Two files were generated by GEOS Environmental, Inc. One contained all the literature review results in two worksheets: 1) MainMenu, with macros created by GEOS Environmental, Inc. to generate data tables based on location and/or coral species; and 2) ReportData, which contains the data compiled by GEOS Environmental, Inc. in the following columns: Region (location around each of the main islands), Location Name (Municipality or offshore island name for Puerto Rico, one of the three main islands for USVI), Reef Name, Reef or Colony Based (identifies whether reference targeted research on a reef or by coral colonies), Latitude DMS (degrees minutes seconds), Longitude DMS (degrees minutes seconds), LATD (latitude degrees), LATM (latitude minutes), LATS (latitude seconds), Latitude (calculated as decimal degrees from the degrees minutes seconds), LOND (longitude degrees), LONM (longitude minutes), LONS (longitude seconds), Longitude (calculated as decimal degrees from the degrees minutes seconds), Latitude DD (latitude in decimal degrees), Longitude DD (longitude in decimal degrees), LocDesc (notes with details on location description as well as any identified issues with location data from the reference), LocVer (identifies how the location data were verified using GPS in the field as noted in the reference, using Google Earth to map the approximate location based on maps in the reference, etc.), Boulder star coral (Montastraea annularis), Elkhorn coral (Acropora palmata), Elliptical star coral (Dichocoenia stokesii), Lamarcks sheet coral (Agaricia lamarcki), Mountainous star coral (Montastraea faveolata), Pillar coral (Dendrogyra cylindrus), Rough cactus coral (Mycetophyllia ferox), Staghorn coral (Acropora cervicornis), Undifferentiated coral 1 (Montastraea species undifferentiated), Undifferentiated coral 2 (Agaricia species undifferentiated), Corals (7 species) (identifies which of the 7 species of corals undergoing a status review were identified in the reference), Listed Corals (identifies which of the 2 listed corals were identified in the reference), Depth (identifies the depth at which the studies were completed, if included in the reference), Total Coverage per Transect (identifies the total coverage of each of the 9 coral species present, if available in the reference), Total % Coral Coverage (identifies the total percent cover by corals in the study area, if available in the reference for comparison to the coverage by one or more of the 9 species of interest), Condition (includes notes from the reference regarding the health and condition of the corals, if available), Diseases (lists whether and from what diseases the corals are suffering, if available in the reference), Source Title (full title of the reference), Source Author, Source Year (year of publication), Source Location (where the reference was found when doing the literature search), Source Type (whether reference is in hard copy or electronic format and, if electronic, type of file), Source Obtained (indicates whether or not GEOS Environmental, Inc. were able to obtain a copy of the reference), Source Review (indicates whether source document was reviewed or not), Survey Type (survey method used to collect data), Survey Year (year study reported on in reference was conducted), Contract (whether work was done under NOAA contract for USVI or for Puerto Rico), Notes (additional notes from the reference). The other file contains data from the dive shop interviews. The fields in the worksheet are Dive Shop (identifying which dive shop provided the data), Municipality (where divers visit particular reefs), Location (name of the reef visited by divers), Species (identification of which of the 9 coral species have been observed at the reef), Observation (qualitative observations of the condition of the corals by the divers), LATD (latitude degrees), LATM (latitude minutes), LATS (latitude seconds), Latitude (in decimal degrees), LOND (longitude degrees), LONM (longitude minutes, LONS (longitude seconds), and Longitude. Note that divers identified approximate reef locations on hard copy maps during interviews and GEOS Environmental, Inc. used Google Earth to generate approximate locations for sites in Puerto Rico.

