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Title Sum-
Institution Dataset ID
   set  data   graph     files  public Octocoral colony height by taxon, year, site, and life stage from surveys conducted in St.
John, US Virgin Islands from 2014 to 2017
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The Dataset's Variables and Attributes

Row Type Variable Name Attribute Name Data Type Value
attribute NC_GLOBAL access_formats String .htmlTable,.csv,.json,.mat,.nc,.tsv
attribute NC_GLOBAL acquisition_description String The following methodology applies to this dataset in addition to other
datasets published in Edmunds and Lasker (2019).

Sampling and analytical procedures:

Surveys were completed at six sites on shallow (7\u20139-m depth) fringing
reefs on the south shore of St. John, between Cabritte Horn and White Point.
In 1992, these sites were randomly selected on hard substrata along 4.5 km of
shore between these headlands, and they have been censused annually to
present. Each site consists of a permanently marked transect that has been
40-m long since 2000. The present project began in 2014 with the objective of
augmenting a long-standing analysis of benthic community structure (which
emphasized scleractinians with new analyses focused on octocorals. As part of
this effort, arborescent octocorals were surveyed in situ with genus
resolution, using 40 quadrats (0.5 \u00d7 0.5 m) placed at random, non-
overlapping positions along the same transect (and re-randomized annually)
located at each of the six sites. Surveys were completed over four weeks
beginning on ~ 20th July of each of 2014\u20132017, and were conducted by
counting and measuring the height of octocorals attached by holdfasts within
each quadrat.

Height was determined (\u00b1 1 cm) using a flexible tape measure stretched
from the holdfast to the colony apex. Abundances were analyzed separately for
adults (> 5-cm tall), and recruits (\u2264 5-cm tall), with this size cut-off
based on the maximal height to which the recruits of most octocoral species
are likely to grow in one year. While the benthos was inspected for all small
octocorals, sampling efficiency probably was low for recruits consisting of
only a few polyps (i.e., < 1-cm tall). Analyses testing for the effects of
density dependence (DD) and self-thinning (ST) were first, completed for
octocorals pooled among taxa, and second, for the three most common genera of
octocorals. Evidence of DD recruitment also was sought from analyses of per
capita recruitment by site, with these values obtained by dividing the density
of recruits by mean density of adults.

