Next Article in Journal
Acknowledgement to Reviewers of the Journal of Marine Science and Engineering in 2014
Previous Article in Journal
Hydrologic and Water Quality Model Development Using Simulink
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2015, 3(1), 1-20; doi:10.3390/jmse3010001

Linking Coral Reef Remote Sensing and Field Ecology: It’s a Matter of Scale

1,†,* and 2,3,†
1
Department of Marine Science, University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez, P.O. Box 9000, Mayaguez, PR 00681, USA
2
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez, P.O. Box 9000, Mayaguez, PR 00681, USA
3
HySpeed Computing, Miami Florida P.O. Box 431824, Miami, FL 33243, USA
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Tony Clare
Received: 21 October 2014 / Accepted: 9 December 2014 / Published: 26 December 2014
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [5862 KB, uploaded 26 December 2014]   |  

Abstract

Remote sensing shows potential for assessing biodiversity of coral reefs. Important steps in achieving this objective are better understanding the spectral variability of various reef components and correlating these spectral characteristics with field-based ecological assessments. Here we analyze >9400 coral reef field spectra from southwestern Puerto Rico to evaluate how spectral variability and, more specifically, spectral similarity between species influences estimates of biodiversity. Traditional field methods for estimating reef biodiversity using photoquadrats are also included to add ecological context to the spectral analysis. Results show that while many species can be distinguished using in situ field spectra, the addition of the overlying water column significantly reduces the ability to differentiate species, and even groups of species. This indicates that the ability to evaluate biodiversity with remote sensing decreases with increasing water depth. Due to the inherent spectral similarity amongst many species, including taxonomically dissimilar species, remote sensing underestimates biodiversity and represents the lower limit of actual species diversity. The overall implication is that coral reef ecologists using remote sensing need to consider the spatial and spectral context of the imagery, and remote sensing scientists analyzing biodiversity need to define confidence limits as a function of both water depth and the scale of information derived, e.g., species, groups of species, or community level. View Full-Text
Keywords: coral reefs; remote sensing; field spectra; scale; ecology; biodiversity; conservation coral reefs; remote sensing; field spectra; scale; ecology; biodiversity; conservation
Figures

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

Scifeed alert for new publications

Never miss any articles matching your research from any publisher
  • Get alerts for new papers matching your research
  • Find out the new papers from selected authors
  • Updated daily for 49'000+ journals and 6000+ publishers
  • Define your Scifeed now

SciFeed Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Lucas, M.Q.; Goodman, J. Linking Coral Reef Remote Sensing and Field Ecology: It’s a Matter of Scale. J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2015, 3, 1-20.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. EISSN 2077-1312 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top