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Free Content Spatial analysis of the benthic habitats within the limited-use zones around Vieques, Puerto Rico

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Abstract:

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.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2006-09-01

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  • 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.
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