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Ground based surveys

Visual methods such as snorkeling, diving, aquascope and drop video are generally useful for mapping the cover of benthic macrophytes in shallow-water areas like soft-bottom bays and rocky shores. However, in the Baltic, the potential of these methods is limited due reduced Secchi depth.

Aquascope is commonly used to map coverage of macrophytes (seagrass and macroalgae). There are different ways in how to designate efficient mapping of spatial distribution of macrophyte using aquascope and a GPS receiver. One way is to determine the boundary conditions for a macrophyte area and determined as the area where eelgrass covers more than 5% of the bottom.

Diving is commonly used for biodiversity estimations and to monitor coverage, depth limits and changes in species composition of benthic macrophytes, but has a limited potential for large-scale habitat mapping.

Conventional ground-truthing methods can be very time-consuming and expensive.

Useful links:
MESH (Mapping European Seabed Habitats):



  • Limitations & Costs (time, money?)
  • Useful links

Input from: Martin Gullström and others.

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