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Predictive mapping of species and habitats - which data do you need?

Hard and soft bottoms harbour different types of marine biodiversity.                                                                               Photo: M. Isaeus

The distribution of marine benthic biodiversity is to a large extent determined by environmental factors such as water depth, bottom substrate and salinity. The existence of such species-environment relationships is well known from traditional natural history. To find and describe this relationship in a statistichal model is the very basis for predictive mapping. The procedure requires that you gather some basic information, biological as well as environmental, from the area to be mapped.

Data quality is crucial
Results from PREHAB indicate that the reliability of maps from predictive modelling to a large extent depends on data quality. Therefore, we have identified certain rules of thumb that can be used as recommendations for sampling.

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