Absolute abundance estimates from shallow water baited underwater camera surveys; a stochastic modelling approach tested against field data

Dunlop, K.M., Ruxton, G.D., Scott, E.M. and Bailey, D.M. (2015) Absolute abundance estimates from shallow water baited underwater camera surveys; a stochastic modelling approach tested against field data. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 472, pp. 126-134. (doi:10.1016/j.jembe.2015.07.010)

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Abstract

Baited underwater cameras are becoming a popular tool to monitor fish and invertebrate populations within protected and inshore environments where trawl surveys are unsuitable. Modelling the arrival times of deep-sea grenadiers using an inverse square relationship has enabled abundance estimates, comparable to those from bottom trawl surveys, to be gathered from deep-sea baited camera surveys. Baited underwater camera systems in the shallow water environments are however, currently limited to relative comparisons of assemblages based on simple metrics such as MaxN (maximum number of fish seen at any one time). This study describes a stochastic simulation approach used to model the behaviour of fish and invertebrates around a BUC system to enable absolute abundance estimates to be generated from arrival patterns. Species-specific models were developed for the tropical reef fishes the black tip grouper (Epinephelus fasciatus) and moray eel (Gymnothorax spp.) and the Antarctic scavengers; the asteroid (Odontaster validus) and the nemertean worm (Parbolasia corrugatus). A sensitivity analysis explored the impact of input parameters on the arrival patterns (MaxN, time to the arrival of the first individual and the time to reach MaxN) for each species generated by the model. Sensitivity analysis showed a particularly strong link between MaxN and abundance indicating that this model could be used to generate absolute abundances from existing or future MaxN data. It in effect allows the slope of the MaxN vs. abundance relationship to be estimated. Arrival patterns generated by each model were used to estimate population abundance for the focal species and these estimates were compared to data from underwater visual census transects. Using a Bland–Altman analysis, baited underwater camera data processed using this model were shown to generate absolute abundance estimates that were comparable to underwater visual census data.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Scott, Professor E Marian and Ruxton, Professor Graeme and Bailey, Dr David
Authors: Dunlop, K.M., Ruxton, G.D., Scott, E.M., and Bailey, D.M.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
College of Science and Engineering > School of Mathematics and Statistics > Statistics
Journal Name:Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology
Publisher:Elsevier B.V.
ISSN:0022-0981
ISSN (Online):0022-0981
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V.
First Published:First published in Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 472:126-134
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.

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