Skip to main content

Free Content Mapping changes in submerged aquatic vegetation using Landsat imagery and benthic habitat data: coral reef ecosystem monitoring in Vieques Sound between 1985 and 2000

Download Article:
(PDF 861.6220703125 kb)


Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) and Enhanced Thematic Mapper (ETM+) imagery for eastern Puerto Rico, collected January of 1985 and March of 2000, was used to perform a multi-temporal classification technique to identify and quantify the dynamics of submerged aquatic vegetation (seagrass and macroalgae) in a study area located in Vieques Sound, off the east coast of Puerto Rico. This change detection was validated using benthic habitat maps of the area created from 1999 aerial photography, and then contextually edited to map different types of change occurring within the study period, including recent sedimentation, changes in seagrass patchiness, and macroalgal cover. The results show that the distribution of seagrass meadows and macroalgae were expanding more than decreasing in the study area between 1985 and 2000. Submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) growth was mainly occurring in deeper waters, whereas shallower seagrass meadows along the north shore of Vieques became increasingly patchy. This analysis demonstrates that the dynamic nature of seagrass meadows and macroalgae in the Vieques Sound can be assessed accurately and efficiently by satellite imagery. The ability to map and identify changes in extent of SAV is important coral reef ecosystem monitoring and targeting of vulnerable and affected areas for more specific research and further study.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2006-09-01

More about this publication?
  • The Bulletin of Marine Science is dedicated to the dissemination of high quality research from the world's oceans. All aspects of marine science are treated by the Bulletin of Marine Science, including papers in marine biology, biological oceanography, fisheries, marine affairs, applied marine physics, marine geology and geophysics, marine and atmospheric chemistry, and meteorology and physical oceanography.
  • Editorial Board
  • Information for Authors
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • Terms & Conditions
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites
  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more