Study reefs were sampled with a VideoRay Pro4 remotely operated vehicle (ROV) to estimate reef fish community structure. Quarterly video sampling was conducted at study reefs from spring 2009 through summer 2015, with a year-long gap in sampling from winter 2010 to fall 2011 due to the Deep Water Horizon (DWH) spill. The ROV-based point-count sampling method was employed to estimate reef fish densities in a 15-m wide cylinder around reefs. Taxa-specific counts used to calculate fish density (per 1000m^2). Three reefs of each type were randomly selected for inclusion in one of two lionfish removal treatments or a control group to assess the effect of lionfish and their removal on native reef fish communities.


Supplemental Information

Site (reef name, with letters A, B, C indicating different reef types), Latitude (latitude coordinate of site, decimal degrees), Longitude (longitude coordinate of site, decimal degrees), Depth (ft, depth of reef), Removal treatment (keep clear, clear once, control), Reef type (A, B, C), Survey Date (date sample collected (MM/DD/YYYY), Quarter Order (chronological order of quarter years sampled), Depth stratum (shallow, medium, deep), Timing (Before DWH/Lionfish, After DWH/Lionfish), Scientific name (Genus species of fish), Common name (accepted common name of fish), Family (family name of fish), Densities of fish (per 1000m3), Date of removal (date of lionfish culls, MM/DD/YYYY), Number Removed (number of individual lionfish culled), ROV Counts (Lionfish individuals counted on ROV), Estimated TL (mm, estimated from ROV laser, bias corrected), Quarter (Timing of ROV survey within lionfish removal experiment); Field ID number; USA/DISL Sample ID; Date of Capture (MM/DD/YYYY); TL (total length, mm); SL (standard length, mm); Mass (kg); Sex (Male, Female, Undetermined).|||||


To examine whether community shifts occurred for northern Gulf of Mexico reef fishes in response to lionfish presence and also bracketing before and after DWH time periods. Another objective was to evaluate the effectiveness of targeted lionfish removals as a means to control lionfish densities and recover native reef fish communities to community structure exhibited pre-invasion (2009-10).


reef fish community, density estimates, artificial reefs, ROV, EE-LAARS




September 2016

Point of Contact


William Frank Patterson


University of Florida / Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences

Funding Source




Rights Information

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication 1.0 License.