NatureScot Commissioned Report 980: Predictive mapping of seabed features within selected Special Areas of Conservation and Nature Conservation MPAs in Scottish territorial waters using available datasets
Annex I habitats and MPA protected features within 25 Special Areas of Conservation (SAC), one Nature Conservation MPA and two proposed NC MPAs were predictively mapped using the best available data for each site. These data included; sample point data, aerial imagery, acoustic data and physical parameter data layers. Three predictive modelling techniques were utilised to optimally use the data, these were: statistical modelling, imagery classification and rule-based modelling. The three techniques employed allowed a larger scale approach to be taken to map broadscale habitats such as Bedrock or Stony Reefs via statistical modelling, and finer scale mapping of Annex I subtypes including the biogenic habitats via a rule-based approach. Further to this the aerial imagery allowed for automatic classification of intertidal habitats and in some areas the shallow subtidal, and acoustic data for distinguishing between rocky and sedimentary habitats subtidally.
The predictive mapping outputs produced GIS polygon data range for a range of features across the sites, at varying scales, and to different degrees of confidence. In many sites the mapping improved on previously mapped polygons by using recently collected data. In some sites no previous mapping was available and the outputs provide the first mapped extent of habitats and features of interest. A confidence assessment was run on all the feature polygons created to describe the level of confidence in the delineation of the boundaries of the habitat extents.
Publication 2017 - NatureScot Commissioned Report 980 - Predictive mapping of seabed features within selected Special Areas of Conservation and Nature Conservation MPAs in Scottish territorial waters using available datasets
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