Other projects of the CRTR Program include:
Development of Standard Operating Procedures for repeated measures of process and state variables of coral reef environments
Most reef studies and monitoring programs examine the state variables (i.e. coral cover, macroalgal cover, size-frequency distributions) of coral reefs, by assessing the coverage of major benthic organisms; few studies examine the key ecological processes that drive these state variables. Processes of major interest include recruitment rates, individual growth rates, partial mortality rates of clonal organisms, and survival. We are also interested in macro-processes such as predation, herbivory, and oceanography and their influence. Understanding these key processes, assessing their spatial variation and their relationship with state variables will lead to predictive models of population trajectories, relative population size distributions, and community change under different climate change scenarios. Yet, key processes that drive community composition differ in accordance with region setting, and possibly among localities within regions. Furthermore, the key processes that drive community structure and population dynamics may also vary in their influence depending on the spatial scale of observation.
There is limited information on process variables, especially collected in a similar, systematic manner. Thus, there is a pressing need to establish and evaluate, through repeated measures, processes at localities that may lead to comparisons across spatial scales over time. Indeed, the significance of processes may change over time. These Standard Operating Procedures present a standard approach with which to collect state and process variables at the various habitats in the vicinity of each CoE and other satellite locations. These methods are intended to be rigorous enough to make useful comparisons among localities, yet flexible enough to allow for different analytical approaches, within the CRTR Program. Development of Standard Operating Procedures will provide a means for other regions and research groups to adopt these methods, minimizing the variation in data collection and facilitate our interpretation and understanding of coral-reef dynamics. Therefore, overall objective of this document is to outline a field protocol, within the auspices of the CRTR Program’s network of scientists, which will allow comparisons of key state and process variables across three oceans.
Standard Operating Procedures (3.8mb, PDF)
Population dynamics of coral populations under environmental change (3.8mb, PDF)
Manual of Methods for the MBRS Synoptic Monitoring Program (2.3mb, PDF)
Checklists for Indo-Pacific species (under development)