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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 380:103-115 (2009)  -  DOI:

Regional estimates of reef carbonate dynamics and productivity using Landsat 7 ETM+, and potential impacts from ocean acidification

Christopher S. Moses1,3,*, Serge Andréfouët2, Christine J. Kranenburg1, Frank E. Muller-Karger1,4

1University of South Florida, Institute for Marine Remote Sensing, 140 7th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, Florida 33701, USA
2Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD), BP A5—98848 Nouméa cedex, New Caledonia
3Present address: Jacobs Technology, USGS/FISC, 600 Fourth Street South, St. Petersburg, Florida 33701, USA
4Present address: Univ. of Massachusetts Dartmouth, School for Marine Science and Technology (SMAST),
706 South Rodney French Blvd, New Bedford, Massachusetts 02744-1221, USA

ABSTRACT: Using imagery at 30 m spatial resolution from the most recent Landsat satellite, the Landsat 7 Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+), we scale up reef metabolic productivity and calcification from local habitat-scale (10–1 to 100 km2) measurements to regional scales (103 to 104 km2). Distribution and spatial extent of the North Florida Reef Tract (NFRT) habitats come from supervised classification of the Landsat imagery within independent Landsat-derived Millennium Coral Reef Map geomorphologic classes. This system minimizes the depth range and variability of benthic habitat characteristics found in the area of supervised classification and limits misclassification. Classification of Landsat imagery into 5 biotopes (sand, dense live cover, sparse live cover, seagrass, and sparse seagrass) by geomorphologic class is >73% accurate at regional scales. Based on recently published habitat-scale in situ metabolic measurements, gross production (P = 3.01 × 109 kg C yr–1), excess production (E = –5.70 × 108 kg C yr–1), and calcification (G = –1.68 × 106 kg CaCO3 yr–1) are estimated over 2711 km2 of the NFRT. Simple models suggest sensitivity of these values to ocean acidification, which will increase local dissolution of carbonate sediments. Similar approaches could be applied over large areas with poorly constrained bathymetry or water column properties and minimal metabolic sampling. This tool has potential applications for modeling and monitoring large-scale environmental impacts on reef productivity, such as the influence of ocean acidification on coral reef environments.

KEY WORDS: Remote sensing · Corals · Carbon cycle · Millennium Coral Reef Map

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Cite this article as: Moses CS, Andréfouët S, Kranenburg CJ, Muller-Karger FE (2009) Regional estimates of reef carbonate dynamics and productivity using Landsat 7 ETM+, and potential impacts from ocean acidification. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 380:103-115.

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