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Short Citation:
National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, 2022: St. John, USVI benthic habitat assessment and monitoring data (2001 - Present) using Rapid Habitat Assessment (RHA) survey methodology: 2011, https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/inport/item/39577.

Item Identification

Title: St. John, USVI benthic habitat assessment and monitoring data (2001 - Present) using Rapid Habitat Assessment (RHA) survey methodology: 2011
Short Name: stj_rha_metadata_1211
Status: In Work
Publication Date: 2011-12-19
Abstract:

This fish and benthic composition database is the result of a multifaceted effort described below. The intent of this work is five fold: 1) To spatially characterize and monitor the distribution, abundance, and size of both reef fishes and macro-invertebrates (conch, lobster, Diadema); 2) To relate this information to in-situ data collected on associated benthic composition parameters; 3) To use this information to establish the knowledge base necessary for enacting management decisions in a spatial setting; 4) To establish the efficacy of those management decisions; and 5) To work with the National Coral Reef Monitoring Program to develop data collection standards and easily implemented methodologies for transference to other agencies and to work toward standardizing data collection throughout the US states and territories. Toward this end, the Center for Coastal Monitoring and Assessment's Biogeography Branch (BB) has been conducting research in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands since 2000 and 2001, respectively. It is critical, with recent changes in management at both locations (e.g. implementation of MPAs) as well as proposed changes (e.g. zoning to manage multiple human uses) that action is taken now to accurately describe and characterize the fish/macro-invertebrate populations in these areas. It is also important that BB work closely with the individuals responsible for recommending and implementing these management strategies. Recognizing this, BB has been collaborating with partners at the University of Puerto Rico, National Park Service, US Geological Survey and the Virgin Islands Department of Planning and Natural Resources. To quantify patterns of spatial distribution and make meaningful interpretations, we must first have knowledge of the underlying variables determining species distribution. The basis for this work therefore, is the nearshore benthic habitats maps (less than 100 ft depth) created by NOAA's Biogeography Program in 2001 and NOS' bathymetry models. Using ArcView GIS software, the digitized habitat maps are stratified to select sampling stations. Sites are randomly selected within these strata to ensure coverage of the entire study region and not just a particular reef or seagrass area. At each site, fish, macro-invertebrates, and benthic composition information is then quantified following standardized protocols. By relating the data collected in the field back to the habitat maps and bathymetric models, BB is able to model and map species level and community level information. These protocols are standardized throughout the US Caribbean to enable quantification and comparison of reef fish abundance and distribution trends between locations. Armed with the knowledge of where "hot spots" of species richness and diversity are likely to occur in the seascape, the BB is in a unique position to answer questions about the efficacy of marine zoning strategies (e.g. placement of no fishing, anchoring, or snorkeling locations), and what locations are most suitable for establishing MPAs. Knowledge of the current status of fish/macro-invertebrate communities coupled with longer term monitoring will enable evaluation of management efficacy, thus it is essential to future management actions.

Purpose:

1) To spatially characterize and monitor the distribution, abundance, and size of both reef fishes and macro-invertebrates (conch, lobster, Diadema); 2) To relate this information to in-situ data collected on associated benthic composition parameters; 3) To use this information to establish the knowledge base necessary for enacting management decisions in a spatial setting; 4) To establish the efficacy of those management decisions; and 5) To work with the National Coral Reef Monitoring Program to develop data collection standards and easily implemented methodologies for transference to other agencies and to work toward standardizing data collection throughout the US states and territories.

Notes:

869

Supplemental Information:

This work is being conducted in collaboration with the National Park Service, US Geological Survey, and the Virgin Islands Department of Planning and Natural Resources.

