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Associations between Benthic Cover and Habitat Complexity Metrics Obtained from 3D Reconstruction of Coral Reefs at Different Resolutions

1
Joint Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research, University of Hawai’i at Mānoa, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA
2
Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, National Ocean Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Honolulu, HI 96818, USA
3
Marine Science Department, University of Hawai’i at Hilo, Hilo, HI 96720, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(6), 1011; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12061011
Received: 23 January 2020 / Revised: 6 March 2020 / Accepted: 16 March 2020 / Published: 21 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Underwater 3D Recording & Modelling)
Quantifying the three-dimensional (3D) habitat structure of coral reefs is an important aspect of coral reef monitoring, as habitat architecture affects the abundance and diversity of reef organisms. Here, we used photogrammetric techniques to generate 3D reconstructions of coral reefs and examined relationships between benthic cover and various habitat metrics obtained at six different resolutions of raster cells, ranging from 1 to 32 cm. For metrics of 3D structural complexity, fractal dimension, which utilizes information on 3D surface areas obtained at different resolutions, and vector ruggedness measure (VRM) obtained at 1-, 2- or 4-cm resolution correlated well with benthic cover, with a relatively large amount of variability in these metrics being explained by the proportions of corals and crustose coralline algae. Curvature measures were, on the other hand, correlated with branching and mounding coral cover when obtained at 1-cm resolution, but the amount of variability explained by benthic cover was generally very low when obtained at all other resolutions. These results show that either fractal dimension or VRM obtained at 1-, 2- or 4-cm resolution, along with curvature obtained at 1-cm resolution, can effectively capture the 3D habitat structure provided by specific benthic organisms. View Full-Text
Keywords: photogrammetry; 3D reconstruction; digital elevation model; coral reef; structural complexity; curvature; habitat metric photogrammetry; 3D reconstruction; digital elevation model; coral reef; structural complexity; curvature; habitat metric
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Fukunaga, A.; Burns, J.H.R.; Pascoe, K.H.; Kosaki, R.K. Associations between Benthic Cover and Habitat Complexity Metrics Obtained from 3D Reconstruction of Coral Reefs at Different Resolutions. Remote Sens. 2020, 12, 1011.

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