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Gormley, K, McLellan F, McCabe C, Hinton C, Ferris J, Kline DI, Scott BE.  2018.  Automated Image Analysis of Offshore Infrastructure Marine Biofouling. Journal of Marine Science and Engineering. 6(1):2.: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute Abstract
Beijbom, O, Edmunds PJ, Roelfsema C, Smith J, Kline DI, Neal BP, Dunlap MJ, Moriarty V, Fan TY, Tan CJ, Chan S, Treibitz T, Gamst A, Mitchell BG, Kriegman D.  2015.  Towards automated annotation of benthic survey images: Variability of human experts and operational modes of automation. Plos One. 10   10.1371/journal.pone.0130312   AbstractWebsite

Global climate change and other anthropogenic stressors have heightened the need to rapidly characterize ecological changes in marine benthic communities across large scales. Digital photography enables rapid collection of survey images to meet this need, but the subsequent image annotation is typically a time consuming, manual task. We investigated the feasibility of using automated point-annotation to expedite cover estimation of the 17 dominant benthic categories from survey-images captured at four Pacific coral reefs. Inter- and intra- annotator variability among six human experts was quantified and compared to semi- and fully- automated annotation methods, which are made available at coralnet.ucsd. edu. Our results indicate high expert agreement for identification of coral genera, but lower agreement for algal functional groups, in particular between turf algae and crustose coralline algae. This indicates the need for unequivocal definitions of algal groups, careful training of multiple annotators, and enhanced imaging technology. Semi-automated annotation, where 50% of the annotation decisions were performed automatically, yielded cover estimate errors comparable to those of the human experts. Furthermore, fully-automated annotation yielded rapid, unbiased cover estimates but with increased variance. These results show that automated annotation can increase spatial coverage and decrease time and financial outlay for image-based reef surveys.

Georgiou, L, Falter J, Trotter J, Kline DI, Holcomb M, Dove SG, Hoegh-Guldberg O, McCulloch M.  2015.  pH homeostasis during coral calcification in a Free Ocean CO2 Enrichment (FOCE) experiment, Heron Island reef flat, Great Barrier Reef. . Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences . 112(43):13219-13224.   10.1073/pnas.1505586112  
Gonzalez-Rivero, M, Bongaerts P, Beijbom O, Pizarro O, Friedman A, Rodriguez-Ramirez A, Upcroft B, Laffoley D, Kline D, Bailhache C, Vevers R, Hoegh-Guldberg O.  2014.  The Catlin Seaview Survey - kilometre-scale seascape assessment, and monitoring of coral reef ecosystems. Aquatic Conservation-Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems. 24:184-198.   10.1002/aqc.2505   AbstractWebsite

Marine ecosystems provide critically important goods and services to society, and hence their accelerated degradation underpins an urgent need to take rapid, ambitious and informed decisions regarding their conservation and management.The capacity, however, to generate the detailed field data required to inform conservation planning at appropriate scales is limited by time and resource consuming methods for collecting and analysing field data at the large scales required.The Catlin Seaview Survey', described here, introduces a novel framework for large-scale monitoring of coral reefs using high-definition underwater imagery collected using customized underwater vehicles in combination with computer vision and machine learning. This enables quantitative and geo-referenced outputs of coral reef features such as habitat types, benthic composition, and structural complexity (rugosity) to be generated across multiple kilometre-scale transects with a spatial resolution ranging from 2 to 6m(2).The novel application of technology described here has enormous potential to contribute to our understanding of coral reefs and associated impacts by underpinning management decisions with kilometre-scale measurements of reef health.Imagery datasets from an initial survey of 500km of seascape are freely available through an online tool called the Catlin Global Reef Record. Outputs from the image analysis using the technologies described here will be updated on the online repository as work progresses on each dataset.Case studies illustrate the utility of outputs as well as their potential to link to information from remote sensing. The potential implications of the innovative technologies on marine resource management and conservation are also discussed, along with the accuracy and efficiency of the methodologies deployed.10.1002/(ISSN)1099-0755 Copyright (c) 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Connell, SD, Kroeker KJ, Fabricius KE, Kline DI, Russell BD.  2013.  The other ocean acidification problem: CO2 as a resource among competitors for ecosystem dominance. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences. 368   10.1098/rstb.2012.0442   AbstractWebsite