Keywords

Theme Keywords

Thesaurus Keyword
UNCONTROLLED
CoRIS Discovery Thesaurus Numeric Data Sets > Benthic
CoRIS Theme Thesaurus EARTH SCIENCE > Biosphere > Aquatic Habitat > Benthic Habitat
CoRIS Theme Thesaurus EARTH SCIENCE > Biosphere > Aquatic Habitat > Reef Habitat > Description
CoRIS Theme Thesaurus EARTH SCIENCE > Biosphere > Vegetation > Algae > Algal cover
CoRIS Theme Thesaurus EARTH SCIENCE > Biosphere > Vegetation > Algae > Calcareous macroalgae
CoRIS Theme Thesaurus EARTH SCIENCE > Biosphere > Vegetation > Algae > Coralline algae
CoRIS Theme Thesaurus EARTH SCIENCE > Biosphere > Vegetation > Algae > Crustose coralline algae
CoRIS Theme Thesaurus EARTH SCIENCE > Biosphere > Vegetation > Algae > Encrusting macroalgae
CoRIS Theme Thesaurus EARTH SCIENCE > Biosphere > Vegetation > Algae > Fleshy macroalgae
CoRIS Theme Thesaurus EARTH SCIENCE > Biosphere > Vegetation > Algae > Turf algae
CoRIS Theme Thesaurus EARTH SCIENCE > Biosphere > Zoology > Corals > Reef monitoring and assessment
CoRIS Theme Thesaurus EARTH SCIENCE > Biosphere > Zoology > Corals > Reef monitoring and assessment > Baseline studies
CoRIS Theme Thesaurus EARTH SCIENCE > Biosphere > Zoology > Corals > Reef monitoring and assessment > Benthos analysis
CoRIS Theme Thesaurus EARTH SCIENCE > Biosphere > Zoology > Corals > Reef monitoring and assessment > In situ biological
CoRIS Theme Thesaurus EARTH SCIENCE > Biosphere > Zoology > Corals > Reef monitoring and assessment > Rapid assessment studies
CoRIS Theme Thesaurus EARTH SCIENCE > Biosphere > Zoology > Sponges
CoRIS Theme Thesaurus EARTH SCIENCE > Biosphere > Zoology > Sponges > Boring
CoRIS Theme Thesaurus EARTH SCIENCE > Biosphere > Zoology > Sponges > Encrusting
CoRIS Theme Thesaurus EARTH SCIENCE > Biosphere > Zoology > Sponges > Erect
CoRIS Theme Thesaurus EARTH SCIENCE > Oceans > Coastal Processes > Coral Reefs
CoRIS Theme Thesaurus EARTH SCIENCE > Oceans > Coastal Processes > Coral Reefs > Coral Reef Ecology > BioDiversity
CoRIS Theme Thesaurus EARTH SCIENCE > Oceans > Coastal Processes > Coral Reefs > Coral Reef Ecology > Coral cover
CoRIS Theme Thesaurus EARTH SCIENCE > Oceans > Coastal Processes > Coral Reefs > Coral Reef Ecology > Habitats
CoRIS Theme Thesaurus EARTH SCIENCE > Oceans > Coastal Processes > Coral Reefs > Coral Reef Ecology > Hard coral cover
CoRIS Theme Thesaurus EARTH SCIENCE > Oceans > Coastal Processes > Coral Reefs > Coral Reef Ecology > Hard coral cover Live percentage
CoRIS Theme Thesaurus EARTH SCIENCE > Oceans > Coastal Processes > Coral Reefs > Coral Reef Ecology > Octocoral cover
CoRIS Theme Thesaurus EARTH SCIENCE > Oceans > Coastal Processes > Coral Reefs > Coral Reef Ecology > Rugosity
CoRIS Theme Thesaurus EARTH SCIENCE > Oceans > Marine Biology > Marine Invertebrates > Census > Population density
CoRIS Theme Thesaurus EARTH SCIENCE > Oceans > Marine Biology > Marine Invertebrates > Macroinvertebrates
ISO 19115 Topic Category 002
ISO 19115 Topic Category 007
ISO 19115 Topic Category 014
ISO 19115 Topic Category biota
ISO 19115 Topic Category environment
ISO 19115 Topic Category oceans
NOS Data Explorer Topic Category Environmental Monitoring
None Benthic Habitat Composition
None Coral Bleaching Visual Images
None Gorgonian Visual Images
None Macroalgae Visual Images
None Sponges Visual Images

Spatial Keywords

Thesaurus Keyword
UNCONTROLLED
CoRIS Place Thesaurus COUNTRY/TERRITORY > United States of America > U. S. Virgin Islands > St. John > St. John (18N064W0011)
CoRIS Place Thesaurus OCEAN BASIN > Atlantic Ocean > Caribbean Sea > Virgin Islands > Virgin Islands > St. John (18N064W0011)

Physical Location

Organization: National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science
City: Silver Spring
State/Province: MD

Data Set Information

Data Set Scope Code: Data Set
Maintenance Frequency: Annually
Entity Attribute Overview:

We supply percent cover composition of benthic communities. This information is collected across all nearshore habitat types. In addition, we provide photographs of many of the taxa. For specific information please see the data dictionary available on the database website.

