Evaluation of geospatial tools for delineating concentrations of deep-sea corals and sponges

Description

The illustration is an output from the Maxent model, showing the highest probability for the distribution of sponge grounds in the NAFO regulatory area.

The kernel density analysis is a method used to identify significant concentrations of aggregating species such as cold-water corals and sponges. This method has certain limitations for other applications: it does not take into account environmental factors that can influence coral/sponge densities (water depth, temperature, and nutrient status) and is not effective in areas where few observations have been made. This project will compare two species distribution modelling alternatives, random forest and Maxent, to determine the accuracy of the maps produced with each method as well as the ecological insights they provide. They may each be applicable in different situations.

Program Name

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

Ecoregion(s)

Atlantic: Gulf of Maine, Scotian Shelf

Principal Investigator(s)

Ellen Kenchington

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