Monitoring

Bridging From Monitoring to Solutions-Based Thinking: Lessons From CalCOFI for Understanding and Adapting to Marine Climate Change Impacts

Gallo ND, Drenkard E, Thompson AR, Weber ED, Wilson-Vandenberg D, McClatchie S, J. Koslow A, Semmens BX. Bridging From Monitoring to Solutions-Based Thinking: Lessons From CalCOFI for Understanding and Adapting to Marine Climate Change Impacts. Frontiers in Marine Science [Internet]. 2019 ;6. Available from: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmars.2019.00695/full
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Multidisciplinary, integrated ocean observing programs provide critical data for monitoring the effects of climate change on marine ecosystems. California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigations (CalCOFI) samples along the US West Coast and is one of the world’s longest-running and most comprehensive time series, with hydrographic and biological data collected since 1949. The pairing of ecological and physical measurements across this long time series informs our understanding of how the California Current marine ecosystem responds to climate variability. By providing a baseline to monitor change, the CalCOFI time series serves as a Keeling Curve for the California Current. However, challenges remain in connecting the data collected from long-term monitoring programs with the needs of stakeholders concerned with climate change adaptation (i.e., resource managers, policy makers, and the public), including for the fisheries and aquaculture sectors. We use the CalCOFI program as a case study to ask: how can long-term ocean observing programs inform ecosystem based management efforts and create data flows that meet the needs of stakeholders working on climate change adaptation? Addressing this question and identifying solutions requires working across sectors and recognizing stakeholder needs. Lessons learned from CalCOFI can inform other regional monitoring programs around the world, including those done at a smaller scale in developing countries.

Designing Monitoring Programs for Marine Protected Areas Within an Evidence Based Decision Making Paradigm

Hayes KR, Hosack GR, Lawrence E, Hedge P, Barrett NS, Przeslawski R, M. Caley J, Foster SD. Designing Monitoring Programs for Marine Protected Areas Within an Evidence Based Decision Making Paradigm. Frontiers in Marine Science [Internet]. 2019 ;6. Available from: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmars.2019.00746/full
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

The Evidence Based Decision Making (EBDM) paradigm encourages managers to base their decisions on the strongest available evidence, but it has been criticized for placing too much emphasis on the choice of study design method without considering the types of questions that are being addressed as well as other relevant factors such as how well a study is implemented. Here we review the objectives of Australia’s Marine Park network, and identify the types of questions and data analysis that would address these objectives. Critically, we consider how the design of a monitoring program influences our ability to adequately answer these questions, using the strength of evidence hierarchy from the EBDM paradigm to assess the adequacy of different design strategies and other sources of information. It is important for conservation managers to recognize that the types of questions monitoring programs are able to answer depends on how they are designed and how the collected data are analyzed. The socio-political process that dictates where protected areas are placed typically excludes the strongest types of evidence, Random Controlled Trials (RCTs), for certain questions. Evidence bases that are stronger than ones commonly employed to date, however, could be used to provide a causal inference, including for those questions where RCTs are excluded, but only if appropriate designs such as cohort or case-control studies are used, and supported where relevant by appropriate sample frames. Randomized, spatially balanced sampling, together with careful selection of control sites, and more extensive use of propensity scores and structured elicitation of expert judgment, are also practical ways to improve the evidence base for answering the questions that underlie marine park objectives and motivate long-term monitoring programs.

Who’s better at spotting? A comparison between aerial photography and observer-based methods to monitor floating marine litter and marine mega-fauna

Garcia-Garin O, Aguilar A, Borrell A, Gozalbes P, Lobo A, Penadés-Suay J, Raga JA, Revuelta O, Serrano M, Vighi M. Who’s better at spotting? A comparison between aerial photography and observer-based methods to monitor floating marine litter and marine mega-fauna. Environmental Pollution [Internet]. In Press :113680. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0269749119339673
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Approximate cost to purchase or rent this item from the publisher: 
US $35.95
Type: Journal Article

