Spatial predictive modelling as a tool in the Norwegian program for mapping of marine habitats
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Original versionThis report is not to be quoted without prior consultation with the General Secretary.
There is a high pressure on coastal ecosystems from climate change and a diverse range of human activities. To develop adequate marine spatial plans and achieve knowledge based management decisions, managers and policy makers need mapped information, especially for areas of high ecological functioning and marine biodiversity. Such information has been lacking in the marine environment in Norway. In 2003, the National program for mapping and monitoring of marine biodiversity started developing methods and organisational structure for mapping selected marine habitats. As the Norwegian coast is long and complex, detailed mapping of the sea floor is costly. Consequently, it was decided to develop and apply spatial predictive modelling as a tool. The methodology includes collaboration between physical oceanographers, marine ecologists and geologists, statisticians and modellers, including GIS experts. We will here describe the methods developed and applied to the habitats “Large kelp forest” and “Carbonate sand deposits”, with Trøndelag as study area.