Advertisement

Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Determination of the physical parameters of coral distributions using line transect data

  • 128 Accesses

Abstract

We present a new method for extracting a comprehensive suite of biologically significant parameters from line transect data of coral communities. In addition to the percentage coral cover (the traditionally extracted parameter), the method extracts the population density of the coral colonies, their mean diameter and associated standard deviation and, for adequate data, their size frequency distribution. The method assumes only that the coral colonies form a system of non-overlapping circles in the plane, that the diameters of the circles are random quantities with an unknown distribution function, and that the transects are placed randomly. We test the method on both theoretical and real data to show that it performs as well as, if not better than, current methods in extracting the traditional parameter as well as being able to extract the additional useful parameters indicated. Because the method makes few restrictive assumptions and seems robust when used with field data, we suggest that it has wide application wherever line transects are used for ecological survey. The method is implemented in a Fortran program available from the senior author.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References

  1. Anderssen RS, Jakeman AJ (1975a) Product integration for functionals of particle size distributions. Utilitas Mathematica 8:111–126

  2. Anderssen RS, Jakeman AJ (1975b) Abel type integral equations in stereology. II. Computational methods of solution and the random spheres approximation. J Microsc (Oxford) 105:135–153

  3. Bradbury RH, Loya Y (1978) An heuristic analysis of spatial patterns of hermatypic corals at Eilat, Red Sea. Am Nat 112:493–507

  4. Bradbury RH, Young PC (1981) The effects of a major forcing function, wave energy, on a coral reef ecosystem. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 5:229–241

  5. Cox GW (1972) Laboratory manual of general ecology, Brown, Iowa

  6. Greig-Smith P (1964) Quantitative plant ecology. Butterworths, London

  7. Jakeman AJ, Anderssen RS (1975) Abel type integral equations in stereology. I. General discussion. J Microsc (Oxford) 105:121–133

  8. Kendall MG, Moran PAP (1963) Geometrical probability. Griffin, London

  9. Kinzie RA, Snider RH (1978) A simulation study of coral reef survey methods. In: Stoddart DR, Johannes RE (eds) Coral reefs: research methods. Unesco, Paris, pp 231–250

  10. Loya Y (1978) Plotless and transect methods. In: Stoddart DR, Johannes RE (eds) Coral reefs: research methods Unesco, Paris, pp 197–217

  11. McIntyre GA (1953) Estimation of plant density using line transects. J Ecol 41:319–330

  12. Mergner H, Schuhmacher H (1981) Quantitative Analyse der Korallen-besiedlung eines Vorriffareals bei Aquaba (Rotes Meer). Helgol Wiss Meeresunters 34:337–354

  13. Pielou EC (1977) Mathematical ecology. Wiley, New York

  14. Southwood TRE (1966) Ecological methods. Methuen, London

  15. Strong CW (1966) An improved method of obtaining density from linetransect data. Ecology 47:311–313

  16. Watson GS (1971) Estimating functionals of particle size distribution. Biometrika 58:483–490

  17. Weinberg S (1981) A comparison of coral reef survey methods. Bijdr Dierkd 51:199–218

  18. Young A (1954) Approximate product integration. Proc R Soc London Ser A 244:552–561

Download references

Author information

Additional information

AIMS publication number 222

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Marsh, L.M., Bradbury, R.H. & Reichelt, R.E. Determination of the physical parameters of coral distributions using line transect data. Coral Reefs 2, 175–180 (1984). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00263570

Download citation

Keywords

  • Sedimentology
  • Coral Cover
  • Line Transect
  • Random Quantity
  • Coral Community