Once the data are gathered, and potential resistant and resilient reef sites are identified, overlay the most detailed maps that characterize the area, including: current speed and direction, fish movements, connectivity information, exposure, energy regime, and other oceanographic patterns.
Supplement data to include areas with concentrations of resources, human activities, and threats to resources, or any other required information, such as areas of conflicts among activities and other interests, or critical areas (e.g., fish spawning aggregations).
The simplest way to achieve these analyses is by map overlay. Using either GIS or simple Mylar or other transparent sheets, overlay data layers on the base map. Data layers should include:
- Reefs of different types (e.g., patch, barrier, fringing, etc.)
- High biodiversity areas (with different coral community types)
- Resistant and resilient reefs or sections of reefs
- Connectivity patterns (if known)
- Critical areas (e.g., spawning aggregations, foraging grounds)
- Resource uses (e.g., fisheries, tourism)
- Threats to reefs (e.g., destructive fishing, coastal development, coral mining)
As a result of the overlaid data layer, reef values, uses, concentrated threats, and potential user conflicts can be determined. Sites with high reef values, or that are representative of different community types, are all candidates for protection. For more information on synthesizing these data layers see the next section on data synthesis.