MarineGEO Global Seagrass Habitat Monitoring Data

Sampling event
Latest version published by United States Geological Survey on Jun 23, 2023 United States Geological Survey
Publication date:
23 June 2023
CC-BY 4.0

Download the latest version of this resource data as a Darwin Core Archive (DwC-A) or the resource metadata as EML or RTF:

Data as a DwC-A file download 1,105 records in English (62 KB) - Update frequency: as needed
Metadata as an EML file download in English (12 KB)
Metadata as an RTF file download in English (8 KB)


This dataset contains seagrass time-series monitoring data collected by the Smithsonian Institution’s MarineGEO (Marine Global Earth Observatory) and its network partners. The dataset includes measurements on seagrass density, seagrass cover, and epifaunal invertebrates. The data is collected using MarineGEO’s standard survey design for sampling seagrass habitats.

MarineGEO seagrass monitoring at each site is conducted along three 50-m fixed transects intended to be permanent and sampled regularly (usually annually). Transects are located parallel to shore and along the shallow (inshore), middle (interior), and deep (offshore) parts of the seagrass bed, although variation can occur due to local site conditions. The seagrass cover measurements are taken every 4 meters along the transect (n = 12 per transect), the seagrass density measurements are taken alongside the cover measurements at every other replicate (n = 6 per transect), and epifaunal community samples are collected every 8 meters (n = 3 per transect).

Seagrass cover is measured by placing a quadrat (recommended size is 50 x 50 cm) alongside the transect line and estimating the cover of each seagrass species, other sessile organisms, and bare substratum. Seagrass density is measured by counting the number of seagrass shoots within a quadrat (recommended size is 25 x 25 cm). Epifauna samples are collected by randomly selecting an area ~ 1 meter to any side of the transect and quickly removing seagrass shoots with associated epifauna into a mesh bag; the animals are later identified in a laboratory by the data collectors. All data has undergone QA/QC by MarineGEO Central at the Smithsonian after submission by MarineGEO partners.

Note that the dataset may include submerged aquatic vegetation (not technically seagrass) in brackish to tidal freshwater sites collected with the MarineGEO seagrass protocol. This dataset will be updated on an on-going basis.

Data Records

The data in this sampling event resource has been published as a Darwin Core Archive (DwC-A), which is a standardized format for sharing biodiversity data as a set of one or more data tables. The core data table contains 1,105 records.

2 extension data tables also exist. An extension record supplies extra information about a core record. The number of records in each extension data table is illustrated below.

Event (core)

This IPT archives the data and thus serves as the data repository. The data and resource metadata are available for download in the downloads section. The versions table lists other versions of the resource that have been made publicly available and allows tracking changes made to the resource over time.


The table below shows only published versions of the resource that are publicly accessible.


Researchers should respect the following rights statement:

The publisher and rights holder of this work is United States Geological Survey. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY 4.0) License.

GBIF Registration

This resource has been registered with GBIF, and assigned the following GBIF UUID: b7d63092-9005-486b-83d1-92e484b47206.  United States Geological Survey publishes this resource, and is itself registered in GBIF as a data publisher endorsed by U.S. Geological Survey.




Michael Lonneman
  • Metadata Provider
  • Originator
  • Point Of Contact
Data Coordinator
Smithsonian Environmental Research Center
Jonathan Lefcheck
  • Metadata Provider
  • Point Of Contact
Tennenbaum Coordinating Scientist
Smithsonian Environmental Research Center
Dean Janiak
  • Content Provider
Smithsonian Marine Station
Matthew Ogburn
  • Principal Investigator
Marine Conservation Ecologist
Smithsonian Environmental Research Center
Valerie Paul
  • Principal Investigator
Smithsonian Marine Station
Rachel Collin
  • Principal Investigator
Station Director
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
Emily Anderson
  • Content Provider
Research Technician
Smithsonian Environmental Research Center
Viviana Bravo
  • Content Provider
Research Technician
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
Ximena Boza
  • Content Provider
Research Technician
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

Geographic Coverage

No Description available

Bounding Coordinates South West [-90, -180], North East [90, 180]

Temporal Coverage

Start Date / End Date 2021-07-22 / 2022-07-21

Additional Metadata