Andréfouet, Serge, Solène Derville, Julie Buttin, Guillaume Dirberg, Colette C. C. Wabnitz, Claire Garrigue, and Claude E. Payri. “Nation-Wide Hierarchical and Spatially-Explicit Framework to Characterize Seagrass Meadows in New-Caledonia, and Its Potential Application to the Indo-Pacific.” Marine Pollution Bulletin 173 (December 1, 2021): 113036. Redirecting.
Despite their ecological role and multiple contributions to human societies, the distribution of Indo-Pacific seagrasses remains poorly known in many places. Herein, we outline a hierarchical spatially-explicit assessment framework to derive nation-wide synoptic knowledge of the distribution of seagrass species and communities. We applied the framework to New Caledonia (southwest Pacific Ocean) and its 36,200 km2 of reefs and lagoons. The framework is primarily field-based but can leverage various habitat maps derived from remote sensing. Field data collection can be stratified by map products and retrospectively contribute to developing new seagrass distribution maps. Airborne and satellite remote sensing alone do not allow for the spatial generalisation of the finest attributes (species distribution and types of seagrass beds), but staged stratified field sampling provides synoptic views of these attributes. Using three examples, we discuss how the hierarchical and spatial information generated from this framework’s application can inform conservation and management objectives.
Fig. 2. Flow chart summarizing the hierarchical framework to enhance spatial knowledge on seagrass species and communities at different scales, from field sampling station level, to local sites and the national scale.