A novel approach to measuring subtidal habitat complexity

Tom Wilding, Craig Rose, Martin Downie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Habitat complexity plays an important role in determining benthic community structure. A diverse range of methods for its measurement have been adopted but none are convenient for use underwater where access time is at a premium. We describe a novel, calibrated, tool for rapidly measuring scale-dependent habitat complexity developed, primarily, for use underwater. This tool is based on a distance-wheel with interchangeable wheels of different sizes to allow a scale-dependent measure of distance. This technique was calibrated against a profile of known complexity, at relevant scales, and then trialed on the Loch Linnhe Artificial Reef, a replicated artificial substratum offering two different scale-dependent habitat complexities. The distance-wheel was cost-effective, simple to fabricate and enabled the rapid and straightforward measurement of perceived distance over the step-length range of 133-1020 mm. (c) 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)279-286
Number of pages8
JournalJ EXP MAR BIOL ECOL
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2007

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Keywords

  • Ecology
  • FRACTAL DIMENSIONS
  • MACROALGAE
  • CORAL-REEF
  • BIODIVERSITY
  • FISH ASSEMBLAGES
  • Marine & Freshwater Biology
  • BODY-SIZE
  • METAZOAN COMMUNITY
  • STRUCTURAL COMPLEXITY
  • SURFACE-TOPOGRAPHY
  • DIVERSITY

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