Biogeographic Characterization of Fish Communities within the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary (2006 - 2007) (NODC Accession 0118358)

Metadata Updated: February 27, 2019

The overarching goal of this collaboration was to provide the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary (FGBNMS) staff with information on biogeographic patterns within the Sanctuary. This specific project focused on the development of a plan to spatially and quantitatively characterize the fish communities in relatively shallow waters throughout the Sanctuary (<110 ft). This collaboration also included the initial implementation of that plan. The FGBNMS represents the northernmost tropical western Atlantic coral reef on the continental shelf and support the most highly developed offshore hard bank community in the region. The complexity of habitats supports a diverse assemblage of organisms including approximately 250 species of fish, 23 species of coral, and 80 species of algae in addition to large sponge communities. Understanding and monitoring these resources is critical to both sanctuary inventory and management activities. Monitoring of the biological communities has taken place at FGBNMS since the 1970s. This work has focused primarily on monitoring the benthos with video transects and photostations documenting transitions between coral, algae and sponge communities over time. Until relatively recently, little has been done to monitor or characterize the reef fish community. In 1994 the Reef Environmental Education Foundation (REEF) began surveys of the Sanctuary and utilized a combination of REEF personnel, volunteers, and Sanctuary staff to visually census reef fish populations via roving diver surveys. These surveys have been invaluable in terms of species list development and understanding the ranges of these species. Subsequently, a stationary point-count survey technique was utilized to begin to quantify community metrics such as species abundance and trophic structure at selected locations. These data provide an important starting point for characterizing the fish community; however, they are limited in scope of inference to small portions of the Sanctuary coral cap environment and are therefore difficult to utilize in developing population estimates at the scale of the Sanctuary.

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Metadata Date June 20, 2018
Metadata Created Date February 7, 2018
Metadata Updated Date February 27, 2019
Reference Date(s) October 1, 2006 (publication)
Frequency Of Update asNeeded

Metadata Source

Harvested from NOAA CSW Harvest Source

Additional Metadata

Resource Type Dataset
Metadata Date June 20, 2018
Metadata Created Date February 7, 2018
Metadata Updated Date February 27, 2019
Reference Date(s) October 1, 2006 (publication)
Responsible Party NOAA/NOS/NCCOS/CCMA/Biogeography Branch (Point of Contact)
Contact Email
Access Constraints Use Constraints: Please reference NOAA/NCCOS/CCMA/Biogeography Branch when utilizing these data in a report or peer reviewed publication. Additionally, knowledge of how this dataset has been of use and which organizations are utilizing it is of great benefit for ensuring this information continues to meet the needs of the management and research communities. Therefore, it is requested but not mandatory, that any user of these data supply this information to the Program Manager: Chris Jeffrey (email:, Access Constraints: None
Bbox East Long -93.59
Bbox North Lat 27.92
Bbox South Lat 27.87
Bbox West Long -93.82
Coupled Resource
Frequency Of Update asNeeded
Harvest Object Id 79662331-3be7-4807-87db-5907fb5f52a7
Harvest Source Id 2aed8e29-fc5b-4cde-aa66-fb1118fd705e
Harvest Source Title NOAA CSW Harvest Source
Licence These data were prepared by an agency of the United States Government. Neither the United States Government nor any agency thereof, nor any of their employees, make any warranty, expressed or implied, or assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product, or process disclosed, or represents that its use would not infringe privately owned rights. Reference therein to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the United States Government or any agency thereof. Any views and opinions expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of the United States Government or any agency thereof. Although all data have been used by NOAA, no warranty, expressed or implied, is made by NOAA as to the accuracy of the data and/or related materials. The act of distribution shall not constitute any such warranty, and no responsibility is assumed by NOAA in the use of these data or related materials. NOAA makes no warranty regarding these data, expressed or implied, nor does the fact of distribution constitute such a warranty. NOAA can not assume liability for and damages caused by any errors or omissions in these data, nor as a result of the failure of these data to function on a particular system.
Metadata Language
Metadata Type geospatial
Progress completed
Spatial Data Service Type
Spatial Reference System
Spatial Harvester True
Temporal Extent Begin 2006-09-01
Temporal Extent End 2007-09-01

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