Fine intervals are required when using point intercept transects to assess coral reef status

Kuo, Chao Yang, Tsai, Cheng-Han, Huang, Ya Yi, Heng, Wei Khang, Hsiao, An Tzi, Hsieh, Hernyi Justin, and Chen, Chaolun Allen (2022) Fine intervals are required when using point intercept transects to assess coral reef status. Frontiers in Marine Science, 9. 795512.

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Abstract

The Point Intercept Transect (PIT) method has commonly been used in recent decades for estimating the status of coral reef benthic communities. It is a simple method that is efficiently performed underwater, as benthic components are recorded only as presence or absence at specific interval points along transects. Therefore, PIT is also popular in citizen science activities such as Reef Check programs. Longer intervals are commonly associated with longer transects, yet sampling interval length can significantly influence benthic coverage calculations. Despite this, the relative accuracy of longer or shorter intervals related to transect length has not been tested for PIT. In this study, we tested the optimum intervals of PIT for several commonly used transect lengths using the bootstrap method on empirical data collected on tropical coral reefs and non-reefal coral communities. Our results recommend fine intervals of 10 cm or shorter, depending on the length of the transect, to increase the accuracy of estimating benthic community status on coral reefs. Permanent transects should also be considered in long-term monitoring programs to improve data quality.

Item ID: 76401
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2296-7745
Keywords: benthic community, citizen science, LIT, long-term monitoring, reef check, reef survey methods
Copyright Information: ©2022 Kuo, Tsai, Huang, Heng, Hsiao, Hsieh and Chen. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
Date Deposited: 12 May 2023 02:46
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310305 Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 18 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT > 1805 Marine systems and management > 180501 Assessment and management of benthic marine ecosystems @ 100%
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