[Coral-List] Best practice for LIT surveys (Lindsay Sullivan)

Spring, Keith kspring at conshelf.com
Mon Dec 29 14:45:37 EST 2008


Message: 1
Date: Sun, 28 Dec 2008 21:20:43 +0000 (GMT)
From: Lindsay Sullivan <lindssullivan at yahoo.co.uk>
Subject: [Coral-List] Best practice for LIT surveys
To: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
Message-ID: <435547.54237.qm at web27302.mail.ukl.yahoo.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=utf-8

Dear Coral-listers,
If anyone has experience of using the line intercept transect (LIT)
method to carry out benthic assemblage surveys I wonder if you could
help me.?
I have been taught that in high surge conditions the fibreglass tape
must be secured to?coral colonies to prevent it moving around, wound
around massive colonies and through the fingers of branching and
digitate colonies for example,?however I have concerns that (a) this is
damaging to the coral and (b) the survey?is no longer random or even
haphazard, but that the results are selected by the diver as he
carefully tucks the tape around coral. 
Does anyone have similar opinions or experiences of this method and can
offer possible solutions? Despite the common usage of?LITs for coral
reef surveys I have been unable to find detailed instructions of how to
ensure the tape?remains secured?close the substrate and in a straight
line, so wonder if perhaps this is an accepted weakness of the method?
Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
Best regards,



We've pretty much given up on using a fiberglass tape in reef or benthic
surveys where there's any surge and where you want the tape to remain in
place. What works just as well is 3/16" diameter lead-core braided
polyester line, used in the fishing industry. The slight added weight of
the crimped lead core causes the line to lay flat on the bottom, even in
moderate swells. We cut the line to whatever lengths we need, stretch it
out, and then mark the line at 0.5-m or 1-m intervals with permanent
markers. You can lay it out across the reef under a bit of tension and
then slack off when it's deployed. It's extremely durable, although a
bit heavy when you get up to the 50+m lengths. 

Good Luck,

Keith D. Spring
CSA International, Inc.

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