Study ID 45

MCR LTER Coral Reef Long-term Population and Community Dynamics Fishes

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Realm: Marine
Climate: Tropical
Biome: Tropical seas
Central latitude: -17.500000
Central longitude: -149.000000
Duration: 10 years, from 2006 to 2015

47282 records

338 distinct species

Across the time series Chlorurus sordidus is the most frequently occurring species


Brooks, A.J. "MCR LTER: Coral Reef: Long-term Population and Community Dynamics: Fishes". Moorea Coral Reef. Available at:, accessed 2012.Brooks, A.J. (2016) Moorea Coral Reef LTER: Coral Reef: Long-term Population and Community Dynamics: Fishes. Available at: knb-lter-mcr.6.54 doi:10.6073/pasta/d688610e536f54885a3c59d287f6c4c3, accessed 2016.


Diver ObservationThis study began in 2005 and the dataset is updated annually. The abundances of all mobile taxa of fishes (Scarids. Labrids. Acanthurids. Serranids. etc.) observed on on a five by fifty meter transect which extends from the bottom to the surface of the water column are recorded by a diver using SCUBA. The diver then swims back along a one by fifty meter section of the original transect line and records the abundances of all non-mobile or cryptic taxa of fishes (Pomacentids. Gobiids. Cirrhitids. Holocentrids etc). Surveys are conducted between 0900 and 1600 hours (Moorea local time) during late July or early August each year. In 2006. divers also began to estimate the size (length) of each fish observed to the nearest half cm. Four replicate transects are surveyed in each of six locations on the forereef (two on each of Moorea's three sides). six locations on the backreef (two on each of Moorea's three sides) and on six locations on the fringing reef (two on each of Moorea's three sides) for a total of 72 individual transects. Transects are permanently marked using a series of small. stainless steel posts affixed to the reef. Transects on the forereef are located at a depth of approximately 15m. those on the backreef are located at a depth of approximately 1.5m and those on the fringing reef are located at a depth of approximately 10m.LocationsAnnual fish census locations are labeled with four components in a stratified design: 6 sites. 3 habitats. 4 transects. 2 swaths. (The swaths are the transect widths of 1 m and 5 m.) Therefore there are 144 unique locations surveyed each year. The six MCR-LTER sites span the three shores of the roughly triangular island of Moorea with Sites 1 and 2 on the north-facing shore. Sites 3 and 4 on the south-east-facing shore. and Sites 5 and 6 on the south-west-facing shore. At each site. the three habitats are the Fringing Reef. Backreef. and Forereef. At each habitat. there are four transects. Each transect has two swaths. The two swaths are described in the Diver Observation method step.Dive ConditionsIn addition to the biotic data collected. divers also record data on the date and time each transect was surveyed. wind speed and sea state. swell height in m. amount of cloud cover in % and horizontal visibility in m. Dive conditions are recorded for each dive. which is unique to a habitat at a site for a year. Therefore there are 18 unique dive conditions each year (3 habitats at 6 sites).DiversAt each site. at each habitat. there are four transects. each covered by an assigned diver (in 2005 by 2 divers). Whenever possible. the same diver covers the same transect number every year. (Transect 3 has varied.) The diver is listed by their initials. (In 2005. the initials of 2 divers are concatenated.) The diver ID is determined by the year and transect number; there are 4 unique diver IDs for each year.Reference for fish census protocolThe MCR-LTER annual fish census is based on the 'Fish Belt Transect' method described in: 'Methods for Ecological Monitoring Of Coral Reefs: A Resource For Managers. Version 1.'. J. Hill and C. Wilkinson. 2004. Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS). Townsville. Australia. 117 p. Unit of abundance = Count, Unit of biomass = CountXestimatedSize