Shallow-Water Benthic Habitats of Northeast Puerto Rico and Culebra Island
This report describes the development and assessment of shallow-water (<35 m) benthic habitat maps for Northeast Puerto Rico and Culebra Island. The objective of this effort, conducted by NOAA's National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) in partnership with the Departamento de Recursos Naturales y Ambientales (DRNA), was to provide spatially-explicit information describing the benthic habitat types and live coral cover present in and around the Northeast Reserves, a region selected by local managers as a priority area. The habitat map, generated using a combination of semi-automated classification and visual interpretation techniques, represent the first digital maps that describe nearly 100% of the seafloor in the area. The effort also marks the first time a high resolution satellite mosaic representing the seafloor has been provided for the full extent of this location, as well as a multi-resolution depth model combining all available hydrographic data in the region.
This report consists of four primary components:
a description of the classification scheme used to categorize the different seafloor habitats;
a description of the techniques used to create the habitat maps;
an assessment of the habitat maps' thematic accuracies; and
a discussion and summary of the habitats in each area.
Kågesten, G., Sautter, W., Edwards, K., Costa, B., Kracker, L., Battista, T. (2015). Shallow-Water Benthic Habitats of Northeast Puerto Rico and Culebra Island. NOAA Technical Memorandum NOS NCCOS 200. Silver Spring, MD. 112 pp.
Appearing as solitary forms in the fossil record more than 400 million years ago, corals are extremely ancient animals that evolved into modern reef-building forms over the last 25 million years. Continue Reading →
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