Benthic communities on coral reefs at locations in Florida, the Bahamas, the Turks and Caicos Islands and Haiti were sampled between July 1972 and June 1973.
All sampling was carried out using SCUBA. Grand Bahama Island sites were accessed from Hydro Lab, a saturation diving facility. Individual samples were collected from within 10x10cm quadrats placed at intervals along transects. Bare sediments were recovered to a depth of 2.5cm. Macroscopic algae were manually cropped. Sponges were cut out by knife. "Bare" rock and living corals were recovered with chisel and sledge hammer in which cases the surface areas of the individual samples were irregular and had to be established subsequently. All samples were transferred in situ to numbered plastic bags, returned to the surface and immediately frozen. Samples were later processed and analysed in the laboratory to determine organic carbon content.
The dataset consists of the following subsets:
(a) 8 vertical transects on spurs at Grand Bahama a depths between 16.8 and 21.4m.
(b) Two transects from depths of 30-38m at Grand Bahama
(c) A set of samples from the Hydro Lab study grid, Grand Bahama. The grid is comprised of 9 transects spaced at 25m intervals parallel to the reef front over the depth range 15-22m. Each 15m transect was sampled using 10x10cm quadrats spaced at 1m intervals along the transect.
(d) A set of 14 regional transects at depths between 13 and 27m. Each 10m transect was sampled using 10x10cm quadrats spaced at 1m intervals along the transect.
(e) A set of 5 seasonal observations (November 1972, January, February, April and June, 1973) from the Hydro Lab study grid, Grand Bahama.