Predictions concerning the consequences of the oceanic uptake of increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) have been primarily occupied with the effects of ocean acidification on calcifying organisms, particularly those critical to the formation of habitats (e. g. coral reefs) or their maintenance (e. g. grazing echinoderms). This focus overlooks direct and indirect effects of CO2 on non-calcareous taxa that play critical roles in ecosystem shifts (e. g. competitors). We present the model that future atmospheric [CO2] may act as a resource for mat-forming algae, a diverse and widespread group known to reduce the resilience of kelp forests and coral reefs. We test this hypothesis by combining laboratory and field CO2 experiments and data from 'natural' volcanic CO2 vents. We show that mats have enhanced productivity in experiments and more expansive covers in situ under projected near-future CO2 conditions both in temperate and tropical conditions. The benefits of CO2 are likely to vary among species of producers, potentially leading to shifts in species dominance in a high CO2 world. We explore how ocean acidification combines with other environmental changes across a number of scales, and raise awareness of CO2 as a resource whose change in availability could have wide-ranging community consequences beyond its direct effects.

Fang, JKH, Schönberg CHL, Kline DI, Hoegh-Guldberg O, Dove S.  2012.  Methods to quantify components of the excavating sponge Cliona orientalis Thiele, 1900. Marine Ecology. :n/a-n/a.   10.1111/maec.12005   AbstractWebsite

This study applied the loss after combustion (LAC) method and the acid decalcification (ADC) method to quantify different components of an excavating sponge. Samples of dried coral skeleton of Favia sp. invaded by the Indo-Pacific excavating sponge Cliona orientalis Thiele, 1900 were used. The sponge tissue penetrated the 12-mm-thick samples to approximately 10 mm. The average proportional weight of organic matter, siliceous spicules, calcareous substrate and salts in the entire samples was found to be respectively 2.5%, 4.4%, 90.5% and 2.5% of dry weight applying the LAC method, and 2.9%, 5.9%, 89.0% and 2.3% of dry weight applying the ADC method. Respective volumetric proportions of the organic matter, spicules, substrate and salts were then calculated to be 6.4%, 5.5%, 85.2% and 3.0% of volume with the LAC method, and 7.4%, 7.2%, 82.7% and 2.7% of volume with the ADC method. The LAC method showed low variability of data and is simple and fast and therefore is recommended. The ADC method generated very similar results to the LAC method. However, due to the handling involved in the ADC method, more than half of the spicules may be lost and the method is therefore not recommended unless careful data corrections are considered. In addition, the buoyant weight method was used to quantify actual substrate weight in the fresh sponge-substrate samples. This method was found to be at least 97% effective, revealing that buoyant weights can potentially be used to quantify bioerosion rates of excavating sponges. To our knowledge, this is the first study to systemically quantify organic and inorganic components of an excavating sponge and its calcareous substrate, providing improved standard methods for future studies.

Levitan, DR, Fukami H, Jara J, Kline D, McGovern TM, McGhee KE, Swanson CA, Knowlton N.  2004.  Mechanisms of reproductive isolation among sympatric broadcast-spawning corals of the Montastraea annularis species complex. Evolution. 58:308-323.   10.1554/02-700   AbstractWebsite

Many coral species spawn simultaneously and have compatible gametes, leading to controversy over the nature of species boundaries and the frequency with which hybridization occurs. Three western Atlantic corals, Montastraea annularis, M. faveolata, and M. franksi, typify this controversy; they all spawn sympatrically on the same evenings after the fall full moons. Here we show, in both Panama and the Bahamas for multiple years, how a variety of mechanisms may act in concert to reproductively isolate all three species. Field studies indicate that M. franksi spawns two hours earlier than the other two species, and the eggs released during this earlier period disperse an average of 500 m by the time the other species spawn. Field measures of fertilization indicate that peak fertilization occurs when spawning synchrony is high and that corals that spawn at the tails of the spawning distributions have greatly reduced fertilization success. Laboratory studies indicate that there is a gametic incompatibility between M. faveolata and the other two species. There are regional differences in the gametic compatibility of M. franksi and M. annularis. In Panama, the two species are completely compatible, whereas in the Bahamas, M. franksi sperm can fertilize M. annularis eggs but the reciprocal cross often fails. Gamete age influences patterns of fertilization, such that very young eggs seem resistant to fertilization and old sperm lose viability after two hours. In sum, the combination of temporal differences in spawning, sperm aging, gamete dispersal and dilution, and gametic incompatibility act in various combinations among the three species, making it unlikely that hybrid fertilization would occur.