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Research Technical Report

A Multi-scale Analysis of Habitat-mediated Megafaunal Invertebrate Distribution at Two Locations in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary

Wrubel, K. (May 2010)

A Capstone Project at California State University, Monterey Bay, 44pp.


Effective marine policy depends on the timely dissemination of research results, informed management agencies, and a knowledgeable public community. However, resource managers frequently lack important information on the locations, resources, and ecological processes in the areas they manage. The inherent patchiness of marine systems impacts the distribution of these resources, requiring detailed research results to be provided to managers on the distribution of taxa and habitats. The reality of scientific analysis often prolongs the time between data collection and dissemination. Using video records, the analysis of data at multiple scales can be conducted to determine if data collected "on-the-fly" adequately records taxa abundance and distribution. This study analyzed towed camera sled video collected at two study sites within the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS) at two sampling scales to determine the utility of data collected at a coarser sampling scale in characterizing the distribution and habitat associations of megafaunal invertebrates. The two approaches to the collection of data from that videographic imagery were a frame-by-frame approach for fine-scale research questions and data collected in real-time at one-minute intervals provided to management agencies. Taxa-habitat associations were compared at these multiple sampling schemes. The one-minute sampling scale was able to record similar taxa-habitat associations as the frame-by-frame approach, but does not adequately record taxon presence within individual transects or differences in taxa-habitat associations between study sites. The frame-by-frame approach collects fine-scale data on taxa abundance and taxa-habitat associations, but is time consuming to analyze. Sampling scale may not be a factor in recording taxa-habitat associations; however, a fine-scale sampling scale is required to determine taxa abundance and overall distribution. On-the-fly sampling techniques are adequate to estimate taxa-habitat associations and allow results to be disseminated to management agencies much more rapidly. This study demonstrates that sampling scale in videographic analysis is important and the extent to which it represents the species within the Sanctuary needs to be understood.

Reviewed: April 11, 2024
Web Site Owner: National Ocean Service

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