Project Title: Predictive Modeling for the Gulf of Mexico: Presence/Absence Component
Goal or Purpose

To improve the development of predictive models for deep sea coral habitat in the northern Gulf of Mexico, by incorporating additional presence/absence records.

Anticipated Management Application(s)

These models have assisted in the prioritization of areas for field surveys and reduced the number of costly ship days needed to accurately assess the distribution of deep-sea corals in the Gulf of Mexico. They provide valuable information for NOAA and regional fishery management councils to help plan and evaluate habitat management and conservation alternatives. Models are also useful to NOAA and other federal agencies such as BOEM to assess risks and potential impacts. For example, results from this project may help improve understanding of resources potentially impacted by the Deepwater Horizon event, and have been used in development of Environmental Sensitivity Index (ESI) maps for oil spill response and risk analysis.

Fiscal Funding:
  • FY 2012 @ $30,000

 
Region(s):
  • Gulf of Mexico Council
Location(s):
  •  None Defined.
Map of model -predicted relative habitat suitability for framework-forming, scleractinian deep-sea corals in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Warmer colors represent greater likelihood of seafloor habitats capable of supporting this type of deep sea coral.
Project Type:
  • Habitat Suitability Modeling
Point of Contact: Office of the Point of Contact:
  • NOS NCCOS
Team Members:
  •  None Defined.
Project Title: Predictive Modeling for the Gulf of Mexico: Presence/Absence Component
Methods/Approach

Additional records of deep sea coral were obtained through reviewing archived reports, video, and still photos. Using MaxEnt, historical records of deep sea coral presence and/or absence and abundance were merged with potential environmental predictor variables to create regional habitat suitability prediction maps.

Project Results and Management Outcomes

We were able to generate improved maps of potential deep-sea coral distribution in the northern Gulf of Mexico for 19 types of deep corals, including a variety of habitat-forming species and groups, and have made these maps available in digital format.

The results are available at the NCCOS project website

Project Title: Predictive Modeling for the Gulf of Mexico: Presence/Absence Component
Internal References:
 
Backlinks:
  •  None Defined

FY12_09_image.jpg
Map of model -predicted relative habitat suitability for framework-forming, scleractinian deep-sea corals in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Warmer colors represent greater likelihood of seafloor habitats capable of supporting this type of deep sea coral.