Improving the success of
coral reef management requires a greater understanding of the
interactions between coral reef resources and their users.
Coral reefs are complex, nonlinear systems in which the interplay of
spatial heterogeneity and stochastic events with environmental
factors results in highly variable patterns of resource availability
and use. Because it is difficult to capture this interplay in
differential equation models of environmental or fishery dynamics,
it is reasonable and useful to apply approaches developed
specifically for studies of complex systems, such as agent-based
models. The development of a Geographic Information System (GIS) to
describe the spatial distribution of the data is an important
initial step toward the realization of scenario testing within a
Dynamic Decision Support Tool (DDST) to aid coral reef
While GIS offers great potential for assisting resource managers, it
has been avoided by some and inefficiently utilized by others. There are
hundreds of digital maps available to managers and most data can be
downloaded via the Internet. However, in many of these cases, the
expertise or skills required to access the proper digital maps is not usually readily available.
NCORE has started the
development of the Florida Keys Geographic Information and Decision
Support Tool (FK GiDST) to facilitate access of these maps. This
Internet-based system will be announced during the Coral Reef Task Force
Meeting (2-3 Dec 2004, Miami, FL) and made available to the public
early next year (2005).
Geographic Information and Decision Support Tool (FK GiDST)
may now be viewed by collaborators.
to obtain the password.
Click here to download the required software from ESRI (if needed).
Bahamas: A related GIS effort is
being conducted for the Bahamas through the
Bahamas Biocomplexity Project
initiated by a consortium of
research institutions including NCORE.
Click here to view the
digital layers (requires password).
Rico: Working example of digital maps for Puerto Rico is also
available from this website.
Click here to view the DEM or
here to view abridged metadata.
DEM: A VRML Internet browser plug-in is required for this page.
Click here to
download the required utility and
to load the VRML
presentation of the Hawaii islands.