About this Research Topic
3D complexity is strongly linked to biotic diversity and abundance, but the relationship is not necessarily positive, as different functional groups exhibit unique responses to changes in habitat structure. Recently published methodological and ecological studies reveal the fundamental importance of quantifying 3D structure in marine ecosystems. For instance, 3D metrics of habitat structure provide a superior indicator of ecosystem trajectory compared to traditional measures, such as chain-and-tape rugosity. Technology to quantify 3D structure underwater is readily accessible, with little training required to incorporate 3D technologies to research and monitoring programs.
Recent advances in 3D technology have enabled low-cost and precise measurements of habitat structure underwater. Researchers and managers will benefit from adopting 3D technologies to advance marine ecosystem science and conservation. However, there is little guidance on how to apply 3D novel technologies for marine ecology and conservation studies. A few groups around the world are leading the application of 3D technologies underwater. This is the perfect time for these groups to standardize their methods and ensure collaboration and compatibility of 3D data across space and time. This Research Topic can facilitate not only the standardization of methods, but also the communication of standardized methods to the wider audience of researchers and managers keen to adopt 3D technologies. Specifically, this can be achieved by providing all relevant information in one Research Topic that:
1) Advances fundamental marine ecological and conservation knowledge by publishing some of the best marine ecological studies applying 3D technologies underwater;
2) synthesizes key findings by publishing the first review on marine ecological studies applying 3D technologies underwater around the world; and
3) highlights key needs we need to tackle to move towards a high-resolution 3D map of the world’s oceans.
This Research Topic focuses on the use of high-resolution (mm-cm) technologies to generate 3D reconstructions of underwater ecosystems, such as close-range photogrammetry. It includes any imaging platform, such as autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs), diver held cameras, or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). It welcomes submissions across multiple spatial extents, from coral colonies to reef-scapes, including:
• Methodological advances
• Review articles
• Ecological applications of existing methods
Keywords: 3D structural complexity, marine ecology, conservation, photogrammetry, rugosity
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.