Optimizing image-based protocol to monitor macroepibenthic communities colonizing artificial structures

Type Article
Date 2020-03
Language English
Author(s) Taormina Bastien1, 2, Marzloff MartinORCID2, Desroy NicolasORCID3, Caisey Xavier2, Dugornay Olivier4, Metral Thiesse Emmanuelle2, Tancray Aurelien5, Carlier AntoineORCID2
Affiliation(s) 1 : France Energies Marines, 525 Avenue Alexis de Rochon, 29280 Plouzané, France
2 : Ifremer, Centre de Bretagne, DYNECO—Laboratoire d’écologie benthique, ZI de la Pointe du Diable, CS 10070, 29280 Plouzané, France
3 : Ifremer, Laboratoire Environnement Ressources Bretagne Nord, 38 rue du Port Blanc, 35801 Dinard, France
4 : Ifremer, Centre de Bretagne, Direction de la Communication—Pôle audiovisuel, ZI de la Pointe du Diable, CS 10070, 29280 Plouzané, France
5 : Ifremer, Centre de Bretagne, Laboratoire Comportement des Structures en Mer, ZI de la Pointe du Diable, CS 10070, 29280 Plouzané, France
Source Ices Journal Of Marine Science (1054-3139) (Oxford University Press (OUP)), 2020-03 , Vol. 77 , N. 2 , P. 835-845
DOI 10.1093/icesjms/fsz249
WOS© Times Cited 13
Keyword(s) benthic monitoring, fouling community, sampling design, taxonomic resolution, underwater imagery

Underwater imagery is increasingly used as an effective and repeatable method to monitor benthic ecosystems. Nevertheless, extracting ecologically relevant information from a large amount of raw images remains a time-consuming and somewhat laborious challenge. Thus, underwater imagery processing needs to strike a compromise between time-efficient image annotation and accuracy in quantifying benthic community composition. Designing and implementing robust image sampling and image annotation protocols are therefore critical to rationally address these trade-offs between ecological accuracy and processing time. The aim of this study was to develop and to optimize a reliable image scoring strategy based on the point count method using imagery data acquired on tide-swept macroepibenthic communities. Using a stepwise approach, we define an underwater imagery processing protocol that is effective in terms of (i) time allocated to overall image, (ii) reaching a satisfactory accuracy to estimate the occurrence of dominant benthic taxa, and (iii) adopting a sufficient taxonomic resolution to describe changes in community composition. We believe that our method is well adapted to investigate the composition of epibenthic communities on artificial reefs and can be useful in surveying colonization of other human structures (wind turbine foundations, pipelines, etc.) in coastal areas. Our strategy meets the increasing demand for inexpensive and time-effective tools for monitoring changes in benthic communities in a context of increasing coastal artificialization pressures.

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Taormina Bastien, Marzloff Martin, Desroy Nicolas, Caisey Xavier, Dugornay Olivier, Metral Thiesse Emmanuelle, Tancray Aurelien, Carlier Antoine (2020). Optimizing image-based protocol to monitor macroepibenthic communities colonizing artificial structures. Ices Journal Of Marine Science, 77(2), 835-845. Publisher's official version : https://doi.org/10.1093/icesjms/fsz249 , Open Access version : https://archimer.ifremer.fr/doc/00599/71160/