For more information about statistical analyses performed using these data see
Edmunds and Lasker (2019).
attribute NC_GLOBAL awards_0_award_nid String 752507
attribute NC_GLOBAL awards_0_award_number String OCE-1756678
attribute NC_GLOBAL awards_0_data_url String http://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward.do?AwardNumber=1756678 (external link)
attribute NC_GLOBAL awards_0_funder_name String NSF Division of Ocean Sciences
attribute NC_GLOBAL awards_0_funding_acronym String NSF OCE
attribute NC_GLOBAL awards_0_funding_source_nid String 355
attribute NC_GLOBAL awards_0_program_manager String David L. Garrison
attribute NC_GLOBAL awards_0_program_manager_nid String 50534
attribute NC_GLOBAL cdm_data_type String Other
attribute NC_GLOBAL comment String Edmunds and Lasker MEPS 2019 Fig S5b: Height
PI: Peter J. Edmunds
Data Version 1: 2020-02-04
attribute NC_GLOBAL Conventions String COARDS, CF-1.6, ACDD-1.3
attribute NC_GLOBAL creator_email String info at bco-dmo.org
attribute NC_GLOBAL creator_name String BCO-DMO
attribute NC_GLOBAL creator_type String institution
attribute NC_GLOBAL creator_url String https://www.bco-dmo.org/ (external link)
attribute NC_GLOBAL data_source String extract_data_as_tsv version 2.3 19 Dec 2019
attribute NC_GLOBAL date_created String 2020-02-04T19:17:47Z
attribute NC_GLOBAL date_modified String 2020-02-14T21:12:54Z
attribute NC_GLOBAL defaultDataQuery String &amp;time&lt;now
attribute NC_GLOBAL doi String 10.1575/1912/bco-dmo.789217.1
attribute NC_GLOBAL infoUrl String https://www.bco-dmo.org/dataset/789217 (external link)
attribute NC_GLOBAL institution String BCO-DMO
attribute NC_GLOBAL instruments_0_dataset_instrument_nid String 789224
attribute NC_GLOBAL instruments_0_description String A tape measure or measuring tape is a flexible ruler. It consists of a ribbon of cloth, plastic, fibre glass, or metal strip with linear-measurement markings. It is a common measuring tool.
attribute NC_GLOBAL instruments_0_instrument_name String Measuring Tape
attribute NC_GLOBAL instruments_0_instrument_nid String 645010
attribute NC_GLOBAL keywords String bco, bco-dmo, biological, chemical, data, dataset, dmo, erddap, height, life, Life_stage, management, oceanography, office, preliminary, site, stage, taxon, year
attribute NC_GLOBAL license String https://www.bco-dmo.org/dataset/789217/license (external link)
attribute NC_GLOBAL metadata_source String https://www.bco-dmo.org/api/dataset/789217 (external link)
attribute NC_GLOBAL param_mapping String {'789217': {}}
attribute NC_GLOBAL parameter_source String https://www.bco-dmo.org/mapserver/dataset/789217/parameters (external link)
attribute NC_GLOBAL people_0_affiliation String California State University Northridge
attribute NC_GLOBAL people_0_affiliation_acronym String CSU-Northridge
attribute NC_GLOBAL people_0_person_name String Peter J. Edmunds
attribute NC_GLOBAL people_0_person_nid String 51536
attribute NC_GLOBAL people_0_role String Principal Investigator
attribute NC_GLOBAL people_0_role_type String originator
attribute NC_GLOBAL people_1_affiliation String State University of New York at Buffalo
attribute NC_GLOBAL people_1_affiliation_acronym String SUNY Buffalo
attribute NC_GLOBAL people_1_person_name String Howard Lasker
attribute NC_GLOBAL people_1_person_nid String 562092
attribute NC_GLOBAL people_1_role String Co-Principal Investigator
attribute NC_GLOBAL people_1_role_type String originator
attribute NC_GLOBAL people_2_affiliation String Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
attribute NC_GLOBAL people_2_affiliation_acronym String WHOI BCO-DMO
attribute NC_GLOBAL people_2_person_name String Amber York
attribute NC_GLOBAL people_2_person_nid String 643627
attribute NC_GLOBAL people_2_role String BCO-DMO Data Manager
attribute NC_GLOBAL people_2_role_type String related
attribute NC_GLOBAL project String Octocoral Community Dynamics
attribute NC_GLOBAL projects_0_acronym String Octocoral Community Dynamics
attribute NC_GLOBAL projects_0_description String NSF abstract:
Coral reefs are exposed to a diversity of natural and anthropogenic disturbances, and the consequences for ecosystem degradation have been widely publicized. However, the reported changes have been biased towards fishes and stony corals, and for Caribbean reefs, the most notable example of this bias are octocorals ("soft corals"). Although they are abundant and dominate many Caribbean reefs, they are rarely included in studies due to the difficulty of both identifying them and in quantifying their abundances. In some places there is compelling evidence that soft corals have increased in abundance, even while stony corals have become less common. This suggests that soft corals are more resilient than stony corals to the wide diversity of disturbances that have been impacting coral corals. The best coral reefs on which to study these changes are those that have been studied for decades and can provide a decadal context to more recent events, and in this regard the reefs of St. John, US Virgin Islands are unique. Stony corals on the reefs have been studied since 1987, and the soft corals from 2014. This provides unrivalled platform to evaluate patterns of octocoral abundance and recruitment; identify the patterns of change that are occurring on these reefs, and identify the processes responsible for the resilience of octocoral populations. The project will extend soft coral monitoring from 4 years to 8 years, and within this framework will examine the roles of baby corals, and their response to seafloor roughness, seawater flow, and seaweed, in determining the success of soft corals. The work will also assess whether the destructive effects of Hurricanes Irma and Maria have modified the pattern of change. In concert with these efforts the project will be closely integrated with local high schools at which the investigators will host marine biology clubs and provide independent study opportunities for their students and teachers. Unique training opportunities will be provided to undergraduate and graduate students, as well as a postdoctoral researcher, all of whom will study and work in St. John, and the investigators will train coral reef researchers to identify the species of soft corals through a hands-on workshop to be conducted in the Florida Keys.
