Home > Explore Data & Reports > National Coral Reef Monitoring Program: Assessment of coral reef benthic communities in the U.S. Virgin Islands from 2017-06-12 to 2017-08-04 (NCEI Accession 0176081)

Citation:

National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS); Southeast Fisheries Science Center (SEFSC). 2018. National Coral Reef Monitoring Program: Assessment of coral reef benthic communities in the U.S. Virgin Islands from 2017-06-12 to 2017-08-04 (NCEI Accession 0176081). NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information. Dataset.

Data/Report Type:

NCEI Data Archive Accession

Description

The National Coral Reef Monitoring Program (NCRMP) assessed coral reef communities in St. Croix, St. Thomas, and St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) using two benthic surveys: the Benthic Assessment (BA) and the Coral Demographic method. Benthic Assessment provides benthic cover estimates for ecologically important cover types/groups (e.g., macroalgae, turf algae, crustose coralline algae, corals, sponges, sand/sediment, etc.) using a 1-stage stratified random survey design in hardbottom and coral reef habitats less than 30m in depth. The goals of these surveys are to provide: (1) a quantification of percent cover of biotic and abiotic benthic components using a line point-intercept (LPI) method; (2) information on topographic complexity (substratum rugosity) of the survey locations (3) quantitative information on local commercially and ecologically-important macroinvertebrates (Caribbean spiny lobster [Panulirus argus], queen conch [Lobatus gigas], long-spined sea urchin [Diadema antillarum]); and (4) presence-absence information for ESA-listed Threatened corals. The goal of the coral demographic surveys is to collect and report information on species composition, density, size, abundance, and specific parameters of condition (% live vs. dead, bleaching, disease) of non-juvenile scleractinian corals (>4 cm maximum diameter), and of overall species diversity (all corals) using 10m x 1m belt transects in a stratified random sampling design in hardbottom and coral reef habitats less than 30m in depth. Both Benthic Assessment and Coral Demographic surveys are concurrent. Three datasets are provided under the Benthic Assessment and coral demographic protocols, and are distributed as one compiled package: (1) analysis ready benthic cover dataset, (2) analysis ready invertebrates/ESA dataset, and (3) analysis ready coral demographic dataset. The methodologies used for this survey can be found in the Benthic Assessment and Coral Demographic protocols. All datasets contain data fields on general station information (e.g., survey strata, depth, rugosity). Each of these data tables contain additional survey-specific data fields. For complete information and descriptions of attributes and data fields for all data tables, refer to the data dictionaries.

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