Lessons from photo analyses of Autonomous Reef Monitoring Structures as tools to detect (bio-)geographical, spatial, and environmental effects

Romain David, Maria C. Uyarra, Susana Carvalho, Holger Anlauf, Angel Borja, Abigail E. Cahill, Laura Carugati, Roberto Danovaro, Aurélien De Jode, Jean-Pierre Feral, Dorian Guillemain, Marco Lo Martire, Laure Thierry De Ville D'Avray, John K. Pearman, Anne Chenuil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


We investigated the validity of Autonomous Reef Monitoring Structures (ARMS) as monitoring tools for hard bottoms across a wide geographic and environmental range. We deployed 36 ARMS in the northeast Atlantic, northwest Mediterranean, Adriatic and Red Sea at 7–17 m depth. After 12–16 months, community composition was inferred from photographs, in six plate-faces for each ARMS. Overall, we found a highly significant effect of sea region, site (within seas), and plate-face on community composition. Plate-faces thus represent distinct micro-habitats and provide pseudo-replicates, increasing statistical power. Within each sea region taken individually, there was also a highly significant effect of site and plate-face. Because strong effects were obtained despite the fusion of taxonomic categories at high taxonomic ranks (to ensure comparability among biogeographic provinces), ARMS photo-analysis appears a promising monitoring tool for each sea region. We recommend keeping three ARMS per site and analyzing more numerous sites within a sea region to investigate environmental effects.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)420-429
Number of pages10
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
StatePublished - Mar 8 2019

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: This manuscript is a result of the DEVOTES (DEVelopment Of innovative Tools for understanding marine biodiversity and assessing good Environmental Status) project, funded by the European Union 7th Framework Programme, ‘The Ocean of Tomorrow’ Theme (grant agreement no. 308392), www.devotes-project.eu. Maria C. Uyarra was partially funded through the Spanish program for Talent and Employability in R + D + I “Torres Quevedo.” This work is a contribution to the Labex OT-Med (no. ANR-11-LABX-0061) funded by the French Government ‘Investissements d'Avenir’ programme of the French National Research Agency (ANR) through the A*MIDEX project (no. ANR-11-IDEX-0001-02). We acknowledge all the field helpers and students who participated in data collection in the field and in the lab, as well as in data management, including Frédéric Zuberer, Christian Marschal, Sandrine Chenesseau, Anne Haguenauer, Caroline Rocher and Marjorie Selva (service ‘Plongée’ from the OSU Pytheas and service ‘Biologie moléculaire’ from the IMBE).


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