Renata Ferrari Legorreta

Renata Ferrari Legorreta
Australian Institute of Marine Science · A Healthy and Resilient GBR Program

PhD Spatial Marine Ecology

About

57
Publications
27,298
Reads
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2,226
Citations
Citations since 2017
31 Research Items
1879 Citations
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20172018201920202021202220230100200300400
20172018201920202021202220230100200300400
Additional affiliations
June 2010 - July 2012
The University of Queensland
Position
  • PhD Student

Publications

Publications (57)
Article
Full-text available
Assessments of the status of tidal flats, one of the most extensive coastal ecosystems, have been hampered by a lack of data on their global distribution and change. Here we present globally consistent, spatially-explicit data of the occurrence of tidal flats, defined as sand, rock or mud flats that undergo regular tidal inundation. More than 1.3 m...
Article
Full-text available
Spatial compositional turnover varies considerably among co‐occurring assemblages of organisms, presumably shaped by common processes related to species traits. We investigated patterns of spatial turnover in a diverse set of marine assemblages using zeta diversity, which extends traditional pairwise measures of turnover to capture the roles of bot...
Article
Full-text available
The 3D structure of individual coral colonies provides insights into their ecological functioning. While structure from motion techniques make it possible to reconstruct 3D models of coral colonies based on overlapping images, the extraction of relevant metrics of complexity in a reproducible way remains challenging. We present a method and associa...
Article
Ecosystem restoration has been practiced for over a century and is increasingly supported by the emergent applied science of restoration ecology. A prerequisite for successful ecosystem restoration is determining meaningful and measurable goals. This requires tools to monitor success in a standardized way. Photogrammetry uses images to reconstruct...
Article
Full-text available
Coral bleaching, cyclones, outbreaks of crown-of-thorns seastar, and reduced water quality (WQ) threaten the health and resilience of coral reefs. The cumulative impacts from multiple acute and chronic stressors on "reef State" (i.e., total coral cover) and "reef Performance" (i.e., the deviation from expected rate of total coral cover increase) ha...
Article
Forests and coral reefs are structurally complex ecosystems threatened by climate change. In situ 3D imaging measurements provide unprecedented, quantitative and detailed structural information that allows testing of hypotheses relating form to function. This affords new insights into both individual organisms and their relationship to their surrou...
Article
Full-text available
Adequately sampling benthic cover in marine ecosystems is a challenge with most methods encompassing only a small portion of the area for which cover is estimated. Recent advances in photogrammetric techniques are providing opportunity to map expansive areas of reef. This study aimed to evaluate the adequate level of sampling for traditional quadra...
Article
Environmental anomalies that trigger adverse physiological responses and mortality are occurring with increasing frequency due to climate change. At species' range peripheries, environmental anomalies are particularly concerning because species often exist at their environmental tolerance limits and may not be able to migrate to escape unfavourable...
Article
Spatial conservation plans representing existing patterns of biodiversity in Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) should be robust to changes over 10 to 20 years, a temporal scale over which MPA plans are often retained. Using data from MPAs where changes have been detected due to ocean warming, can help inform discussion on how to increase temporal robus...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Fishing is a major human disturbance to marine communities on temperate rocky reefs. The Hawkesbury bioregion, on the east coast of Australia, has one of the highest human population densities in the country, and a correspondingly-high level of fishing impact. The region also contains ten small Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), most of which are open...
Article
Full-text available
Increasing human populations around the global coastline have caused extensive loss, degradation and fragmentation of coastal ecosystems, threatening the delivery of important ecosystem services¹. As a result, alarming losses of mangrove, coral reef, seagrass, kelp forest and coastal marsh ecosystems have occurred1–6. However, owing to the difficul...
Article
Management of beach ecosystems often focuses on geomorphic and socio-economic issues. Yet understanding patterns and processes affecting fishes and invertebrates in this dynamic inshore environment will better inform ecosystem management. We used Baited Remote Underwater Video (BRUVs) to survey fish and mobile invertebrate assemblages immediately b...
Presentation
Full-text available
Introduction Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are a key management tool for the conservation of biodiversity and restoration of marine communities. While large, well-designed and enforced MPAs have been found to be effective, most MPAs are small with various levels of protection, and the conservation effectiveness of such MPAs varies. This study asses...
Preprint
Effective conservation planning requires biotic data across an entire region. In data-poor ecosystems conservation planning is informed by using environmental surrogates (e.g. temperature) predominantly in two ways: to develop habitat classification schemes (1) or develop species distribution models (2). We test the utility of both approaches for c...
Article
Full-text available
Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are a key management tool for the conservation of biodiversity and restoration of marine communities. While large, well-designed and enforced MPAs have been found to be effective, results from small MPAs vary. The Hawkesbury Shelf, a coastal bioregion in New South Wales, Australia, has ten small, near-shore MPAs known...
Article
Full-text available
Anthropogenic structures are increasingly common in natural environments and present novel habitats for resident organisms. Marine breakwalls are similar to natural reefs in that they also provide habitat for diverse assemblages of mobile animals. However, it is unclear if fish assemblages on these artificial structures differ from those on neighbo...
