Data from: On the challenges of identifying benthic ‘dominance’ on Anthropocene coral reefs



This data record contains data associated with the publication: Tebbett SB, Crisp SK, Evans RD, Fulton CJ, Pessarrodona A, Wernberg T, Wilson SK, Bellwood DR. On the challenges of identifying benthic ‘dominance’ on Anthropocene coral reefs. Bioscience In this study we wanted to assess how variability in the application of ‘dominance’ concepts on coral reefs could shape perceptions. We focused on how the exclusion/inclusion of different benthic categories could shape outcomes, how the categorisation of algae could shape outcomes, as well as considered what changes in dominance mean in relation to benthic cover. To explore these issues we used extensive, global, data on coral reef benthic composition. All data were sourced from publicly available databases (all references are supplied in CSV file 1) and previous literature (references and data supplied in CSV files 2 and 3). Specifically, we compiled benthic composition data from six major publicly available monitoring databases: Reef Check, Reef Check Australia, Reef Life Survey, Caribbean Coastal Marine Productivity (CARICOMP), Moorea Coral Reef Long Term Ecological Research and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The raw data from these six publicly available databases can be accessed through the list of references and relevant accession details listed in CSV file 1. There are 48 references listed in this file detailing the specific location of each individual data source within these broader databases to ensure raw data can be easily located. To complement the data from these databases we also utilised data based on an extensive formal search of the literature. Ultimately, this search process resulted in 83 publications with data. The references and derived data from these 83 studies are provided in CSV files 2 and 3. This data publication also includes six other CSV files (4-9) which outline which benthic categories were dominant (i.e. the most abundant category) for each observation when different benthic categories were included/excluded (files 4-6) and when algae were categorised in different ways (files 7-9). For full methodological details, please see the published manuscript (outlined above). Further details of the files associated with this data publication can also be found in the 'read me' file.
Date made available24 Jan 2023

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