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Title: Progress in marine ecosystem classification, mapping and targets: Testing the boundaries
Authors: Sink (SANBI), Kerry
Karenyi (SANBI), Natasha
Livingstone, Tamsyn
Keywords: Marine
Issue Date: 25-Jun-2015
Publisher: SANBI
Series/Report no.: Biodiversity Planning Forum;
Abstract: This presentation summarises the approach taken in the mapping and classification of marine ecosystems in South Africa and the first work in setting quantitative biodiversity targets for unconsolidated marine ecosystem types. The inaccessible, three dimensional, dynamic ocean environment poses many challenges which have been addressed through a range of approaches including biophysical seascape and biotope classifications, research to understand marine biodiversity surrogates, citizen science to map reefs and the use of species area curves to develop the first local biodiversity targets. The data-informed, expert-derived classification and map used in 2011 was reasonably well supported since fish, macrofauna and eipfauna data showed support for the divisions 29 involved and yielded better results than a purely physical data based approach. Progress since 2012 is reviewed and proposed methods, data sources and research opportunities to advance this work are identified. These include new approaches in habitat mapping, testing surrogacy through collaborative research cruises, co-operative work with offshore industries, and inclusion of data from the fisheries and petroleum government agencies. Priority habitat types for further work are discussed.
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