    Person who carried out this activity:

    Joseph Fuhr
    GEOS Environmental, Inc.
    Principal
    13014 N. Dale Mabry, #117
    Tampa, Florida 33618
    USA

    813-523-5408 (voice)
    jfuhr@geosenvironmental.com

    Hours_of_Service: Standard office hours (9 am - 5 pm EST)
    Contact_Instructions: Phone/mail/e-mail
    Date: 31-Jan-2013 (process 2 of 2)
    NMFS created an additional worksheet in the historic coral inventory Excel spreadsheet named GIS_ReportData, which contains the same fields as ReportData with the exception of LocVer and Source Review, which were eliminated, and the additional fields of ID (generated from inputting the location data from ReportData, which was the original data spreadsheet prepared by GEOS Environmental, Inc., into ArcGIS and creating IDs for each data point). In addition, the locations in this worksheet were all verified using Google Earth to correct latitude and longitude values because the original GIS mapping indicated several outliers in the data that were found to be data entry errors. The Longitude and Latitude fields contain approximate locations for the data points taken from Google Earth and the Latitude DD and Longitude DD fields contain location data only if corrections were made to the data point. Users can identify which locations were corrected by referring to the Latitude DD and Longitude DD fields. Some entries were also eliminated that were found to be repeated or where the location of the study could not be determined from the reference. Corrections were also made to location names and reef names to ensure the point data will appear correctly in any GIS database. Users should select the GIS_ReportData tab in the historic coral inventory Excel file for all mapping. For the dive shop interview data file, NMFS added the ID field for use in GIS mapping. NMFS also verified the approximate locations for each site listed in the data file using Google Earth and many were corrected. NMFS also corrected the file to remove duplicate entries, add information from dive shops in Puerto Rico and USVI that were missing from the original file submitted by GEOS Environmental, Inc., and correct information regarding municipality names, location names (reefs), and latitude and longitude.

    Person who carried out this activity:

    Dr. Lisamarie Carrubba
    National Marine Fisheries Service
    Natural Resource Specialist
    Caribbean Field Office, P.O. Box 1310
    Boqueron, PR 00622
    USA

    787-851-3700 (voice)
    787-851-5588 (FAX)
    lisamarie.carrubba@noaa.gov

    Hours_of_Service: Standard office hours (9 am - 5 pm AST)
    Contact_Instructions: Phone/mail/FAX/e-mail
  3. What similar or related data should the user be aware of?


How reliable are the data; what problems remain in the data set?

  1. How well have the observations been checked?

  2. How accurate are the geographic locations?

  3. How accurate are the heights or depths?

  4. Where are the gaps in the data? What is missing?

    See process steps

  5. How consistent are the relationships among the observations, including topology?

    See process steps


How can someone get a copy of the data set?

Are there legal restrictions on access or use of the data?

Access_Constraints: None
Use_Constraints:
Dataset credit required. GEOS Environmental, Inc. should be acknowledged as the original creator of the dataset and NMFS should be acknowledged as editors of the dataset. The sources of the data are noted in the spreadsheet.

  1. Who distributes the data set? (Distributor 1 of 1)

    NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service
    Attn: Dr. Lisamarie Carrubba
    Natural Resource Specialist
    Caribbean Field Office, P.O. Box 1310
    Boqueron, PR 00622
    USA

    787-851-3700 (voice)
    787-851-5588 (FAX)
    lisamarie.carrubba@noaa.gov

    Hours_of_Service: Standard office hours (9 am - 5 pm AST)
    Contact_Instructions: Phone/mail/FAX/e-mail
  2. What's the catalog number I need to order this data set?

    Downloadable Data

  3. What legal disclaimers am I supposed to read?

    NOAA makes no warranty regarding these data, expressed or implied, nor does the fact of distribution constitute such a warranty. NOAA and NMFS cannot assume liability for any damages caused by any errors or omissions in these data, nor as a result of the failure of these data to function on a particular system.

  4. How can I download or order the data?


Who wrote the metadata?

Dates:
Last modified: 02-Apr-2013
Last Reviewed: 02-Apr-2013
Metadata author:
Dr. Lisamarie Carrubba
NOAA/NMFS
Natural Resource Specialist
Caribbean Field Office, P.O. Box 1310
Boqueron, PR 00622
USA

787-851-3700 (voice)
787-851-5588 (FAX)
lisamarie.carrubba@noaa.gov

Hours_of_Service: Standard office hours (9 am - 5 pm AST)
Contact_Instructions: Phone/mail/FAX/e-mail
Metadata standard:
FGDC Content Standards for Digital Geospatial Metadata (FGDC-STD-001.1-1999)


Generated by mp version 2.9.13 on Tue Aug 26 10:41:58 2014