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Free Content Analysis of a Volunteer Method for Collecting Fish Presence and Abundance Data in the Florida Keys

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A roving diver fish survey method that requires relatively little time and equipment was developed for use by trained volunteer divers to regularly, rapidly, and inexpensively document patterns of reef fish distribution and abundance, In this method, a diver searches a dive site and records all observed fish species and their abundance in log10 categories, Results from 130 h of observation were analyzed from three regional surveys conducted in the Florida Keys at a total of 27 reefs by four observers during the summer of 1994. The Upper Keys had the most species (166) followed by the Lower Keys (151) and the Dry Tortugas (142). More uncommon species were found in the Dry Tortugas. Experienced volunteer divers were able to provide useful species listings, frequency of occurrence and abundance data. We recommend multiple surveys from one site and day and night surveys for providing most complete species listings. Cluster analysis of reefs using Jaccard similarity indicies showed that reefs within a region clustered together and that reefs in close geographical proximity generally had the highest similarity. Data showed spatial distributions and species abundance patterns consistent with previous studies.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 1996

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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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