Entity Attribute Detail Citation:

NOAA/NOS/NCCOS/CCMA/Biogeography Branch

Distribution Liability:

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.

Data Set Credit: This is a cooperative effort between NOAA's Biogeography Branch, the National Park Service, and the Virgin Islands Department of Planning and Natural Resources.

Support Roles

Data Steward

CC ID: 475715
Date Effective From: 2011-12-19
Date Effective To:
Contact (Position): NCCOS Scientific Data Coordinator
Email Address: NCCOS.data@noaa.gov

Distributor

CC ID: 475717
Date Effective From: 2011-12-19
Date Effective To:
Contact (Position): NCCOS Scientific Data Coordinator
Email Address: NCCOS.data@noaa.gov

Metadata Contact

CC ID: 475718
Date Effective From: 2011-12-19
Date Effective To:
Contact (Position): NCCOS Scientific Data Coordinator
Email Address: NCCOS.data@noaa.gov

Point of Contact

CC ID: 475716
Date Effective From: 2011-12-19
Date Effective To:
Contact (Position): NCCOS Scientific Data Coordinator
Email Address: NCCOS.data@noaa.gov

Principal Investigator

CC ID: 475719
Date Effective From: 2011-12-19
Date Effective To:
Contact (Person): Jeffrey, Chris
Email Address: chris.jeffrey@noaa.gov

Extents

Currentness Reference: Ground Condition

Extent Group 1

Extent Group 1 / Geographic Area 1

CC ID: 475722
W° Bound: -64.84
E° Bound: -64.66
N° Bound: 18.38
S° Bound: 18.23

Extent Group 1 / Time Frame 1

CC ID: 475721
Time Frame Type: Continuing
Start: 2001-07

Access Information

Security Class: Unclassified
Data Access Constraints:

None

Data Use Constraints:

Please reference NOAA/NOS/NCCOS/CCMA/Biogeography Branch when utilizing these data in a report or peer reviewed publication. Additionally, knowledge of how this dataset has been of use and which organizations are utilizing it is of great benefit for ensuring this information continues to meet the needs of the management and research communities. Therefore, it is requested but not mandatory, that any user of this data supply this information to the Program Manager: Kimberly Roberson (email: Kimberly.roberson@noaa.gov).

Distribution Information

Distribution 1

CC ID: 475724
Download URL: http://www8.nos.noaa.gov/biogeo_public/habitat_photos.aspx
Distributor:
Description:

Downloadable data

File Type: .jpg

Distribution 2

CC ID: 475723
Download URL: http://www8.nos.noaa.gov/bpdmWeb/queryMain.aspx
Distributor:
Description:

Downloadable data

File Type: tab delimited text file

URLs

URL 1

CC ID: 475712
URL: http://www8.nos.noaa.gov/bpdmWeb/queryMain.aspx
URL Type:
Online Resource

URL 2

CC ID: 475713
URL: http://www8.nos.noaa.gov/biogeo_public/reef_photos.aspx
URL Type:
Online Resource

URL 3

CC ID: 475714
URL: http://ccma.nos.noaa.gov/ecosystems/coralreef/reef_fish/
URL Type:
Online Resource

Activity Log

Activity Log 1

CC ID: 475770
Activity Date/Time: 2014-08-07
Description:

Date that the source FGDC record was last modified.

Activity Log 2

CC ID: 475769
Activity Date/Time: 2017-04-05
Description:

Converted from Content Standard for Digital Geospatial Metadata (version FGDC-STD-001-1998) using 'fgdc_to_inport_xml.pl' script. Contact Tyler Christensen (NOS) for details.

