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A standardised vocabulary for identifying benthic biota and substrata from underwater imagery: the CATAMI classification scheme


Althaus, F and Hill, N and Ferrari, R and Edwards, L and Przeslawski, R and Schonberg, CHL and Stuart-Smith, R and Barrett, N and Edgar, G and Colquhoun, J and Tran, M and Jordan, A and Rees, T and Gowett-Holmes, K, A standardised vocabulary for identifying benthic biota and substrata from underwater imagery: the CATAMI classification scheme, PLoS ONE, 10, (10) Article e0141039. ISSN 1932-6203 (2015) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Copyright 2015 The Authors Licenced under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

DOI: doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0141039


Imagery collected by still and video cameras is an increasingly important tool for minimal impact, repeatable observations in the marine environment. Data generated from imagery includes identification, annotation and quantification of biological subjects and environmental features within an image. To be long-lived and useful beyond their project-specific initial purpose, and to maximize their utility across studies and disciplines, marine imagery data should use a standardised vocabulary of defined terms. This would enable the compilation of regional, national and/or global data sets from multiple sources, contributing to broadscale management studies and development of automated annotation algorithms. The classification scheme developed under the Collaborative and Automated Tools for Analysis of Marine Imagery (CATAMI) project provides such a vocabulary. The CATAMI classification scheme introduces Australian-wide acknowledged, standardised terminology for annotating benthic substrates and biota in marine imagery. It combines coarse-level taxonomy and morphology, and is a flexible, hierarchical classification that bridges the gap between habitat/ biotope characterisation and taxonomy, acknowledging limitations when describing biological taxa through imagery. It is fully described, documented, and maintained through curated online databases, and can be applied across benthic image collection methods, annotation platforms and scoring methods. Following release in 2013, the CATAMI classification scheme was taken up by a wide variety of users, including government, academia and industry. This rapid acceptance highlights the scheme’s utility and the potential to facilitate broad-scale multidisciplinary studies of marine ecosystems when applied globally. Here we present the CATAMI classification scheme, describe its conception and features, and discuss its utility and the opportunities as well as challenges arising from its use.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:macroalgae, coral, sessile, photoquadrats
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology)
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Terrestrial systems and management
Objective Field:Assessment and management of terrestrial ecosystems
UTAS Author:Hill, N (Dr Nicole Hill)
UTAS Author:Stuart-Smith, R (Dr Rick Stuart-Smith)
UTAS Author:Barrett, N (Associate Professor Neville Barrett)
UTAS Author:Edgar, G (Professor Graham Edgar)
ID Code:104000
Year Published:2015
Web of Science® Times Cited:124
Deposited By:Sustainable Marine Research Collaboration
Deposited On:2015-10-30
Last Modified:2017-11-06
Downloads:391 View Download Statistics

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