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.

Pattengill, C. V.. 1998. The structure and persistence of reef fish assemblages of the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary.

Doctoral Dissertation, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX. . 176pp.

Chapters 2, 4, and 5 of this dissertation present data collected using the RDT. Chapter 2 presents the complete fish assemblage reported by RDT and Stationary Diver Technique (SDT; referred to in Bohnsack, 1996, as the SST) surveys over three years of semi-annual surveys of the Flower Gardens and Stetson Bank, in the northwest Gulf of Mexico. Chapter 4 examines the quality of fish census data generated by REEF nonexperts, and was published in the Journal of Gulf of Mexico Science (Pattengill-Semmens and Semmens, 1998). Chapter 5 provides discussion on the applications and reasons for choosing the RDT and the SDT for this project. A comparison between the abundance estimates of the two methods and the biases inherent in each is also given.

Pattengill-Semmens, C. V. and B. X. Semmens. 1998. An analysis of fish survey data generated by nonexperts in the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary.

Journal of the Gulf of Mexico Science. 2: 196-207

The quality of fish census data generated by REEF volunteers of various experience levels is examined and compared with data generated by experts. The similarity in species reported, the similarity in abundance category recorded, and the statistical power to detect change are used in the comparison. Species composition and structure is comparable between the skill levels. When sighted, most species are reported with similar abundance categories. The ability to detect change in many species is better for the nonexpert data, a result of higher survey effort for the nonexperts. Species that are cryptic or rare have low power (change had to be large before it could be detected) regardless of the skill level, but are generally better using expert data.

Schmitt, E. F., D. F. Wells, and K. M. Sullivan-Sealey. 1998. Surveying coral reef fishes.

Coral Gables, FL: The Nature Conservancy, Marine Conservation Center.. 84pp.

This manual describes all aspects of REEF data collection and processing. It also provides examples of interpretation of the Fish Survey Project data, and how REEF data are used for The Nature Conservancy's Conservation Profiles.

Bohnsack, J. A. (ed.). 1996. Two visually based methods for monitoring coral reef fishes.

In A Coral Reef Symposium on Practical, Reliable, Low Cost Monitoring Methods for Assessing the Biota and Habitat Conditions of Coral Reefs, Jan. 26-27, 1995. M.P. Crosby, G.R. Gibson, and K.W. Potts (eds.). Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management, NOAA, Silver Spring, MD..

This short paper, prepared after the second year of the Fish Survey Project, overviews the RDT and the more quantitative Stationary Sampling Technique. The advantages to the REEF RDT are discussed, including the information provided on fisheries-independent species and its simplicity. The author concludes that both methods can be used to answer a wide variety of monitoring and scientific questions, although each has advantages and disadvantages. Summary posted online at http://www.epa.gov/owow/oceans/coral/symposium/bohnsack.html.

Schmitt, E., compiler. 1996. Status of Reef Fishes in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary: Regional Project Summary.

The Nature Conservancy, Florida and Caribbean Marine Conservation Science Center, University of Miami. Miami, FL. . 37pp.

This report is a summary of the first 3 years of the Fish Survey Project in the Florida Keys, with comparisons among FKNMS sites and with other distant regions. It demonstrates some ways in which data from the Project can be used.

Schmitt, E. F., and K. M. Sullivan. 1996. Analysis of a volunteer method for collecting fish presence and abundance data in the Florida Keys.

Bulletin of Marine Science. 59(2): 404-416

Roving diver data gathered by expert volunteers in the Florida Keys are presented and discussed. These data are found to be comparable to other Florida Keys published studies. Differences in the fish assemblages between the three regions of the Keys, the upper, lower, and the Dry Tortugas, are reported and evaluated. This paper was the first published account of the Roving Diver Technique (RDT).

Schmitt, E. F., B. X. Semmens, and K. M. Sullivan. . 1993. Research applications of volunteer generated coral reef fish surveys.

The Nature Conservancy, Florida and Caribbean Marine Conservation Science Center, University of Miami. Miami, Fl. . 15pp.

This report is the first publication of the RDT, and was initially given at the Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute meeting in Spring 1994.

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