SBC LTER Darwin Core Archive: Kelp Forest Reef Fish Abundance

Latest version published by United States Geological Survey on Jan 24, 2018 United States Geological Survey

These data describe the abundance of reef fish as part of the Santa Barbara Coastal LTER program (SBC LTER) to track long-term patterns in kelp forest reef species abundance and diversity. The study began in 2000 in the Santa Barbara Channel, California, USA, and the time series is ongoing and updated approximately annually.

Abundances of all taxa of resident kelp forest fish encountered along permanent transects are recorded at nine reef sites located along the mainland coast of the Santa Barbara Channel and at two sites on the north side of Santa Cruz Island. These sites reflect several oceanographic regimes in the channel and vary in distance from sources of terrestrial runoff. In these surveys, fish were counted in either a 40x2m benthic quadrat, or in the water parcel 0-2m off the bottom over the same area.

This dataset is formatted as a Darwin Core Archive (DwC-A, occurrence core). All taxa are counted (using an open species list), and abundances are zero-filled for each taxon not encountered. This is a derived data product and less-processed data may be available. See for more information and source data, which may include additional measurements, and for processing notes.

Data Records

The data in this occurrence 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 43,610 records.

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.


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 43,610 records in English (609 KB) - Update frequency: unknown
Metadata as an EML file download in English (10 KB)
Metadata as an RTF file download in English (11 KB)


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: 1683e434-321c-4b55-a5b0-6e05eb6d931f.  United States Geological Survey publishes this resource, and is itself registered in GBIF as a data publisher endorsed by U.S. Geological Survey.


Population Abundance; BasisofRecord: HumanObservation; Occurrence: OrganismQuantity; Taxon: ScientificName; Occurrence; Observation


Who created the resource:

Robert Miller
Principal Investigator
SBC MBON University of California 93106-6150 Santa Barbara California US 805 893 6174
Daniel C Reed
Co-Principal Investigator
Marine Science Institute

Who can answer questions about the resource:

Robert Miller
Principal Investigator
SBC MBON University of California 93106-6150 Santa Barbara California US 805 893 6174

Who filled in the metadata:

Margaret O'Brien
Information Manager
Abigail Benson
U.S. Geological Survey

Geographic Coverage

Nearshore reefs of the Santa Barbara Channel and Channel Islands, California, USA

Bounding Coordinates South West [34.392, -120.333], North East [34.472, -119.542]

Temporal Coverage

Start Date / End Date 2000-08-01 / 2016-07-27

Project Data

No Description available

Title Santa Barbara Channel Marine Biodiversity Observation Network

The personnel involved in the project:

Robert J Miller
Daniel Reed
David Siegel
Craig Carlson
Kevin D Lafferty
B.S. Manjunath
Andrew Rassweiler

Sampling Methods

No Description available

Method step description:

  1. One of the main strengths of the long term ecological research program is that it allows us to evaluate changes in the ecological community against the background of natural long-term variability. This long-term context is particularly important when we seek to distinguish between changes caused by natural processes and those caused by human activities. SBC LTER has undertaken long-term measurements of the abundance of reef algae, invertebrates and fish within permanent transects at 11 kelp forest sites in the Santa Barbara Channel. These data represent one of the core research activities of SBC LTER and they provide a relatively comprehensive description of community structure and dynamics of kelp forest communities within our study region.
  2. The number, size and species identity of reef fish are recorded within a 2 m wide swath centered along each transect extending 2 m off the bottom. See the protocol document for more information

Additional Metadata

marine, harvest by iOBIS

Alternative Identifiers edi.140