Abstract written by OBIS-USA using Excerpts from CRED Homepage
The need for conservation of coral ecosystems throughout the world requires knowledge concerning the ecological requirements of species that make up the system, causes for the loss of any of the component organisms, and the requirements for the survival of remaining species. The collection of systematic information concerning what ... taxa are present, or biodiversity assessment, is a prerequisite for determining the factors previously mentioned. The task of conservation is further supported by an ongoing monitoring program, which uses the biodiversity assessment as its baseline for detecting changes through time.
Historically, the biodiversity assessments and monitoring programs for coral reefs have focused strictly on the charismatic fauna such as cnidarians and fish. Coral reefs are compared to rainforest habitat when referring to their biodiversity. Rainforest ecosystems are viewed from the perspective of the canopy components but are made up of a wealth of less charismatic fauna that contribute greatly to the biodiversity. In the case of coral reefs this is also true; the cryptic sponge, mollusk, echinoderm, crustacea, annelid, bryozoan, and tunicate fauna are an integral component to the overall biodiversity.
The Coral Reef Ecosystem Investigation (CRED) program of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration-National Marine Fisheries Service, Honolulu Laboratory includes a marine invertebrate component as part of its rapid ecological assessment (REA) activities in the tropical Pacific. The marine invertebrate component is done in conjunction with surveys of fish, corals, and macroalgae to create a complete benthic survey of coral reef areas that are included in the scope of the program.
Data was published on the OBIS-USA web site March 31, 2010 and is available at http://www.usgs.gov/obis-usa.
Record Count 64,435, Taxa Count 444
Please see the CRED homepage for additional information at http://www.pifsc.noaa.gov/cred/index.php