Event Title

Hydroacoustic mapping as an eelgrass Zostera marina ecosystem characterization tool

Presentation Abstract

The need for landscape-scale information about nearshore bathymetry, substrate type, aquatic vegetation features, and changes in these parameters has spurred an interest in emerging hydroacoustic (echosounder) tools that collect and synthesize such information and display them in easily-understandable formats such as contour maps or depth-variation diagrams. When such data products are linked to publicly-accessible and familiar data platforms such as Google Earth, they can become powerful science and communication tools about ecosystem structure, function, and change. This work assesses the types and validity of eelgrass Zostera marina ecosystem information available from hydroacoustic data interpretation. Hydroacoustic data were collected by the USGS around the high tides of July 15-19, 2013 using a 430 kHz single beam echosounder (BioSonics, Inc.) to characterize eelgrass ecosystems in Central Puget Sound, WA. Field-based eelgrass surveys were conducted during low tides of July 19-23, 2013 along eight geo-referenced shore-normal transects that coincided with hydroacoustic transects to allow direct comparisons with hydroacoustic data interpretations. Features of eelgrass beds will be derived from hydroacoustic data using two methods: an in-house data processing technique developed by the USGS and a commercial software package available from the echosounder manufacturer, BioSonics, Inc., and compared to measured eelgrass parameters: shoot density, patchiness, canopy height, and canopy biomass. These comparisons will provide scientists and resources managers an understanding about the reliability, advantages, and challenges of hydroacoustic mapping as a tool to synthesize and communicate eelgrass ecosystem information.

Session Title

Session S-07E: Aquatic Vegetation

Conference Track

Habitat

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (2014 : Seattle, Wash.)

Document Type

Event

Start Date

1-5-2014 5:00 PM

End Date

1-5-2014 6:30 PM

Location

Room 6C

Contributing Repository

Digital content made available by University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Rights

This resource is displayed for educational purposes only and may be subject to U.S. and international copyright laws. For more information about rights or obtaining copies of this resource, please contact University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225-9103, USA (360-650-7534; heritage.resources@wwu.edu) and refer to the collection name and identifier. Any materials cited must be attributed to the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference Records, University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Type

Text

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

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May 1st, 5:00 PM May 1st, 6:30 PM

Hydroacoustic mapping as an eelgrass Zostera marina ecosystem characterization tool

Room 6C

The need for landscape-scale information about nearshore bathymetry, substrate type, aquatic vegetation features, and changes in these parameters has spurred an interest in emerging hydroacoustic (echosounder) tools that collect and synthesize such information and display them in easily-understandable formats such as contour maps or depth-variation diagrams. When such data products are linked to publicly-accessible and familiar data platforms such as Google Earth, they can become powerful science and communication tools about ecosystem structure, function, and change. This work assesses the types and validity of eelgrass Zostera marina ecosystem information available from hydroacoustic data interpretation. Hydroacoustic data were collected by the USGS around the high tides of July 15-19, 2013 using a 430 kHz single beam echosounder (BioSonics, Inc.) to characterize eelgrass ecosystems in Central Puget Sound, WA. Field-based eelgrass surveys were conducted during low tides of July 19-23, 2013 along eight geo-referenced shore-normal transects that coincided with hydroacoustic transects to allow direct comparisons with hydroacoustic data interpretations. Features of eelgrass beds will be derived from hydroacoustic data using two methods: an in-house data processing technique developed by the USGS and a commercial software package available from the echosounder manufacturer, BioSonics, Inc., and compared to measured eelgrass parameters: shoot density, patchiness, canopy height, and canopy biomass. These comparisons will provide scientists and resources managers an understanding about the reliability, advantages, and challenges of hydroacoustic mapping as a tool to synthesize and communicate eelgrass ecosystem information.