Study of spatial variability of coralligenous habitats, by means of photo‐quadrats and image processing

by Thierry de Ville d’Avray L., David R., Guillemain D., and Féral J.-P.
Friday 2 May 2014
by  Jean Pierre FERAL
popularity : 10%

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The coralligenous habitat? is a Mediterranean marine ecosystem that is one of the most important in terms of complexity and biodiversity. It provides protection, feeding and reproduction areas for more than 1600 species. The European program CIGESMED studies the Good Environmental Status of this habitat.
One objective of CIGESMED is to describe the spatial natural variability of the coralligenous habitats. This is done by the observation of milieu and photo-quadrats collected by divers. The aim of their analysis is to identify metrics that are relevant, reliable, and efficient to explain the natural variability. Metrics observed are about presence, abundance, and associations of the coralligenous taxa, at species, genus or phylum scale. Metrics are confronted with environmental parameters to highlight relationships. In order to focus on natural variability and because CIGESMED is an international program, a preliminary work is done to identify the variability coming from the methods, materials, observers and operators: what can be called the “operational variability”. A work of inter-calibration? between all organisms involved enables data sharing and efficient data analysis around the whole Mediterranean countries. Most of the statistical analysis is based on dataset provided by the photo-quadrat processing made with PhotoQuad, an image processing software.

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