Monitoring and Assessment
Monitoring and assessment are important tools for effective management and can provide information to detect changes in condition that might trigger a management response, determine the cause of changes of concern, and evaluate the effectiveness of management actions.
Monitoring involves repeating measurements through time, usually with the aim of detecting change, such as trends in coral cover or fish abundance (e.g., of herbivores). Assessment refers to a one-time measurement of variables relating to ecological or social conditions or pressures. For example, a one-time survey of coral reefs damaged by a ship grounding would be considered an assessment, whereas surveying the same coral reef sites annually using similar methods is monitoring. Resilience assessments are an example that are commonly used by reef managers to assess the relative resilience of different sites.
This section provides an overview of how to design different reef monitoring programs and conduct reef resilience assessments. For more in-depth information, take the Coral Reef Resilience Online Course. Read a description of the course or enroll in the course.