Fish assemblages across artificial and natural reefs in Puerto Rico

Sampling event
Latest version published by United States Geological Survey on Feb 25, 2022 United States Geological Survey
Publication date:
25 February 2022
CC0 1.0

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 512 records in English (462 KB) - Update frequency: not planned
Metadata as an EML file download in English (7 KB)
Metadata as an RTF file download in English (8 KB)


This database contains raw biological data from 12 sites around the main island of Puerto Rico, each belonging to one of four reef types: “accidental” (Muelle de Azucar, Crash Boat Beach, and Roosevelt Roads’ shipwreck), “restoration” (Escambron Beach, Condado Beach, Atolladora Beach), “transplanted” (Tres Palmas, Cayo San Cristobal, Bridges Beach), and “natural” (El Natural [Playa India], Maria’s Beach, Cayo Turrumote). The identity, abundance and size of reef fish and other commercially and ecologically important fish and megabenthic invertebrate, were characterized at these sites from spring 2018 to spring 2019. Sampling was done through Stationary Point Counting (SPC) (Bohnsack & Bannerot, 1986), were divers pivoted in a point within 1m of an artificial or natural reef structure, and visually monitored fish in a cylinder of 7.5 m radius for 10 minutes. SPC surveys occurred 3 to 4 times per site visit, with an average of three site visits per season. Effort was made to include both non-cryptic and cryptic species and to identify them to the lowest taxonomic level possible. Fish length estimations were recorded as the median of 5cm interval size classes. The cephalothorax length (measurement from the tip of the rostrum to end of the thorax), also known as carapace length (CL) in centimeters is used to report the size of lobsters (Panulirus spp., Scyllarides spp.) With the length-weight relationship information available in, biomass estimates were calculated for each species when information on the species was available; if not, the species were excluded from biomass estimates. “Adjacent habitat type” and “distance to adjacent habitat” were not recorded during the first sampling season (spring 2018) but was recorded for the remainder of the experiment.

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 512 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. To the extent possible under law, the publisher has waived all rights to these data and has dedicated them to the Public Domain (CC0 1.0). Users may copy, modify, distribute and use the work, including for commercial purposes, without restriction.

GBIF Registration

This resource has been registered with GBIF, and assigned the following GBIF UUID: 94cdaf77-e99f-4da3-bcca-61e44c1f9669.  United States Geological Survey publishes this resource, and is itself registered in GBIF as a data publisher endorsed by U.S. Geological Survey.




Manuel A. Nieves Ortiz
  • Metadata Provider
  • Originator
  • Point Of Contact
Masters Student
University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez
Juan J. Cruz-Motta
  • Point Of Contact
Laboratory Director
Magueyes Island Marine Laboratory, University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez
Abby Benson
  • Publisher
U.S. Geological Survey
Miguel G. Figuerola Hernández
  • Processor
Technical Support Staff
Caribbean Coastal Ocean Observing System (CARICOOS) / Puerto Rico Coral Reef Monitoring Program and Outreach Coordinator, PR DNER

Geographic Coverage

This dataset contains dive sites within the inner and middle shelves in the main island of Puerto Rico, located in the northeastern Caribbean Sea, Western North Atlantic Ocean. The municipalities that were sampled include: from the towns of Aguadilla (Northwest), Ceiba (East), Guanica (South), Lajas (South), Rincon (West), and San Juan (North). Sites in Lajas (Cayo San Cristobal and Cayo Turrumote) were the only two sites in mid-shelve environments; all other were located within the inner continental shelf.

Bounding Coordinates South West [17.884, -67.949], North East [18.49, -65.197]

Additional Metadata