Publication Details

Hamylton, S. & Spencer, T. (2008). An investigation of seagrass patterns at Alphonse Atoll, Seychelles: linking structure to function in marine landscapes. Proceedings of the 11th International Coral Reef Symposium (pp. 621-625). USA: Nova Southeastern University.


The idea of landscapes as shifting patch mosaics, structured by a range of biological and physical stochastic forces, is well suited to shallow tropical environments, where seagrass patches lie within a matrix of soft sediments or rocky substrates. The interaction of wave fields and tidal currents with carbonate sediment transport can result in linear morphologies of reef flat material with alternating sand tongues and seagrass beds. Patch-level metrics capture phenomena such as linearity in one variable, which can be evaluated over a gradient of predictable environmental change. Interrogating the statistical properties of patch ensembles enables the links between observed structures and the processes that govern them to be empirically investigated. This study demonstrates how habitat maps derived from remotely sensed Compact Airborne Spectrographic Imager (CASI) data can be used to investigate critical controls of landscape mosaics through the application of geostatistical techniques to Alphonse Atoll, Seychelles.