Spatial analysis of the benthic habitats within the limited-use zones around Vieques, Puerto Rico
We used a geographic information system (GIS) to analyze overlap between two preexisting spatial datasets, benthic habitat maps and marine zoning boundaries, to provide a spatial inventory of the benthic habitats around Vieques Island, Puerto Rico. We calculated the length of shoreline, area, and diversity of bottom habitats within and outside of the three limited-use areas offshore to a distance of 3 nmi around Vieques. Of note, 95% of the shoreline of Vieques, 100% of the mangroves and mud bottom, 96% of the macroalgae, nearly half of the coral reef/hard bottom, and higher diversity of benthic habitats were within the limited-use areas. The distribution of these features is the combined result of the island's geological, ecological, oceanographic, and ownership history.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 01 September 2006
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