Predictive Ensemble Maps for cold-water coral distributions in the Cap de Creus Canyon (NW Mediterranean)
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AuthorsLo-Iacono, C. (Claudio); Robert, K. (Katleen); González-Villanueva, R. (Rita); Gori, A. (Andrea); Orejas, C. (Covadonga); Gili, J.M. (Josep Maria)
KeywordsCold-water corals (CWC)
Cap de Creus
Predictive habitat mapping
Predictive habitat mapping has shown great promise to improve the understanding of the spatial distribution of benthic habitats. However, although they surely represent an important step forward in process-based ecosystem management, their predictive efficiency is not always tested by independent groundtruthing data. This is particularly true for the deep-sea environment, where sample data are always limited compared to the large extent of the areas to be mapped. The aim of this study is to apply and test different spatial models to statistically predict the distribution of three Cold-Water Coral (CWC) species (Madrepora oculata, Lophelia pertusa and Dendrophyllia cornigera) in the Cap de Creus Canyon (NW Mediterranean), based on high-resolution swath-bathymetry data and video observations from the submersible JAGO (IFM-GEOMAR). Submarine canyons act as specific hosting areas for CWCs, owing to their favourable environmental conditions, which provide habitat and shelter for a wide range ...
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