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Repeatability of baited remote underwater video station (BRUVS) results within and between seasons
journal contributionposted on 2023-09-11, 05:03 authored by C Samantha Sherman, Michelle R Heupel, Mohini Johnson, Muslimin Kaimuddin, LM Sjamsul Qamar, Andrew Chin, Colin A Simpfendorfer
Baited remote underwater video stations (BRUVS) are increasingly being used to evaluate and monitor reef communities. Many BRUVS studies compare multiple sites sampled at single time points that may differ from the sampling time of another site. As BRUVS use grows in its application to provide data relevant to sustainable management, marine protected area success, and overall reef health, understanding repeatability of sampling results is vital. We examined the repeatability of BRUVS results for the elasmobranch community both within and between seasons and years, and explored environmental factors affecting abundances at two sites in Indonesia. On 956 BRUVS, 1139 elasmobranchs (69% rays, 31% sharks) were observed. We found consistent results in species composition and abundances within a season and across years. However, elasmobranch abundances were significantly higher in the wet season. The elasmobranch community was significantly different between the two sites sampled, one site being more coastal and easily accessed by fishermen. Our results demonstrate that while BRUVS are a reliable and repeatable method for surveying elasmobranchs, care must be taken in the timing of sampling between different regions to ensure that any differences observed are due to inherent differences amongst sampling areas as opposed to seasonal dissimilarities.