AquaBiota participates in the research project PREHAB with the aim to deliver a scientifically sound and user-friendly framework for regional planning. Within the project methods for ecological mapping and economic valuation of benthic habitats in Baltic coastal habitats were developed. The full name of the project were Spatial PREdiction of benthic HABitats in the Baltic Sea.
In PREHAB existing data were incorporated into empirical models to predict the spatial distribution of benthic habitats and species in a set of case-study areas. Existing data involved environmental factors such as bathymetry e.g. depth and slope, wave-exposure and biological variables such as vegetation cover, species composition of rocky and sediment assemblages and recruitment of fish.
There is a wide array of statistical techniques available for construction of such predictive models. In PREHAB the performance of techniques was compared in order to arrive at recommendations for cost-efficient and precise modelling practices.
PREHAB started in January 2009 and ran for three years. Participants come from Finland, Lithuania and Sweden. The project is coordinated by the Department of Marine Ecology at the University of Gothenburg.
More information can be found at PREHAB’s home page