Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
Mandatory Fields
Rengstorf, A., Yesson, C., Brown, C., Grehan, A.J.
Marine Geodesy
Towards high resolution habitat suitability modelling of vulnerable marine ecosystems in the deep-sea: resolving terrain attribute dependencies.
Optional Fields
Carbonate mounds Cold-water coral Ecosystem-based management Habitat suitability modeling Spatial resolution Terrain analysis
Recent habitat suitability models used to predict the occurrence of vulnerable marine species, particularly framework building cold-water corals, have identified terrain attributes such as slope and bathymetric position index as important predictive parameters. Due to their scale-dependent nature, a realistic representation of terrain attributes is crucial for the development of reliable habitat suitability models. In this paper, three known coral areas and a noncoral control area off the west coast of Ireland were chosen to assess quantitative and distributional differences between terrain attributes derived from bathymetry grids of varying resolution and information content. Correlation analysis identified consistent changes of terrain attributes as grain size was altered. Response characteristics and dimensions depended on terrain attribute types and the dominant morphological length-scales within the study areas. The subsequent effect on habitat suitability maps was demonstrated by preliminary models generated at different grain sizes. This study demonstrates that high resolution habitat suitability models based on terrain parameters derived from multibeam generated bathymetry are required to detect many of the topographical features found in Irish waters that are associated with coral. This has implications for marine spatial planning in the deep sea. Supplemental materials are available for this article. Go to the publisher's online edition of Marine Geodesy to view the free supplemental file.
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