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Defining Marine Landscapes on the Belgian Continental Shelf as anApproach to Holistic Habitat Mapping

The concept of the marine landscapes is a quite young and recent
developed approach firstly proposed by Roff and Taylor (2000). The
concept offers an alternative for habitat mapping which generally
combines geophysical and biological data for the direct mapping of
community types. Mapping of extensive areas does not allow the
usage of all kinds of datasets since biological data are generally
lacking at a large scale. Therefore, the marine landscape approach
allows to map habitats relatively fast without the usage of biological
data. Available biological data are generally only used passively to
validate the marine landscapes in terms of their biological relevance
afterwards.

This study is a first attempt to divide the Belgian continental shelf
into discrete ecological units, solely based on geophysical data as
proposed by the assumption of Roff and Taylor (2000).
Datasets containing information on bathymetry, slopes, median
grain-size, bedforms, maximum bed stress and gravel fields were
integrated into a Geographic Information System (GIS) and further
processed. Based on those variables, seventeen seabed marine landscapes are distinguished so far. As the approach serves as an alternative for habitat mapping, the defined marine landscapes must assure that they are biologically relevant.

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Date Of Record Release 2009-05-11 15:44:27
Description The concept of the marine landscapes is a quite young and recent
developed approach firstly proposed by Roff and Taylor (2000). The
concept offers an alternative for habitat mapping which generally
combines geophysical and biological data for the direct mapping of
community types. Mapping of extensive areas does not allow the
usage of all kinds of datasets since biological data are generally
lacking at a large scale. Therefore, the marine landscape approach
allows to map habitats relatively fast without the usage of biological
data. Available biological data are generally only used passively to
validate the marine landscapes in terms of their biological relevance
afterwards.

This study is a first attempt to divide the Belgian continental shelf
into discrete ecological units, solely based on geophysical data as
proposed by the assumption of Roff and Taylor (2000).
Datasets containing information on bathymetry, slopes, median
grain-size, bedforms, maximum bed stress and gravel fields were
integrated into a Geographic Information System (GIS) and further
processed. Based on those variables, seventeen seabed marine landscapes are distinguished so far. As the approach serves as an alternative for habitat mapping, the defined marine landscapes must assure that they are biologically relevant.
Classification
Resource Type
Format
Subject
Source MESH (Mapping European Seabed Habitats
Keyword Bathica, Marine, Geophysical, Habitats, Biological, Belgium, Ecology, Geographic Information System (GIS)
Date Of Record Creation 2009-05-11 15:32:32
Education Level
Date Last Modified 2009-05-11 15:44:27
Creator Kristien Schelfaut
Language English
Date Record Checked: 2009-05-11 00:00:00 (W3C-DTF)

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