Scientific Papers and Reports

This is an annotated list of the published papers and reports that have included REEF data. The list is in chronological order. Papers that are available for viewing in .pdf format are noted.

Also see the Projects page for links to additional reports.

Auster, P.J., B.X. Semmens and K. Barber. 2005. Pattern in the co-occurrence of fishes inhabiting the coral reefs of Bonaire, Netherlands Antilles.

Environmental Biology of Fishes. 74 (2): 187-194.

This study used REEF data from Bonaire, an area where several thousand REEF surveys have been conducted, to evaluate patterns in species occurrence. Their results suggest that species interactions, and/or species-habitat relationships may be important behavioral attributes mediating the local structure of fish assemblages on these coral reefs. This work was also presented at the International Coral Reef Symposium in 2004.

Kingsley, M.C.S., ed.. 2004. The Goliath Grouper in southern Florida: assessment review and advisory report.

Southeast Data and Assessment Review. vii + 17 pp.

REEF data were one of three datasets used in the most recent stock assessment of the Goliath grouper, a species that is currently protected from harvest due to very low numbers in the 1980s. Because this species is not fished, fisheries managers must use fisheries-independent datasets and the REEF database represents a valuable source of this information.

Semmens, B.X., E.R. Buhle, A.K. Salomon, and C.V. Pattengill-Semmens. 2004. A hotspot of non-native marine fishes: evidence for the aquarium trade as an invasion pathway.

Marine Ecology Progress Series. 266:239-244

Sightings data submitted to REEF's Exotic Species Sighting Program through 2002 are summarized in this paper. The data show a hot-spot of non-native marine fishes along south Florida (Broward and Palm Beach Counties). The authors evaluated potential vectors of introduction and pinpointed the aquarium trade as the likely source.

Whaylen, L., Pattengill-Semmens, C.V., Semmens, B.X., Bush, P.G. and M.R. Boardman. 2004. Observations of a Nassau Grouper Spawning Aggregation Site In Little Cayman, Including Multi-Species Spawning.

Environmental Biology of Fishes. 70: 305-313

This paper summarizes the finding from the 2002 REEF Grouper Moon Project, which documented the characteristics of a newly discovered Nassau grouper spawning aggregation. At its peak, over 5,000 Nassau grouper were present at the site. Significant contributions include the visual and video documentation of four nights of spawning of Nassau grouper, the description of crepuscular and lunar movements and color phase shifts in the grouper, and the documentation of courtship/spawning behavior in ten additional species. This paper was also presented at the 2002 Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute Meeting.

Porch CE and AM Eklund. 2004. Standardized Visual Counts of Goliath Grouper off South Florida and Their Possible Use as Indices of Abundance.

Gulf of Mexico Science. 2004(2): 155-163

This paper evaluates two sets of fisheries-independant data on Goliath grouper populations in Florida. The datasets include the REEF Survey Project database and personal observations from a professional spearfisher. Because all harvest of this species was prohibted starting in 1990, fisheries-independant data like these are critical to understanding change in the populations, including any recovery that may be occuring. The paper also provides information on standarization techniquest that can be applied to the REEF data.

Pattengill-Semmens, C.V. and B.X. Semmens. 2003. Conservation and management applications of the REEF volunteer fish monitoring program.

Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Journal. 81: 43-50

This paper reviews the role of partnerships in the success of REEF's program. Several examples of how REEF has used partnerships are presented. These include monitoring program parternships, data sharing and the use of data by others, the conservation contributions of the REEF program, and the educational component of partnerships.

Pattengill-Semmens, C.V. & B.X. Semmens. 2003. The status of reef fishes in the Cayman Islands (B.W.I.).

Atoll Research Bulletin. Vol. 496., pp. 226 -- 247

This paper is the result of a 1999 AGRRA expedition to the Cayman Islands coordinated by the Marine Education and Environmental Research Institute (MEERI). The paper uses the REEF database (over 1,200 surveys from the Cayman Islands) and the AGRRA fish data to provide an updated species list for the Islands, a comparison between islands (Grand Cayman and Little Cayman) and sites (33 sites), and an analysis of the relationships between herbivorous fishes and algal cover. Thanks to the REEF database, 44 species were added to the list of fishes known to occur on the Islands. A site's location (windward or leeward) appeared to be an important factor in community composition. Additionally, many species had significantly higher abundances on Little Cayman, including groupers which is probably an indication of the difference in anthropogenic impacts between the two islands.

REEF. 2003. Volunteer Fish Monitoring in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.

This report summarizes the 2002 data from REEF's annual assessment of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. A total of 37 sites from Key Largo through the Dry Tortugas are monitored each year with REEF's Advanced Assessment Team, to evaluate status, trends and the effect of no-take reserves.

REEF. 2002. Volunteer Fish Monitoring in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary: 1994-2001.

This report summarizes the first 8 years of data from 27 sites in the Sanctuary, approximately half of which were designated as no-take reserves in 1996.

Schmitt, E. F., T. D. Sluka, and K. M. Sullivan-Sealy. 2002. Evaluating the use of roving diver and transect surveys to assess the coral reef assemblages off southeastern Hispaniola.

Coral Reefs. 21: 216-223

The utility and biases of the Roving Diver Technique (RDT) and transect visual surveys are evaluated for use in rapid assessments off southeastern Hispaniola. Both methods are similar in recording the most abundant species, while a greater number of rare species (especially fishery-targeted species) are recorded with the RDT. The methods are found to be complementary, and are suggested to be used together when conducting rapid assessments of fish assemblages, especially to detect over-fishing. Click here to read full abstract.

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