What is Marine Habitat Mapping, and Why Is It Important? Why is it required? The critical importance of understanding how to chart the ocean’s ecosystems is widely established. Learn more about marine habitat mapping in the following resources.
MHM is an abbreviation for ‘Marine Habitat Mapping’. This sort of map is crucial for comprehending the many ecosystems found around the world. It facilitates the exchange of knowledge about ecosystems between scientists and management. It is critical for the decision-making and delineation of MPAs. Additionally, it is a vital component of scientific research and environmental education.
Historically, maps were constructed by interpolating over a broader distance using samples or movies. MHM covers the ten fundamental aspects of ecological and biological modelling today as the need for increasingly precise information increases. By 2020, the European Commission proposes to construct a digital map of the seabed under European waterways. And enables managers to monitor and maintain their coastal waters’ health.
Keep reading to know more about MHM below –
- Show the distribution of marine habitats and ecosystems.
These maps illustrate the distribution of many kinds of maritime habitats, which provides information on marine ecosystems. There are three types of licenses: biocenosis, coral reefs, and rocky coastlines. Marine habitat mapping offers critical information for fisheries management, oil and gas development, and conservation. Additionally, these maps aid in the development of protection measures for vital ecosystems. In a nutshell, they aid in understanding how to chart the ocean’s ecosystems to conserve the planet’s most essential parts.
- Technologies are remote sensing and spatial modelling.
Remote sensing data and spatial modelling techniques are the most often utilised methods for maritime habitat mapping. Another technique used to describe species in their environments is direct sampling. These methods enable researchers to forecast species distributions and determine the most effective management strategies for these habitats. Marine habitat mapping is a helpful technique for managing marine ecosystems because it combines remote sensing and environmental monitoring data. Additionally, it is an effective tool for data monitoring.
- Widely used approach.
This technique is extensively utilised and may be employed in a variety of ways. Aerial imaging is the most often used method for maritime mapping environments. Additionally, it may be used to denote resource management borders and other stressors on the maritime ecosystem. Mapping marine ecosystems is a complicated procedure, and data quality is critical. To make the most use of these maps, scientists must consider their work’s environmental effects.
- Sonar and multispectral satellite photos map bottom habitats.
Historically, scientists have created precise maps of bottom ecosystems using sonar and multispectral satellite photography. However, this is a lengthy process, and collecting and processing such data may be difficult. However, marine habitat mapping is critical for better understanding the seafloor’s ecosystems and establishing a baseline for monitoring and long-term evaluation. Additionally, it is essential in protecting the ocean’s biodiversity.
- Better knowledge of ocean ecosystems and sustainable management.
MHM’s principal objective is to get a better understanding of ocean ecosystems and to manage them sustainably. Tens of thousands of bottom observations were gathered to generate an accurate map of their maritime habitats. Additionally, they amassed millions of sonar soundings to increase the accuracy of their maps. They may create more precise habitat maps by merging the data.
- The map shows ocean habitats.
The map depicts the ocean’s ecosystem – an illustration of the many sorts of ocean habitats. Biotopes come in a variety of varieties. Some are abundant in fish, while others are deficient in nutrition. Resource managers may use the maps to identify which habitats should be conserved.
Additionally, they aid in the population management of marine animals. Regardless matter how vital marine ecosystems are, the map can safeguard them. The final report of the Global Reef Expedition summarises the findings from their ten-year study project. It discusses data-driven approaches to the development of marine bioregions. China and Europe are collaborating on the initiative. Global Reef Expedition is the most exhaustive oceanographic survey ever undertaken, surveying and mapping the coral reefs across the globe.
- Various methods were used to map species distribution in marine habitats.
Statistical analysis, remote sensing data, and directly targeted sampling are some examples of these methods. These marine maps aid scientists in predicting where and when species may occur and the effects of changing habitat conditions on populations. Encouraging public participation in marine ecosystem research, they also aid conservation.
Government entities such as the Australian Department of Agriculture and Water Resources and Parks Australia have extensively used it to control biosecurity. It has the potential to assist governments in responding to the worldwide reef catastrophe. Additionally, Marine Habitat Mapping might help them in planning future maritime initiatives. Understanding the links between biodiversity and environments is critical. And these MHM-based research facts may assist the government in assessing the ocean’s health.