Biodiv Sci


Progress in marine habitat mapping — Concept, method, and applications

Wenjia Hu1,3, Qiulin Zhou1, Bin Chen1,3, Shengyun Yang2, Jiamei Xiao2, Jianguo Du1,3, Hao Huang1,3, Weiwei Yu1,3, Zhiyuan Ma1,3   

  1. 1 Third Institute of Oceanography, Ministry of Natural Resources, Xiamen, Fujian, 361005

    2 College of Oceanic and Earth, Xiamen University, Xiamen, Fujian, 361005 

    3 Fujian Provincial Key Laboratory of Marine Ecological Conservation and Restoration,Xiamen,Fujian, 361005

  • Received:2020-04-29 Revised:2020-08-07 Online:2020-09-20 Published:2020-09-20
  • Contact: Bin Chen

Abstract: The ecological boundaries rather than the administrative boundaries are adopted in the Marine ecosystem-based management (MEBM) to guide management practices. Marine habitat mapping aims to explore the distribution patterns of marine environment and biomes/species, thereby providing ecological boundaries for management actions like biodiversity conservation and marine spatial planning. Marine habitat mapping is an effective approach of leading monitoring data to decision-making, which has become a research hotspot for marine ecosystem conservation and management. However, studies on marine habitat mapping have just begun in China. This article reviewed the domestic and foreign research progress of marine habitat mapping. First the definition and connotation of marine habitat mapping was explained. Then the steps of marine habitat mapping and its application in ecosystem-based management were clarified. The methods for marine habitat mapping were systematically summarized, from the aspects of habitat classification scheme, ecoregion delineation and characteristics descriptions. Furthermore, the representative marine habitat mapping cases were summarized. By comparing the marine habitat mapping systems developed by different countries or regions, the common characteristics were proposed. Finally, suggestions were put forward to interpret the prospects of marine habitat mapping applications in China, providing scientific basis for China's marine ecological spatial management.

Key words: habitat mapping, marine spatial planning, habitat classification, ecological region