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Remote Sensing and Modeling of Coral Reef Resilience
Author(s): Knudby A, Pittman SJ, Maina J, Rowlands G.
NCCOS Center: CCMA
Center Team: Biogeography
Publication Type: Book
Date of Publication: 2014
U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI)
Abstract: A new paradigm has emerged for management of coral reefs in an era of
changing climate – managing for resilience. A fundamental need for such management
to be effective is our ability to measure and map coral reef resilience. We
review the resilience concept and factors that may make a coral reef more or less
resilient to climate-driven impacts, and focus on recent advances in a trio of
technologies – remote sensing, spatial distribution modeling, and ecosystem simulation
– that promise to improve our ability to quantify coral reef resilience across
reefs. Remote sensing allows direct mapping of several ecosystem variables that
influence reef resilience, including coral and algal cover, as well as a range of coral
reef stressors, as exemplified by three case studies. Spatial distribution modeling
allows exploitation of statistical relationships between mappable environmental
variables and factors that influence resilience but which cannot be mapped directly,
such as herbivore biomass. Ecosystem simulation modeling allows predictions to interpreting marine remote sensing data have advanced significantly in the past
decade, and now provide reliable, repeatable and cost-effective quantitative assessments
of habitat distributions and conditions over spatially extensive areas (Goodman
et al. 2013). Remote sensing can provide a synoptic view of coral reef ecosystems by
mapping a wide range of biological and physical variables from the water column to
the seafloor, as well as on adjacent terrestrial areas that are required to characterize
coral reef resilience, all at a wide range of spatial and temporal scales (Fig. 5.1).
The diversity of information that can now be provided by remote sensing using
passive sensors such as aerial photography, multispectral and hyperspectral sensors,
or active sensors such as acoustic and lidar instruments, thus allows complex
scientific and management-related questions to be addressed. Mapping the 11 resilience
indicators identified by McClanahan et al. (2012), however, remains a significant
challenge. Here we describe the capabilities of acoustic and optical sensors for
mapping characteristics of the seafloor, the waters above, and the seascape context
that is relevant to understanding and mapping reef resilience (Table 5.1).
Availability: As a book and online as a PDF
Related Attachment: Download file (.pdf)
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