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CRAMP Rapid Assessment. Reference Site and Habitat Classification Analogy

When assessing human health, people fall into several different groups. The groups are analogous to classification of habitats. A person falls into a group based on his/her gender, age, and frame size. A reef may fall into a group based on substrate, wave exposure and depth. Within each group, there is a range of values for optimum health including weight, blood pressure and cholesterol levels that are collectively called vital statistics. For a reef they are collectively called biocriteria and may include fish biomass, coral cover, and rugosity. While the grouping would be analogous to classification, the vital statistics would be comparable to reference conditions.

If for a male age 40-50 with a medium build, his blood pressure falls below 110/80 or rises above 130/90 this may indicate a health problem. Likewise, if fish biomass deviates from the range of values established, this may indicate an ecological problem. Just like with our vital statistics, the further the biocriteria deviates from that range, the stronger impact it may have. If your cholesterol level is just above the upper value you may have to watch your intake, but if it is over 300 you may have some serious health problems.

 

Last Update: 04/21/2008

By: Lea Hollingsworth

Hawai‘i Coral Reef Assessment & Monitoring Program

Hawai‘i Institute of Marine Biology

P.O. Box 1346

Kāne‘ohe, HI 96744

808-236-7440 phone

808-236-7443 fax

email: jokiel@hawaii.edu