The diversity of shallow habitats in New Caledonia reefs and lagoons
|Temporal extent||2007 -2017|
|Affiliation(s)||1 : Ifremer, France|
|Keyword(s)||habitat typology, in situ monitoring, underwater video, Coral Sea Marine Park, scaling up, Marine Protected Areas, habitat prediction, supervised classification rules, data mining|
This document forms an appendix to the paper "A regionally scalable habitat typology for assessing benthic habitats and fish communities: application to New Caledonia reefs and lagoons" published in 2020 in the journal Ecology and Evolution by Dominique Pelletier, Nazha Selmaoui-Folcher, Thomas Bockel and Thomas Schohn.
The paper describes a new methodology for i) determining habitat types consistent across scales within large management units, ii) characterizing heterogeneities within each habitat, and iii) predicting habitat from new survey data. It relies on clustering techniques and supervised classification rules and was applied to a set of 3145 underwater video observations of fish and benthic habitats collected in all reef and lagoon habitats around New Caledonia. A baseline habitat typology was established with five habitat types clearly characterized by abiotic and biotic attributes. In a complex mosaic of habitats, habitat type is an indispensable covariate for explaining spatial variations in fish communities. Habitat types were further described by 26 rules capturing the range of habitat features encountered.
Rules provided intuitive habitat descriptions and predicted habitat type for new monitoring observations, both straightforwardly and with known confidence.
Images are convenient for interacting with managers and stakeholders. This documents contains sample images illustrating each of the rules obtained and depicts the diversity of shallow seascapes encountered in the Coral Sea Marine Park and in the coastal areas of New Caledonia.
|Acknowledgments||This work was part of the AMBIO project funded by both IFREMER, NC Government and Provinces, the Conservatoire des Espaces Naturels of NC, the Ministry of Ecology, the French Initiative for Coral Reefs (IFRECOR), and the MPA Agency.|