Classification of seagrass habitat structure as a response to wave exposure at Etoile Cay, Seychelles|
Sarah Hamylton and Tom Spencer
Physical processes are thought to be a critical control on shallow water communities in the tropics.
Past studies of seagrass community patterns have tended to be qualitative and failed to empirically link observed structures with the processes
that govern them. Remote sensing technology, in the form of imagery acquired using a Compact Airborne Spectrographic Imager (CASI),
has been used to construct a habitat map of seagrass communities at Etoile Cay, Amirantes, Seychelles. A simple definition of seagrass
habitat structure, incorporating measures of complexity and heterogeneity, has been investigated along a wave exposure gradient via
moving window analysis over the classified habitat map. Both complexity and heterogeneity values are greatest at high to moderate
levels of wave impact, supporting the intermediate disturbance hypothesis.