monitoring of reefs

Bridget Elliott b.elliott at
Thu May 27 10:57:54 EDT 1999


In our province (KwaZulu-Natal on the east coast of South Africa) we have both coral and rock reefs. We are initiating a long-term monitoring program, but while there are established methods for coral reefs, I am struggling to find accepted techniques for monitoring rock reefs.

Ideally, if we could use the same method (Line Intercept Transects) for both types of reefs it would greatly simplify data collection and training of the data collectors. However, I am concerned that certain assumptions of the method (that the size of teh object is small relative to the length of the line) will be violated by the type of cover on rock reefs. One would expect to encounter fairly large patches of monospecific algae for example.

Does anyone out there know of any published or established methods for monitoring temperate rock reefs ? Has anyone tried this in California for example ?


Bridget Elliott
KZN Nature Conservation Service
Durban, South Africa
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