Date of Completion

Spring 5-10-2009


Other Animal Sciences | Other Life Sciences | Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecology


The use of ocean observatories is expanding with the potential for collecting serial data with high temporal resolution at multiple sites within an ecosystem. Integration of underwater video cameras in observatory systems allow observation of vagile species and are useful tools for observing variations in behavior over time. In order to assess the utility of using video records for time series behavioral data I analyzed video records from an observatory site in the South Atlantic Bight (SAB) off the Coast of Georgia collected during the month of November in 2000, 2002 and 2004. Data were used to quantify annual variation in facilitative behaviors of multi-species groups of fishes (i.e., mixed species groups and group foraging behaviors), as well as patterns in species composition and trophic guild membership. Significant changes in the community or in the trophic guild composition over several years. Statistical tests showed that the community and functional roles remained the same over the course of the study based on presence/absence data. However, trophic guild composition showed varied results. Such information will provide insight into complex marine systems, which will help determine management strategies for the resources.