Pollution by marine litter is raising major concerns due to its potential impact on marine biodiversity and, above all, on endangered mega-fauna species, such as cetaceans and sea turtles. The density and distribution of marine litter and mega-fauna have been traditionally monitored through observer-based methods, yet the advent of new technologies has introduced aerial photography as an alternative monitoring method. However, to integrate results produced by different monitoring techniques and consider the photographic method a viable alternative, this ‘new’ methodology must be validated. This study aims to compare observations obtained from the concurrent application of observer-based and photographic methods during aerial surveys. To do so, a Partenavia P-68 aircraft equipped with an RGB sensor was used to monitor the waters off the Spanish Mediterranean coast along 12 transects (941 km). Over 10000 images were collected and checked manually by a photo-interpreter to detect potential targets, which were classified as floating marine macro-litter, mega-fauna and seabirds. The two methods allowed the detection of items from the three categories and proved equally effective for the detection of cetaceans, sea turtles and large fish on the sea surface. However, the photographic method was more effective for floating litter detection and the observer-based method was more effective for seabird detection. These results provide the first validation of the use of aerial photography to monitor floating litter and mega-fauna over the marine surface.

A community assessment of the demersal fish and benthic invertebrates of the Rosemary Bank Seamount Marine Protected Area (NE Atlantic)

Eerkes-Medrano D, Drewery J, Burns F, Cárdenas P, Taite M, McKay DW, Stirling D, Neat F. A community assessment of the demersal fish and benthic invertebrates of the Rosemary Bank Seamount Marine Protected Area (NE Atlantic). Deep Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers [Internet]. In Press :103180. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0967063719303267
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Approximate cost to purchase or rent this item from the publisher: 
US $39.95
Type: Journal Article

The Rosemary Bank Seamount in the NE Atlantic was designated a Marine Protected Area in 2014 by the Scottish Government. Visual and trawl surveys of the seamount have been undertaken since 2007. Here these data are compiled and analysed to provide an assessment of the communities of demersal fish and benthic invertebrates found there. The fish and benthic invertebrate communities changed markedly with depth. Cluster analysis revealed at least four distinct communities of fish: those on the summit, the mid slope, the lower slope and the deep moat at the base of the seamount. The invertebrate community changed at a depth of 1100 m, where mixed-species sponge aggregations dominated to depths of 1500 m. The seamount is an important site for vulnerable marine ecosystems, most notably the extensive and unusually diverse deep-sea sponge grounds on the lower slope. Other prioritised conservation species and habitats recorded included cold water corals, orange roughy, blue ling, leafscale gulper shark and the Portuguese dogfish. Due to sampling constraints some areas of the seamount still remain unknown. A precautionary approach to protecting the entire seamount would achieve multiple conservation objectives. The data presented here serve as a base-line to assess the impact of management intervention in the future.

Using vertebrate environmental DNA from seawater in biomonitoring of marine habitats

Sigsgaard EEgelyng, Torquato F, Frøslev TGuldberg, Moore ABM, Sørensen JMølgård, Range P, Ben Hamadou R, Bach SSanvig, Møller PRask, Thomsen PFrancis. Using vertebrate environmental DNA from seawater in biomonitoring of marine habitats. Conservation Biology [Internet]. 2019 . Available from: https://conbio.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/cobi.13437
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Approximate cost to purchase or rent this item from the publisher: 
US $42.00
Type: Journal Article

Conservation management of marine biodiversity depends on biomonitoring of marine habitats, but current approaches are resource‐intensive and require different approaches for different organisms. Environmental DNA (eDNA) extracted from water samples is an efficient and versatile approach to detecting aquatic animals. In the ocean, eDNA composition reflects local fauna at fine spatial scales, but little is known about the effectiveness of eDNA‐based monitoring of marine communities at larger scales. We investigated the potential of eDNA to characterize and distinguish marine communities at large spatial scales by comparing vertebrate species composition among marine habitats in Qatar, the Arabian Gulf (also known as the Persian Gulf), based on eDNA metabarcoding of seawater samples. We conducted species accumulation analyses to estimate how much of the vertebrate diversity we detected. We obtained eDNA sequences from a diverse assemblage of marine vertebrates, spanning 191 taxa in 73 families. These included rare and endangered species and covered 36% of the bony fish genera previously recorded in the gulf. Sites of similar habitat type were also similar in eDNA composition. The species accumulation analyses showed that the number of sample replicates was insufficient for some sampling sites but suggested that a few hundred eDNA samples could potentially capture >90% of the marine vertebrate diversity in the study area. Our results confirm that seawater samples contain habitat‐characteristic molecular signatures and that eDNA monitoring can efficiently cover vertebrate diversity at scales relevant to national and regional conservation and management.

