Advertisement

Coral Reefs

, Volume 2, Issue 1, pp 37–42 | Cite as

Correction for bias in visual transect censuses of coral reef fishes

  • P. F. Sale
  • B. J. Sharp
Article

Abstract

Transect techniques for censusing reef fishes, and the sources of bias inherent in them are considered. A technique, derived from aeraly survey methods, is demonstrated to correct a bias in density estimates due to the width of the transect being censused. This bias is sufficient on a transect 1 m wide to underestimate density by 11.1–26.7% for five species or species groups examined. The bias is still greater on wider transects. Because this bias varies in degree among species, comparisons among species should not be made using uncorrected transect data. Comments are made on other probable sources of bias in transect data, and on ways of minimising bias when making visual transect censuses.

Keywords

Coral Reef Density Estimate Species Group Sedimentology Reef Fish 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Alevizon WS, Brooks MG (1975) The comparative structure of two western Atlantic reef-fish assemblages. Bull Mar Sci 25:482–490Google Scholar
  2. Anderson GRV, Ehrlich AH, Ehrlich PR, Roughgarden JD, Russell BC, Talbot FH (1981) The community structure of coral reef fishes. Am Nat 117:476–495Google Scholar
  3. Brock VE (1954) A preliminary report on a method of estimating reef fish populations. J Wildl Manage 18:297–308Google Scholar
  4. Caughley G (1977) Analysis of vertebrate populations. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  5. Caughley G, Sinclair R, Scott-Kemmis D (1976) Experiments in aerial survey. J Wildl Manage 40:290–300Google Scholar
  6. Chave EH, Eckert DB (1974) Ecological aspects of the distributions of fishes at Fanning Island. Pac Sci 28:297–317Google Scholar
  7. Clarke RD (1977) Habitat distribution and species diversity of chaetodontid and promacentrid fishes near Bimini, Bahamas. Mar Biol 40:277–289Google Scholar
  8. Ehrlich PR, Talbot FH, Russell BC, Anderson GRV (1977) The behaviour of chaetodontid fishes, with special reference to Lorenz's “poster colouration” hypothesis. J Zool (London) 183:213–228Google Scholar
  9. Jones RS, Chase JA (1975) Community structure and distribution of fishes in an enclosed high island lagoon in Guam. Micronesia 11:127–148Google Scholar
  10. Keast A, Harker J (1977) Strip counts as a means of determining densities and habitat utilization patterns in lake fishes. Environ Biol Fish 1:181–188Google Scholar
  11. Robertson DR, Lassig B (1980) Spatial distribution patterns and coexistence of a group of territorial damselfishes from the Great Barrier Reef. Bull Mar Sci 30:187–203Google Scholar
  12. Sale PF (1974) Mechanisms of coexistence in a guild of territorial fishes at Heron Island. Proc 2nd Int Coral Reef Symp 1:193–206Google Scholar
  13. Sale PF, Douglas WA (1981) Precision and accuracy of visual census technique for fish assemblages on coral patch reefs. Environ Biol Fish 6:333–339Google Scholar
  14. Werner EE, Hall DJ, Laughlin DR, Wagner DJ, Wilsmann LA, Funk FC (1977) Habitat partitioning in a freshwater fish community. J Fish Res Board Can 34:360–370Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. F. Sale
    • 1
  • B. J. Sharp
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Biological SciencesUniversity of SydneySydneyAustralia

Personalised recommendations