Intra- versus inter-annual variation in counts of reef fishes and interpretations of long-term monitoring studies

Thompson, A.A., and Mapstone, B.D. (2002) Intra- versus inter-annual variation in counts of reef fishes and interpretations of long-term monitoring studies. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 232. pp. 247-257.

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Abstract

Many sampling strategies have been proposed as appropriate for describing spatial patterns in marine organisms. There remain, however, many problems with the description, analysis and interpretation of temporal variation in abundances of organisms. In particular, there is a need to understand temporal error in the estimation of abundance of mobile organisms. In this paper we report estimates of temporal variation in abundances of tropical reef fishes attributable to sampling error at diurnal, daily and ‘monthly’ scales and compare these to inter-annual variation that might arise from processes such as mortality and recruitment. Uncertainty in estimates taken from the same sites over consecutive days was large for several species and accounted for the majority of error in estimates of abundance within years. Sources of error in estimates of abundance are discussed with consideration of the implications for long-term sampling and monitoring of fish assemblages. Short term temporal variation must be considered along with spatial variation in the design and interpretation of temporal studies of mobile species.

Item ID: 13626
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: reef fish; temporal error; visual census
ISSN: 1616-1599
Date Deposited: 21 Dec 2010 22:41
FoR Codes: 07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0704 Fisheries Sciences > 070402 Aquatic Ecosystem Studies and Stock Assessment @ 51%
07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0704 Fisheries Sciences > 070403 Fisheries Management @ 49%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960802 Coastal and Estuarine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 51%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960504 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Farmland, Arable Cropland and Permanent Cropland Environments @ 49%
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