Data Quality

Completeness Report:

These data consist of multiple fish community surveys across all nearshore marine habitats around St. John, US Virgin Islands. Sites were randomly selected and stratified across by habitat types using NOAA's benthic habitat maps of St. John, USVI.

Conceptual Consistency:

Not applicable

Lineage

Process Steps

Process Step 1

CC ID: 475710
Description:

There are two RHA data collection methods to be utilitzed at each RHA site: cylinder RHA and transect RHA. The modified habitat survey is utilized to characterize areas within and nearby the Virgin Islands Coral Reef National Monument (VICR) boundaries. The RHA survey has the advantage of reducing bottom time at greater depths (i.e., sites below 80 ft). Site selection begins by stratifying NOAA's nearshore benthic habitat maps into predetermined habitat strata and monument boundaries. ArcGIS is then employed to randomly select sites within the hardbottom strata inside and outside the VICR boundaries. Using a handheld GPS unit, the boat captain navigates to the previously selected sites. Once on site, the transect and RHA divers are deployed. Fish transect diver follows a random compass bearing and swims in a straight line, collecting data along the 25m x 4m transect (details above). The fish transect diver does not deviate from a straight line unless changes in depth make it dangerous to continue. In this case, the diver will maintain a safe depth while continuing to collect data in an area equal to a straight-line 25m x 4m (100m2) transect. The habitat diver collects data along the 25m x 4m belt transect in 5 rectangular segments, each measuring 5m long by 4m wide (same area as transect). Each segment should take a maximum of 4 minutes (4 min x 5 segments = 20 min), allowing the habitat diver to finish closely behind the fish transect diver - continuing to meet the physiological parameters of repeatedly diving at Mid Shelf Reef and deep Coral Bay sites. If data are collected in less than 4 minutes, then the habitat diver moves to the next segment. Data are recorded in Q1 - Q5, on the flipside of the cylinder RHA data sheet. Q1 correlates with the first segment along the transect, Q2 the second segment, etc. The following information is recorded during the RHA transect survey: 1) Dive logistics - name of the fish transect and habitat divers 2) Dive logistics - station ID, date, and the start time of the survey. 3) Habitat structure - the dive site is categorized based on the hierarchical classifaction used to produce the benthic habitat maps. 4) Depth - minimum and maximum depth of each unit, to provide an estimate of bottom slope. 5) Rugosity (low, medium, or high) - based on the height of the tallest hardbottom structure. 6) Abiotic footprint - an estimate of % cover (within 5%) of hardbottom, sand, and rubble in each unit. The sum of % cover in each unit for the abiotic footprint must total 100%. 7) Biotic footprint - an estimate of the % cover (within 1%) of live coral, gorgonians, sponges, macro algae, and uncolonized substrate in each 5m x 4m unit. The sum of % cover (including uncolonized substrate) in each unit in the biotic footprint must total 100%. 8) Acropora presence - mark if A. palmata or A. cervicornis are seen along the transect or at the site. 9) Photography - the point count or habitat diver will take at least two photos in different directions at each site to maintain an anecdotal and permanent visual description of the sites that were sampled. Proper care and maintenance is necessary for all camera and camera housings. It is important to maintain the cameras and housings before, after and in between dives. Although the 1m-square-quadrat remained the basic method of choice for habitat data collection, overtime, changes in data collection methods were made for some habitat variables and several additional variables were added. These changes were deemed necessary to capture more precise information and as many variables as possible to explain better the observed variability in reef fish assemblage metrics. Detailed information on all changes to the protocols for collecting habitat data in St. John can be found at: http://ccma.nos.noaa.gov/ecosystems/coralreef/fish_protocol.aspx Process Date: 200107 - Present

Catalog Details

Catalog Item ID: 39577
GUID: gov.noaa.nmfs.inport:39577
Metadata Record Created By: Tyler Christensen
Metadata Record Created: 2017-04-05 12:53+0000
Metadata Record Last Modified By: SysAdmin InPortAdmin
Metadata Record Last Modified: 2022-08-09 17:11+0000
Metadata Record Published: 2017-04-17
Owner Org: NCCOS
Metadata Publication Status: Published Externally
Do Not Publish?: N
Metadata Last Review Date: 2017-04-17
Metadata Review Frequency: 1 Year
Metadata Next Review Date: 2018-04-17