Habitat characterization of the Tortugas Ecological Reserve south using photographic and quadrat methods.

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Frequently anticipated questions:


What does this data set describe?

Title:
Habitat characterization of the Tortugas Ecological Reserve south using photographic and quadrat methods.
Abstract:
We supply habitat characterization data along a single randomly oriented transect at each of 16 sampling stations in the Tortugas South Ecological Reserve. This information is collected from multiple stations on an intermittent or biennial basis.
  1. How should this data set be cited?

    Department of Commerce(DOC), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration(NOAA), National Marine Fisheries Service(NMFS), Southeast Fisheries Science Center(SEFSC), Unpublished material, Habitat characterization of the Tortugas Ecological Reserve south using photographic and quadrat methods.: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration(NOAA), National Marine Fisheries Service(NMFS), Southeast Fisheries Science Center(SEFSC), Center for Coastal Fisheries and Habitat Research (CCFHR), Beaufort, NC.

    Online Links:

  2. What geographic area does the data set cover?

    West_Bounding_Coordinate: -83.15
    East_Bounding_Coordinate: -82.95
    North_Bounding_Coordinate: 24.7
    South_Bounding_Coordinate: 24.4833

  3. What does it look like?

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

    Beginning_Date: 2007
    Ending_Date: Present
    Currentness_Reference: ground condition

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

  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?

      Horizontal positions are specified in geographic coordinates, that is, latitude and longitude. Latitudes are given to the nearest 0.0001. Longitudes are given to the nearest 0.0001. Latitude and longitude values are specified in Decimal Degrees.

  7. How does the data set describe geographic features?

    Entity_and_Attribute_Overview:
    Logistic information - diver name, dive buddy, date, time of survey, station code, transect bearing, visibility, temperature
    Entity_and_Attribute_Detail_Citation: NOAA/NMFS/SEFSC/CCFHR


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?

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

    Michael Burton
    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration(NOAA), National Marine Fisheries Service(NMFS), Southeast Fisheries Science Center(SEFSC), Center for Coastal Fisheries and Habitat Research (CCFHR)
    101 Piver Island Road
    Beaufort, North Carolina 28516

    252-728-8756 (voice)

    Hours_of_Service: Monday-Friday 8:00am-5:00pm EST


Why was the data set created?

Collection of habitat type data for the characterization of habitat within marine protected areas and spawning aggregation sites in the Tortugas Ecological Reserves


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: Not complete (process 1 of 1)
    Once in the field, the boat captain navigates to previously selected station locations using a GPS. On-site, divers are deployed on the exact station GPS numbers and maintain contact with each other throughout the entire dive. Upon arrival at the bottom, one diver is responsible for swimming out the 30 m transect tape along a predetermined random compass heading obtained from a data sheet.

    From 2007-2009, the procedure used was photographic transects done in the following manner: As this diver swims out the tape, the second diver takes photographs of the bottom around the tape, approximately 0.5m above the seafloor, with a digital camera in an underwater housing. The photographs are taken every 5 m along the tape (i.e., at 0, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 m. When the first diver who swims out the tape gets to the end of the 30 m distance, he lays down the tape and swims back to the photographer and stays with him/her, as called for by the diver buddy system. Once the photographic transect is finished, diver #1 reels the tape back in, taking the two divers back to their starting point. Only one photographic transect is done per station. Images were analyzed later by determining the percentage of total area that belonged to each of four functional habitat types: coral, octocoral, sponge and macroalgae.

    In 2011, the procedure was changed from photographic transects to a quadrat characterization approach, completed as follows: Diver #1 swam out a 30 m transect tape as was done in previous years. Diver #2 followed behind, deploying a 0.25 m2 quadrat beside the transect tape at 0, 10, 20, and 30 m along the length of the tape. Total percent cover of abiotic substrate, defined as sand, hardbottom and rubble, was estimated within each quadrat. Biotic cover was estimated within four general functional habitat groups: coral, octocoral, sponge and macroalgae. Abiotic cover within each quadrat always totaled 100%, as the underlying substrate was quantified. Biotic cover did not necessarily total 100%, as there were often regions of uncolonized substrate. As time permitted, divers also recorded the dominant species within each quadrat to the finest taxonomic level.

    The habitat is never altered in any manner by lifting or moving structure, and the photographer made every effort in the early years to include the measuring tape in the photograph, as it is an aid to estimating the amount of total area in the image. Sometimes it is necessary for the photographer to turn the tape over so that the measuring marks appear in the photograph.

    On-site, no attempt to avoid structural features within a habitat such as a sand patch or large coral head should be made as these are real component of the habitats. The only instance when the transect should deviate from the designated path is to stay above 130 ft (limitations imposed by diving). The typical photographic transect should take only approximately 15 minutes regardless of habitat type, and the typical quadrat transect should take approximately 20 minutes.

  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?

    This data consists of habitat characterization surveys conducted in the offshore marine habitats of the Tortugas South Ecological Reserve of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary annually from 2007-2009, and again in 2011. Original station selections were made based on gross habitat characterizations made from echosounders/fathometers aboard a NOAA research vessel. Additional stations were added using knowledge and observations provided by local experienced fishermen used in the project

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

    Not applicable


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: None

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

    Michael Burton
    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration(NOAA), National Marine Fisheries Service(NMFS), Southeast Fisheries Science Center(SEFSC), Center for Coastal Fisheries and Habitat Research (CCFHR)
    101 Piver Island Road
    Beaufort, North Carolina 28516

    252-728-8756 (voice)

    Hours_of_Service: Monday-Friday 8:00am-5:00pm EST
  2. What's the catalog number I need to order this data set?

    Offline Data

  3. What legal disclaimers am I supposed to read?

    These data were prepared by an agency of the United States Government. Neither the United States Government nor any agency thereof, nor any of their employees, make any warranty, expressed or implied, or assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product, or process disclosed, or represents that its use would not infringe privately owned rights. Reference therein to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the United States Government or any agency thereof. Any views and opinions expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of the United States Government or any agency thereof. Although all data have been used by NOAA, no warranty, expressed or implied, is made by NOAA as to the accuracy of the data and/or related materials. The act of distribution shall not constitute any such warranty, and no responsibility is assumed by NOAA in the use of these data or related materials.NOAA makes no warranty regarding these data, expressed or implied, nor does the fact of distribution constitute such a warranty. NOAA can not assume liability for and 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: 20-Dec-2012
Last Reviewed: 18-Jun-2012
Metadata author:
Erik Ebert
Center for Coastal Fisheries and Habitat Research(CCFHR)
101 Pivers Island Rd.
Beaufort, North Carolina 28516

(252)728-3595 (voice)

Metadata standard:
FGDC Content Standard for Digital Geospatial Metadata (FGDC-STD-001-1998)


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