Is blue mussel caging an efficient method for monitoring environmental microplastics pollution?

Kazour M, Amara R. Is blue mussel caging an efficient method for monitoring environmental microplastics pollution?. Science of The Total Environment [Internet]. In Press :135649. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S004896971935644X
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Approximate cost to purchase or rent this item from the publisher: 
US $41.95
Type: Journal Article

The effectiveness of mussel caging for active microplastics (MPs) biomonitoring was investigated for the first time by comparing abundance and characteristics (shape, size, color and type of polymers) of MPs ingested by caged depurated blue mussels with those ingested by native mussels collected at the same sites and with those found in their surrounding environment (surface water and sediments). Mussels were exposed along a pollution gradient originating from a wastewater treatment plant discharge and near an abandoned coastal landfill. After 6 weeks of deployment, the majority (93%) of clean transplanted mussels had ingested MPs with a mean number of items ranging from 0.61 to 1.67 items/g. The occurrence, abundance and properties of MPs ingested by caged mussels were similar to those found in native mussels. Among the debris items detected in caged and native mussels, fragments were the most predominant type, consistent with the MPs found in their surrounding environment. MPs sizes were very similar whether in the water, sediments and both caged and native mussels, with a dominance of items <150 μm. Although some polymers were under-represented or totally absent in the caged mussels compared to overlying seawater or surrounding sediment, there was a good overlap in polymer types proportion being found between caged mussels and sediments (Morisita's index of similarity = 0.93) or seawater (0.86). Polystyrene dominated all samples in all the different matrices. Our study suggests that blue mussels caging may be a promising tool for MPs biomonitoring making monitoring more reliable with an accurate assessment of the biological effects of MPs over a predetermined exposure period. However, further methodological improvements should be considered to define a uniform protocol for blue mussels caging to allow spatial and temporal microplastics active biomonitoring.

Monitoring wetland deterioration in a coastal protected area in central Italy: implications for management

Barbieri M, Ricolfi L, Battistel M, Nigro A, Garone A, Ferranti F, Sappa G. Monitoring wetland deterioration in a coastal protected area in central Italy: implications for management. Euro-Mediterranean Journal for Environmental Integration [Internet]. 2019 ;4(1). Available from: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s41207-019-0129-6
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Approximate cost to purchase or rent this item from the publisher: 
US $39.95
Type: Journal Article

A wetland is a complex ecosystem with high biodiversity; in some situations, the productivity of a wetland is comparable to those of a rain forest or coral reef. The stability of wetlands is under threat due to human activities. The study area of the work described here was Palo Laziale (Province of Rome), a characteristic Mediterranean woodland and wetland area in central Italy. Agricultural activities and urbanisation have considerably reduced this habitat. The first evidence of stress on the area’s tree species was detected at the end of 1995, and this stress has gradually resulted in the complete collapse of the woodland habitat, with the deaths of more than 4000 individual trees. Physicochemical data, 87Sr/86Sr isotope data and saturation indices have been used to explore the trends in the characteristics of the aquifer over 15 years. We compared geochemical data from 2002 with new data collected in 2010 and 2016, which confirmed the brackish nature of the aquifer. The similarity of the 2010 and 2016 datasets and a comparison of those datasets with the 2002 dataset show that the system is resilient—it strongly buffers modifications without presenting any major alterations in function. The results demonstrate that the application of a hydrogeochemical approach emphasises the strong relationship between the level of wetland exposure and the nature of the wetland area at the monitoring scale applied.

