Comparative image analysis approaches to assess ecological effects of macroalgal removal on inshore reefs of Magnetic Island, Australia

Hermanto, B., Bourne, D.G., and Smith, H. (2023) Comparative image analysis approaches to assess ecological effects of macroalgal removal on inshore reefs of Magnetic Island, Australia. In: IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science (1137) 012052. From: MarBioUtiCoM: International Seminar on Marine Biodiversity, Utilization, Conservation and Management, 8-9 August 2022, Online.

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Abstract

Macroalgae removal is a proposed management option in the GBR to reverse declines in inshore coral reef health. Automated image analysis (AIA) is a valuable tool to assess benthic community assemblages. This study compared the accuracy of benthic community assemblages assessed through the AIA program CoralNet to manual image analysis. The ecological effect of macroalgae removal on benthic community composition was also investigated on established permanent quadrats (5x5 m) for reefs at Florence and Arthur Bay, Magnetic Island. Control and treatment quadrats (n=3 respectively) were photographed before and after macroalgae removal over 6 months. The results obtained by AIA and manual approaches were consistent, with macroalgae cover is approximately 77%-87% in all quadrats before macroalgal removal. Through the monitoring period, a small increase in coral cover in the macroalgal removal quadrats was observed in Florence and Arthur Bay (an increase of 1.8% and 0.1%, respectively). CoralNet was demonstrated to be robust for assessing reef benthic cover with no significant difference in recorded benthic categories when compared to the manual approach. CoralNet was accurate for identifying broad benthic categories, but less effective than manual image analyses for lower taxonomic categories (i.e., genus or species level).

Item ID: 78526
Item Type: Conference Item (Research - E1)
ISSN: 1755-1315
Keywords: CoralNet, Macroalgae removal, Magnetic Island
Copyright Information: Content from this work may be used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 licence. Any further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the title of the work, journal citation and DOI. Published under licence by IOP Publishing Ltd.
Date Deposited: 13 Jun 2023 02:09
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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