Marine Habitat Mapping with GIS (MSc. Project)

INTRODUCTION

The goal of creating a habitat map is to identify the distribution of different type of habitats within a defined area (Nicet et al., 2015). The term ‘habitat’ in ecology brings together all the species, their biocenoses* but also their biotope*. Marine habitat maps are required to provide a better understanding of the marine habitat for prevention (climate change) and protection objectives, as well as to inform conservation and resource management efforts (“Habitat Mapping,” n.d.).

Habitat maps are useful tools for many organisations as they contain essential information and present in a visual way the distribution of habitats on a predefined zone. Habitats maps are formed by the display and layout of several specialized information types/layers. These endangered environments are currently targeted by conservation planning and management measures, but also by awareness raising to allow improvement of the health of both marine and terrestrial environments. Because they are strongly dependent on their natural environment, human populations, especially in the Philippines, are very vulnerable to climate change and their
economies can be affected by the degradation of the ecosystem. For example, coral reef degradation leads to a decrease in fish abundance which affects the livelihood of millions of people whose primary source of income is fishing.

Front cover image on marine habitat map research project

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