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Tortugas Integrated Biogeographic Assessment

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Figure 1: Study Area
Figure 1: Study Area

The goal of this project is to conduct a biogeographic integrated assessment of reef fishes to determine existing or potential biological, human (societal), and socioeconomic benefits or impacts resulting from implementation of the Tortugas Ecological Reserve (TER, Figure 1). The specific objectives are as follows:

  1. Develop the best possible habitat map of the TER based on available data;
  2. Synthesize and integrate existing ecological reef fish datasets for the TER within a biogeographic framework;
  3. Describe biological responses of ecosystem components to the closure of the TER and use biological models derived from U.S. Caribbean reef studies to identify potential biological benefits of the TER to surrounding areas; and,
  4. Develop an approach for including human dimensions research and information within an Integrated Assessment of the TER, review human dimensions research relevant to the TER, and develop a summary document that would be a useful and supporting component of an Integrated Assessment and management of the TER.

Project Summary

This project is joint effort to develop an integrated biogeographic assessment for the Tortugas region. This work will attempt to integrate historical and current biological, physical, chemical and economic data into a common assessment framework for the Tortugas. The study is currently under design, was implemented in March 2005 and is planned for completion in December 2006. Expected outcomes include a suite of synthesized digital data layers to characterize the Tortugas region. This work and products are modeled after CCMA's Biogeographic Assessment products that have been produced for the National Marine Sanctuary Program. An important aspect of this work is to explicitly integrate social economic data into the biogeographic assessment framework.


Current/Completed -

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Time Frame

Ongoing: March 2005 - August 2011

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Project Manager:
1305 East West Highway
Silver Spring, MD 20910
301-713-3028 x160

Coral Reef Image
Photo: CCFHR
Coral Reef Image
Photo: University of Miami, RSMAS
Coral Reef Image
Photo: University of Miami, RSMAS
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