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.

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.

Pattengill- Semmens, C.V.. 2002. The reef fish assemblage of Bonaire Marine Park: an analysis of REEF Fish Survey Project data.

Proceedings 53rd Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute. 53: 591-605

A total of 362 species have been reported from 77 sites around Bonaire and the neighboring Klein Bonaire. This makes the Bonaire Marine Park one of the most species rich areas in REEF's database. The paper also showed that the composition of species (presence and abundance) on Klein Bonaire and Bonaire are distinct. In addition to providing data for site characterization, the thousands of surveys in REEF's database will provide a baseline against which future change can be assessed. This paper provides the most comprehensive species list published to date for the Park.

Pattengill-Semmens, C.V. & B.X. Semmens. 2001. Learning to see underwater.

Underwater Naturalist. 25(4): 37-40

This paper describes the Fish Survey Project, and provides an overview of its applications in science and management and its value in enhancing the experience of divers and snorkelers.

Jeffrey, C.F.G., C. Pattengill-Semmens, S. Gittings, and M.E. Monaco. 2001. Distribution and sighting frequency of reef fishes in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.

Marine Sanctuaries Conservation Series MSD-01-1. US Dept. of Commerce, NOAA, Silver Spring, MD.. 51 pp.

This study analyzed species richness, distribution, and sighting frequency of selected reef fishes to describe species assemblage composition, abundance, and spatial distribution patterns within and among regions in the Florida Keys NMS. This report is the result of work being done on the biogeography of reef fishes by NOAA's Biogeography Office.

B.X. Semmens, J.L. Ruesink, and C.V. Pattengill-Semmens. 2000. Multi-site multi-species trends: a new tool for coral reef managers.

Proc. 9th International Coral Reef Symposium, October 2000. 1071-1078

This is the first large scale trend analysis done using REEF data. The paper looked at 21 sites throughout the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Analysis methods were modified from those applied to the Breeding Bird Survey in order to detect sites with multi-species declines. A sub-set of sites were identified and potential management options were discussed. Click here to read the abstract.

Jeffrey, C.F.G, C. Pattengill-Semmens, K. Buja, J.D. Christensen, M. Coyne, M. E. Monaco, and S. Gitting. 2000. Benthic habitat associations of reef fishes in the Florida Keys.

Proc. International Coral Reef Symposium, October 2000.

This study analyzed spatial trends and correlations between habitat diversity and fish community, using REEF data from the Florida Keys that were overlaid onto benthic habitat maps using GIS. Click here to read the abstract. (FIXME)

Pattengill-Semmens, C.V., S.R. Gittings, and T. Shyka. 2000. Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary- A Rapid Assessment of Coral, Fish and Algae using the AGRRA Protocol.

NOAA Conservation Series Technical Report.

The results of an AGRRA expedition to the Flower Garden Banks are summarized in this technical report. A total of 117 fish species were recorded during the expedition, and REEF surveys documented a new record for the banks, a sharptail eel.

Pattengill, C.V.. 1999. Occurrence of a unique color morph in the smooth trunkfish at the Flower Garden Banks and Stetson Bank, northwest Gulf of Mexico.

Bulletin of Marine Science. 65(2): 587-591

As a result of REEF surveys, a new color phase of the smooth trunkfish was documented at the Flower Garden Banks. The occurrence of this golden morph is reported in this paper. For more information and to view a picture, visit

Pattengill-Semmens, C. V. and B. X. Semmens. 1999. Assessment and monitoring applications of a community-based monitoring program: The Reef Environmental Education Foundation.

International Conference on Scientific Aspects of Coral Reef Assessment, Monitoring, and Restoration. April 14-16, 1999. National Coral Reef Institute. Ft. Lauderdale, FL..

A poster presentation on the REEF/TNC Fish Survey Project with examples of three applications of data generated by the Project. These include evaluating the effect of marine protected areas, mapping species distribution, and applications in general assessment.

Design by Joanne Kidd, development by Ben Weintraub