Long-term monitoring of temperate macroalgal assemblages inside and outside a No take marine reserve

Medrano A, Linares C, Aspillaga E, Capdevila P, Montero-Serra I, Pagès-Escolà M, Zabala M, Hereu B. Long-term monitoring of temperate macroalgal assemblages inside and outside a No take marine reserve. Marine Environmental Research [Internet]. In Press :104826. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0141113619304751?via%3Dihub
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Approximate cost to purchase or rent this item from the publisher: 
US $39.95
Type: Journal Article

Macroalgal communities have an essential role in the shallow benthic habitats of temperate seas, where changes in their composition can resonate through entire coastal ecosystems. As all major ecosystems on Earth, algal beds have already been affected by multiple disturbances. Passive conservation tools, such as marine protected areas or No-take zones, have the potential to reduce some of the anthropogenic impacts by limiting human activity. However, without a good knowledge of the natural community dynamics, it is not easy to discern between changes fruit of the intrinsic variability of biological communities and the ones caused by human-related stressors. In this study, we evaluated the natural variability of macroalgal communities' composition inside and outside a Mediterranean No-Take marine reserve during 15 years. We described their temporal dynamics considering their main drivers and we tested the effect of protection in seaweed beds. We did not find differences either in the composition of the macroalgal assemblages or the total algal cover between protected and non-protected locations over the fifteen years of study. Nevertheless, we observed a positive effect of the protection increasing the cover of some specific species, such as the canopy-forming Treptacantha elegans. Our results highlight the importance of obtaining long-term data in ecological studies to better understand the natural variability of marine communities. Accordingly, a robust understanding of the community dynamics would help us to avoid misinterpretations between ‘impacted’ or ‘in-recovery’ communities when recovery times are longer than the study periods.

Monitoring through many eyes: Integrating disparate datasets to improve monitoring of the Great Barrier Reef

Peterson EE, Santos-Fernández E, Chen C, Clifford S, Vercelloni J, Pearse A, Brown R, Christensen B, James A, Anthony K, et al. Monitoring through many eyes: Integrating disparate datasets to improve monitoring of the Great Barrier Reef. Environmental Modelling & Software [Internet]. In Press :104557. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1364815219309582
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Approximate cost to purchase or rent this item from the publisher: 
US $19.95
Type: Journal Article

Numerous organisations collect data in the Great Barrier Reef (GBR), but they are rarely analysed together due to different program objectives, methods, and data quality. We developed a weighted spatio-temporal Bayesian model and used it to integrate image-based hard-coral data collected by professional and citizen scientists, who captured and/or classified underwater images. We used the model to predict coral cover across the GBR with estimates of uncertainty; thus filling gaps in space and time where no data exist. Additional data increased the model's predictive ability by 43%, but did not affect model inferences about pressures (e.g. bleaching and cyclone damage). Thus, effective integration of professional and high-volume citizen data could enhance the capacity and cost-efficiency of monitoring programs. This general approach is equally viable for other variables collected in the marine environment or other ecosystems; opening up new opportunities to integrate data and provide pathways for community engagement/stewardship.

Challenges of habitat mapping to inform marine protected area (MPA) designation and monitoring: An operational perspective

Ware S, Downie A-L. Challenges of habitat mapping to inform marine protected area (MPA) designation and monitoring: An operational perspective. Marine Policy [Internet]. In Press :103717. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308597X19301022
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Approximate cost to purchase or rent this item from the publisher: 
US $35.95
Type: Journal Article

The UK has adopted a feature-based approach to MPA designation and monitoring to meet international and national obligations. Despite operational challenges, this approach is considered key to optimising conservation outcomes whilst making efficient use of limited resources. Drawing on lessons learnt from the UK's MPA Programme we discuss the practical issues which arise from: i) effective selection of conservation features identified as surrogates for biodiversity, ii) adequacy of feature representation across the MPA network and iii) implementation of quantifiable conservation objectives and ability to monitor progress in relation to them [4,5]. There is recognition that high-level feature surrogates adopted for MPA designation may not adequately represent the full range of biodiversity present across UK marine habitats, and several of these features are indiscernible using acoustic mapping techniques. This results in our inability to accurately map their distribution and extent. Additionally, monitoring progress in relation to conservation targets is hampered by a lack of reliable indicators to assess change in their ecological status. Recommendations for the optimisation of MPA designation and monitoring using a systematic, evidence based approach are provided. These include: 1) flexibility in feature classifications to allow additional features to be designated as required, 2) communication of limitations in the evidence base to enable informed use in adaptive management decisions, 3) use of innovative technologies to more accurately map habitat features and 4) development of wider UK and regional sea scale monitoring programmes which align with an ecosystem based approach to the ongoing assessment of marine biodiversity.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Monitoring