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High-resolution wave data for improving marine habitat suitability models

Chiara Bertelli Orcid Logo, William Bennett Orcid Logo, Harshinie Karunarathna Orcid Logo, Dominic Reeve Orcid Logo, Richard Unsworth Orcid Logo, James Bull Orcid Logo

Frontiers in Marine Science, Volume: 9

Swansea University Authors: Chiara Bertelli Orcid Logo, William Bennett Orcid Logo, Harshinie Karunarathna Orcid Logo, Dominic Reeve Orcid Logo, Richard Unsworth Orcid Logo, James Bull Orcid Logo

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Abstract

Habitat suitability modelling (HSM) is a tool that is increasingly being used to help guide decision making for conservation management. It can also be used to focus efforts of restoration in our oceans. To improve on model performance, the best available environmental data along with species presen...

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Published in: Frontiers in Marine Science
ISSN: 2296-7745
Published: Frontiers Media SA 2023
Online Access: Check full text

URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa62254
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Abstract: Habitat suitability modelling (HSM) is a tool that is increasingly being used to help guide decision making for conservation management. It can also be used to focus efforts of restoration in our oceans. To improve on model performance, the best available environmental data along with species presence data is needed. Marine habitats tend to have ecological niches defined by physical environmental conditions and of particular importance for shallow water species is wave energy. In this study we examined the relative improvements to HSM outputs that could be achieved by producing high-resolution Delft-3D modelled wave height data to see if model predictions at a fine-scale can be improved. Seagrasses were used as an exemplar and comparisons at fine-scale showed considerable differences in the area predicted suitable for seagrass growth and greatly increased the importance of waves as a predictor variable when compared with open-source low resolution wave energy data.
Keywords: seagrass, restoration, habitat suitability modelling, Delft-3D wave modelling, Zostera marina
College: Faculty of Science and Engineering
Funders: NERC, NE/V01711X/1