[Coral-List] Securing markers on permanent transects

Chris_Ryan at URSCorp.com Chris_Ryan at URSCorp.com
Wed Feb 25 18:51:29 EST 2009


I've used galvanised and stainless steel star pickets to mark permanent 
transects on more than 200 50m transects over the last ten years or so on 
the GBR and the North West Shelf, Australia.  If you use 1.6m long 
starpickets and a star picket driver, you can out then into the seabed 
somewhere between 600 - 1000 mm.  They rarely ever come loose, whereas 
round pieces of steel often do.  In shallow, high energy environments, 
there appears to be significantly more corrosion, which means that they 
will have to be replaced every now and again, or stainless should be 
preferred (costs more though).  I've used cattle tags as markers on stakes 
to mark corals - they rapidly get covered with algae (including 
corallline) which can be removed by scraping a knife over them (although 
this will scrape off anything written on them). The tags usually have a 
indented number which can be tallied with your own descriptors.  I've 
avoided using floats tied to the substrate as they usually end up tangled 
around adjacent corals, and unless quite heavy, break off anyway.  In a 
shallow reef flat environment, I don't think floats would last more than a 
couple of tidal cycles.  If your transects are laid out straight to begin 
with, you should be able to replace any missing star pickets in roughly 
the same place by attaching your measuring tape to the pickets that are 
there and extrapolating.  Granted, they won't end up in exactly the same 
place, but I'd doubt that it would make much difference on a long term 
project as it is unlikely that you are actually measuring the same line 
through the reef flat every time (due to tape movement) and the typical 
power to detect change using permanent transects is somewhat limited.

I'd encourage you to keep your monitoring program going as there are so 
few long term projects.  You would still have to replace markers every now 
and again, but if you carry a few star pickets and a star picket driver, 
than it isn't such a big job.

Good luck

Chris Ryan
Senior Associate Marine Biologist

URS Australia
Level 16, 240 Queen Street
Brisbane, QLD, 4000, Australia
Phone: +61 7 3243 2111          Fax: +61 7 3243 2199
mailto:chris_ryan at urscorp.com or visit our website at 

 ---> Please consider our environment and think before you print - thank 
you <--- 

This e-mail and any attachments are confidential. If you receive this 
message in error or are not the intended recipient, you should not retain, 
distribute, disclose or use any of this information and you should destroy 
the e-mail and any attachments or copies. 

coral-list-request at coral.aoml.noaa.gov 
Sent by: coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
25/02/2009 10:49 PM
Please respond to
coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov

coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov

Coral-List Digest, Vol 6, Issue 30

> _______________________________________________
> Coral-List mailing list
> Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
> http://coral.aoml.noaa.gov/mailman/listinfo/coral-list
> End of Coral-List Digest, Vol 6, Issue 28
> *****************************************


Message: 5
Date: Tue, 24 Feb 2009 15:32:11 -0400
From: "Barbara Whitman" <terramar at caribcable.com>
Subject: Re: [Coral-List] Securing markers on permanent transects
To: "Helen Sykes" <helenthereef at gmail.com>, "'Reshad'"
                 <reshad1977 at gmail.com>, <Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>
Message-ID: <B27C6FF286564A6682EB5AF633B57EFB at BarbaraWhitmPC>
Content-Type: text/plain; format=flowed; charset="iso-8859-1";

I don't use metal in any part of my aquariums because it affects the 
invertebrates.  Wouldn't it also have an affect in the ocean?
Barb Whitman

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Helen Sykes" <helenthereef at gmail.com>
To: "'Reshad'" <reshad1977 at gmail.com>; <Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>
Sent: Monday, February 23, 2009 6:28 PM
Subject: Re: [Coral-List] Securing markers on permanent transects

> HI Rashad.
> I find steel bar markers diffcult to install, unsightly in tourism areas 

> and
> potentially dangerous on shallow reef flats.
> I cable tie fishing floats onto the reef substrate, and tag every 5 or 
> metres along the transect with cable ties with the staight ends left
> sticking out.
> Over time these become covered with coralline algae and so less visible 
> the eye who is not looking for it, but are still obvious enough to the
> trained surveyor laying a line.  So far these have remained on the reefs 

> for
> over 8 years if carefully situated in none-brittle areas.
> Cattle tags work well too, and can be marked with marker pen.
> Helen
> Helen Sykes
> Director
> marine ecology
> Fiji's leading company for Coastal & Marine Ecology Assessments
> Fiji Coordinator
> GCRMN and Reef Check
> PO Box 2558, Govt Buildings
> Suva, Fiji Islands
> tel: +679-336-3625 / +679-359-2136
> e: helen at marineecologyfiji.com
> web: http://www.marineecologyfiji.com/
> -----Original Message-----
> From: coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
> [mailto:coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov] On Behalf Of Reshad
> Sent: Monday, February 23, 2009 4:56 PM
> To: Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
> Subject: [Coral-List] Securing markers on permanent transects
> Dear list,
> I have the responsibility of ensuring consistency of data collection in 
> Rodriguan coral reef monitoring programme, that has been under way since
> 2002.
> Essentially we survey reef flat and reef slope benthos, fish and
> invertebrates, by repeated measure of three permanent transects, at a 
> number
> of sites around the island.  We  are having problems keeping our 
> transect markers on several of the reef flat sites, due to the effect of
> hydrodynamic forces on both markers and substrate.  In the past several
> markers have been replaced each year, making our repeated measure of 
> benthos
> somewhat questionable.  This year it has been suggested we abandon these
> sites completely because of the problem.  I don't particularly agree 
> giving up that easily, and would like to know if anyone has found a more
> effective method, than we have, to mark reef transects.  We currently 
> metre long, 2 cm diameter steel T-bars, driven almost all the way into 
> reef structure, but we have also tried drilling into the substrate and
> fixing the steaks using concrete.  We mark our transects at 0, 5, 10, 
> 20
> and 50 m.  Most eventually loosen then disappear, some after only six
> months.  Any information on progress in the field would be most welcome.
> Cheers,
> Reshad
> Reshad Jhangeer-Khan
> Science Co-ordinator
> Shoals Rodrigues
> Pointe Monier
> Rodrigues
> Mauritius
> Mobile:   +230 733 1769
> Office:     +230 831 1225
> Fax:         +230 831 0287
> Email:     research at shoals.intnet.mu
> Web:       http://www.shoalsrodrigues.net
> _______________________________________________
> Coral-List mailing list
> Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
> http://coral.aoml.noaa.gov/mailman/listinfo/coral-list
> No virus found in this incoming message.
> Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
> Version: 8.0.237 / Virus Database: 270.11.3/1966 - Release Date: 
> 17:21:00
> _______________________________________________
> Coral-List mailing list
> Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
> http://coral.aoml.noaa.gov/mailman/listinfo/coral-list 


Coral-List mailing list
Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov

End of Coral-List Digest, Vol 6, Issue 30

More information about the Coral-List mailing list