Article
Full-text available
Infrastructure is increasingly being built in marine habitats, with extensive ecological consequences for benthic and fish assemblages alike. The practice of ecological engineering attempts to mitigate the negative impacts of infrastructure through the design of artificial structures that benefit both humans and nature. Although research has primar...
Article
Full-text available
Marine protected areas (MPAs) are designed to reduce threats to biodiversity and ecosystem functioning from anthropogenic activities. Assessment of MPAs effectiveness requires synchronous sampling of protected and non-protected areas at multiple spatial and temporal scales. We used an autonomous underwater vehicle to map benthic communities in repl...
Article
Full-text available
Growth and contraction of ecosystem engineers, such as trees, influence ecosystem structure and function. On coral reefs, methods to measure small changes in the structure of microhabitats, driven by growth of coral colonies and contraction of skeletons, are extremely limited. We used 3D reconstructions to quantify changes in the external structure...
Article
The current set of global conservation targets requires methods for monitoring the changing status of ecosystems. Protocols for ecosystem risk assessment are uniquely suited to this task, providing objective syntheses of a wide range of data to estimate the likelihood of ecosystem collapse. Satellite remote sensing can deliver ecologically relevant...
Article
Full-text available
Effective ecosystem risk assessment relies on a conceptual understanding of ecosystem dynamics and the synthesis of multiple lines of evidence. Risk assessment protocols and ecosystem models integrate limited observational data with threat scenarios, making them valuable tools for monitoring ecosystem status and diagnosing key mechanisms of decline...
Article
Habitat structural complexity influences biotic diversity and abundance, but its influence on marine ecosystems has not been widely addressed. Recent advances in computer vision and robotics allow quantification of structural complexity at higher-resolutions than previously achieved. This provides an important opportunity to determine the ecologica...
Article
Habitat structural complexity is one of the most important factors in determining the makeup of biological communities. Recent advances in structure-from-motion and photogrammetry have resulted in a proliferation of 3D digital representations of habitats from which structural complexity can be measured. Little attention has been paid to quantifying...
Article
Full-text available
Scientific Data 2:150057 doi: 10.1038/sdata.2015.57 (2015); Published 27 Oct 2015; Updated 20 Dec 2016 The authors regret that Ezequiel Marzinelli was omitted in error from the author list of the original version of this Data Descriptor.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In 1991, when the Solitary Islands Marine Park (SIMP) was established, limited knowledge of seafloor habitats and biotic patterns constrained effective conservation planning. This knowledge was improved by 2002 when the SIMP was rezoned, by mapping shallow (<25 m) sub-tidal habitats through aerial photography and single-beam sounder surveys. Since...
Article
Full-text available
Disturbance releases space and allows the growth of opportunistic species, excluded by the old stands, with a potential to alter community dynamics. In coral reefs, abundances of fast-growing, and disturbance-tolerant sponges are expected to increase and dominate as space becomes available following acute coral mortality events. Yet, an increase in...
Article
Full-text available
Coral reef habitat structural complexity influences key ecological processes, ecosystem biodiversity, and resilience. Measuring structural complexity underwater is not trivial and researchers have been searching for accurate and cost-effective methods that can be applied across spatial extents for over 50 years. This study integrated a set of exist...
Article
Full-text available
Habitat structural complexity is a key factor shaping marine communities. However, accurate methods for quantifying structural complexity underwater are currently lacking. Loss of structural complexity is linked to ecosystem declines in biodiversity and resilience. We developed new methods using underwater stereo-imagery spanning four years (2010-2...
Article
Full-text available
In tropical reef ecosystems corals are the key habitat builders providing most ecosystem structure, which influences coral reef biodiversity and resilience. Remote sensing applications have progressed significantly and photogrammetry together with application of structure from motion software is emerging as a leading technique to create three-dimen...
Article
Full-text available
Imagery collected by still and video cameras is an increasingly important tool for minimal impact, repeatable observations in the marine environment. Data generated from imagery includes identification, annotation and quantification of biological subjects and environmental features within an image. To be long-lived and useful beyond their project-s...
Article
Full-text available
This Australian benthic data set (BENTHOZ-2015) consists of an expert-annotated set of georeferenced benthic images and associated sensor data, captured by an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) around Australia. This type of data is of interest to marine scientists studying benthic habitats and organisms. AUVs collect georeferenced images over an...
Article
Full-text available
It is much faster to collect images than collect community composition data in situ, but once images are collected it is necessary to analyse them in order to characterize the benthic communities. The process of transforming images taken underwater into quantitative data that can be useful for scientific studies and management decisions requires si...
Article
Full-text available
High-latitude reefs support unique ecological communities occurring at the biogeographic boundaries between tropical and temperate marine ecosystems. Due to their lower ambient temperatures, they are regarded as potential refugia for tropical species shifting poleward due to rising sea temperatures. However, acute warming events can cause rapid shi...
Technical Report
