Document Type



Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor's Name

Kevin Boswell

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Deron Burkepile

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Third Advisor's Name

William Anderson, Jr.

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member


ecology, hydroacoustics, fish, coral reef, diving, survey method, Florida, marine biology

Date of Defense



Fisheries independent data on relatively unstudied nekton communities were used to explore the efficacy of new tools to be applied in the investigation of shallow coastal coral reef habitats. These data obtained through concurrent diver visual and acoustic surveys provided descriptions of spatial community distribution patterns across seasonal temporal scales in a previously undocumented region. Fish density estimates by both diver and acoustic methodologies showed a general agreement in ability to detect distributional patterns across reef tracts, though magnitude of density estimates were different. Fish communities in southeastern Florida showed significant trends in spatial distribution and seasonal abundance, with higher estimates of biomass obtained in the dry season. Further, community composition shifted across reef tracts and seasons as a function of the movements of several key reef species.





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