sampling design

Bridget Elliott b.elliott at
Thu Jul 15 07:34:49 EDT 1999


Is anyone out there sampling a representation of patchily distributed reefs along a stretch of coast along several hundred kilometres ?

I am looking for suggestions for the sampling design of a monitoring program, when reefs are of a wide range of sizes and depths, and patchily distributed along the coast. One source has suggested dividing the coast into equal sectors of say, 50 km, and doing a fixed number of transects for a range of depths regardless of the amount of reef in that sector. This would allow for direct comparisons between the reefs (sectors) for variables such as species abundance and composition, with equal replications.

However, surely if one sector only has a few square metres of scrappy reef, it does not justify the same intensity of sampling as a sector with a lot of reef ?

In the southern part of our province the reefs are typical temperate rocky substrate, graduating to a layer of sub-tropical corals growing on top of submerged Pleistocene dunes in the north. I hope to use line-transects (GCRM method) to establish a long-term monitoring program of the benthos.

Are there any biologists or statisticians out there who can help ?

Many thanks

Bridget Elliott
Marine Ecologist
KwaZulu-Natal Nature Conservation Service
Private Bag X3
Congella, Durban
South Africa
phone: +27 - 31 - 2051271
fax: +27 - 31 - 2051547
email: b.elliott at
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