Understanding how changing environmental conditions will affect the community structure of major biomes is the ecological objective defining the 21st century. The holistic effects of these conditions on coral reefs will be studied on shallow reefs within the Virgin Islands National Park in St. John, US Virgin Islands, which is the site of one of the longest-running, long-term studies of coral reef community dynamics in the region. With NSF-LTREB support, the investigators have been studying long-term changes in stony coral communities in this location since 1987, and in 2014 NSF-OCE support was used to build an octocoral "overlay" to this decadal perspective. The present project extends from this unique history, which has been punctuated by the effects of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, to place octocoral synecology in a decadal context, and the investigators exploit a rich suite of legacy data to better understand the present and immediate future of Caribbean coral reefs. This four-year project will advance on two concurrent fronts: first, to extend time-series analyses of octocoral communities from four to eight years to characterize the pattern and pace of change in community structure, and second, to conduct a program of hypothesis-driven experiments focused on octocoral settlement that will uncover the mechanisms allowing octocorals to more effectively colonize substrata than scleractinian corals on present day reefs. Specifically, the investigators will conduct mensurative and manipulative experiments addressing four hypotheses focusing on the roles of: (1) habitat complexity in distinguishing between octocoral and scleractinian recruitment niches, (2) the recruitment niche in mediating post-settlement success, (3) competition in algal turf and macroalgae in determining the success of octocoral and scleractian recruits, and (4) role of octocoral canopies in modulating the flux of particles and larvae to the seafloor beneath. The results of this study will be integrated to evaluate the factors driving higher ecological resilience of octocorals versus scleractinians on present-day Caribbean reefs.
This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.
attribute NC_GLOBAL projects_0_end_date String 2022-03
attribute NC_GLOBAL projects_0_geolocation String St. John, US Virgin Islands
attribute NC_GLOBAL projects_0_name String Collaborative Research: Pattern and process in the abundance and recruitment of Caribbean octocorals
attribute NC_GLOBAL projects_0_project_nid String 752508
attribute NC_GLOBAL projects_0_start_date String 2018-04
attribute NC_GLOBAL publisher_name String Biological and Chemical Oceanographic Data Management Office (BCO-DMO)
attribute NC_GLOBAL publisher_type String institution
attribute NC_GLOBAL sourceUrl String (local files)
attribute NC_GLOBAL standard_name_vocabulary String CF Standard Name Table v55
attribute NC_GLOBAL subsetVariables String Life_stage
attribute NC_GLOBAL summary String Octocoral colony height by taxon, year, site, and life stage from surveys conducted in St. John, US Virgin Islands from 2014 to 2017. These data were used in Edmunds and Lasker (2019) Figure S5.
attribute NC_GLOBAL title String Octocoral colony height by taxon, year, site, and life stage from surveys conducted in St. John, US Virgin Islands from 2014 to 2017
attribute NC_GLOBAL version String 1
attribute NC_GLOBAL xml_source String osprey2erddap.update_xml() v1.3
variable Year   short  
attribute Year _FillValue short 32767
attribute Year actual_range short 2014, 2017
attribute Year bcodmo_name String year
attribute Year description String Year (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017)
attribute Year long_name String Year
attribute Year nerc_identifier String https://vocab.nerc.ac.uk/collection/P01/current/YEARXXXX/ (external link)
attribute Year units String unitless
variable Taxon   String  
attribute Taxon bcodmo_name String taxon
attribute Taxon description String Taxon (All Taxa, Eunicea, Gorgonia, Antillogorgia)
attribute Taxon long_name String Taxon
attribute Taxon units String unitless
variable Site   String  
attribute Site bcodmo_name String site
attribute Site description String Site (Cabritte Horn, Europa Bay, West Tektite, East Tektite, White Point, West Little Lameshur)
attribute Site long_name String Site
attribute Site units String unitless
variable Life_stage   String  
attribute Life_stage bcodmo_name String stage
attribute Life_stage description String Life stage - Adult or Juvenile
attribute Life_stage long_name String Life Stage
attribute Life_stage units String unitless
variable Height   byte  
attribute Height _FillValue byte 127
attribute Height actual_range byte 2, 83
attribute Height bcodmo_name String length
attribute Height description String Colony height
attribute Height long_name String Height
attribute Height units String centimeters (cm)

The information in the table above is also available in other file formats (.csv, .htmlTable, .itx, .json, .jsonlCSV1, .jsonlCSV, .jsonlKVP, .mat, .nc, .nccsv, .tsv, .xhtml) via a RESTful web service.

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