Bight program modernizing computational methods for bioassessment scoring tools

Posted May 6, 2024

The Southern California Bight Regional Monitoring Program has launched an effort to modernize the computational methods used to score the biological health of organisms living in and on the sediment seafloor – an effort that will improve consistency and efficiency without changing the tools’ underlying scoring thresholds or rubrics.

The Bight ’23 Benthic Infauna Subcommittee, which began the effort earlier this year, is taking advantage of advances in computational methods and data science to update the algorithms that are used for the Benthic Response Index and the statewide Sediment Quality Objectives’ benthic line of evidence. The bioassessment indices are more than 20 years old.

Species names also are being updated to match modern taxonomic standards.

The modernization effort will not affect the comparability of bioassessment data across all four decades of the Southern California Bight Regional Monitoring Program.

More news related to: Bioassessment, Indices of Biotic Integrity, Sediment Quality, Southern California Bight Regional Monitoring Program