GIS-enabled habitat classification tool based on environmental data layers

Description

Benthic habitat map showing estimated scope of growth for all of the Canadian continental shelf. Red represents areas where species are expected to have greater growth and recovery from exploitation, blue represents areas where species are expected to grow and recover more slowly.

An important habitat classification model known as the Kostylev and Hannah habitat template contains chemical, physical, and geological data within a marine mapping framework. This project will create a Geographic Information System (GIS) tool to access and manipulate the data in the template, along with a web-based tool that will be easier to access for users without specialized GIS skills. These tools will be used by habitat managers for evaluating the sensitivity of habitats to mechanical disturbances and overharvesting, defining Marine Protected Areas (MPA), and possibly as indicators of fish biodiversity.

Program Name

Strategic Program for Ecosystem-based Research and Advice (SPERA)

Ecoregion(s)

National

Principal Investigator(s)

Charles Hannah

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