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Australian researchers in marine biodiversity and ecosystem science have a disproportionally high impact on global research as measured by their number of publications and their high profile leadership of international initiatives. At least 170 researchers from over 32 institutions contributed to this research which has a high uptake in government...
Article
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Fisheries stocks are rapidly declining around the world. A reduction in the consumption of unsustainable seafood may help curb this decline. Sustainable seafood consumption is not commonplace, even in the marine science and conservation community. The frequency of unsustainable and/or unlabelled seafood at marine science and conservation meetings m...
Technical Report
Full-text available
CAAMI Visual guide - This report is a guide with images describing the classes included in the CATAMI Classification of (mostly benthic) marine biota and substrates. The concept is described in Althaus et al. 2015 PLoS ONE 10(10): e0141039. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0141039
Article
Full-text available
Clionaids are important competitors and bio-eroding agents on coral reefs; however, little is known of their biology. We studied aspects of life history of Cliona tenuis, in particular its sexual reproduction and growth. Temporal variations in these traits were studied over a year, in correlation with water temperature as a proxy for seasonality. G...
Article
Full-text available
La sociedad, la economía y la biodiversidad del sector cafetalero mexicano enfrentan un periodo problemático, debido a la crisis global de sobreproducción y precios bajos por la que atraviesa el café en México. En consecuencia, los cafeticultores se ven orillados a optar por cultivos intensivos, lo cual afecta una proporción importante de la divers...
Article
Full-text available
Corals and macroalgae compete for space, but the influence of species and size on the competitive outcome is poorly understood. Using a manipulative experiment, we evaluated the effect of macroalgal competition on the growth rate of corals with an emphasis on the colony size, species identity and the intensity of competition. Coral-macroalgal compe...
Article
Full-text available
Many Caribbean coral reefs are undergoing a phase shift from coral to macroalgal dominance. Understanding the processes driving changes in algal abundance and community structure requires clarification of the relative effects of top-down (e.g., herbivory) and bottom-up processes (e.g., light, temperature, and nutrients). To date, a number of studie...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Topographic structural complexity of a reef is highly correlated to coral growth rates, coral cover and overall levels of biodiversity, and is therefore integral in determining ecological processes. Modeling these processes commonly includes measures of rugosity obtained from a wide range of different survey techniques that often fail to capture ru...
Article
Full-text available
Habitat structure is frequently an important variable affecting species' abundances and diversity, and identifying the key aspects and spatial scales of habitat complexity is critical for understanding the ecology and conservation of a range of communities. Many coral-reef fishes are intimately linked with benthic habitat structure, and previous re...
Article
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Understanding patterns of connectivity among populations of marine organisms is essential for the development of realistic, spatially explicit models of population dynamics. Two approaches, empirical genetic patterns and oceanographic dispersal modelling, have been used to estimate levels of evolutionary connectivity among marine populations but ra...
Article
Full-text available
The fishing down of marine food webs has been described in pelagic and demersal systems but rarely documented in coral reef environments. We recorded a rapid shift in fish community structure in Belize that accompanied a marked decline in grouper and snapper abundance and a switch towards smaller, less desirable, herbivorous parrotfishes. In a 6 to...
Article
Full-text available
Clionaids, an abundant group of bioeroding sponges, are important competitors of corals, but their interactions with other major taxa are poorly understood. This study examined the relative effect of predation and macroalgal competition on the growth of Cliona tenuis at Glover’s Reef Atoll, Belize. A year-long field experiment was designed to isola...
Article
Full-text available
The influence of habitat quality on a species' demographics is critical for understanding its ecology and effective conservation. However, quantifying habitat quality is problematic because it may comprise of abiotic components at different spatial scales and also be influenced by biotic processes. This study investigated the relationship between r...

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Projects (3)
Project
Adequately sampling benthic cover in marine ecosystems is a challenge with most methods encompassing only a small portion of the area for which cover is estimated. Recent advances in photogrammetric techniques are providing opportunity to map expansive areas of reef. This study aimed to evaluate the adequate level of sampling for traditional quadrat-based designs at ecologically relevant scales. We used large-area (~250 m2), high-resolution (0.911 ± 0.143 mm/pixel) mosaics to assess the precision and reproducibility of quadrat-based benthic sampling and identify the most efficient strategy (size and number of quadrats). There was a strong relationship between the percent cover of benthic classes and the level of sampling effort required to adequately sample them. As expected, larger quadrats were found to be more efficient when sampling effort was expressed in number of quadrats. This study aims to identify the optimal level of sampling (least effort that would result in a given target precision) to characterize coral reef benthic communities (whatever they are) within each site. As such, the sites selected were intentionally very different and together represented the broad scale of heterogeneity found in shallow coral reef communities. Abundance data can be used in combination with the relationships presented here to determine the optimal sampling protocols for management approaches to coral reef monitoring.