Darwin Harbour Habitat Mapping Program: Probability of occurrence of hard coral habitat
Authors / CoAuthors
This resource contains a probability of occurrence grid of hard corals for the greater Darwin Harbour region as part of a baseline seabed mapping program of Darwin Harbour and Bynoe Harbour. This project was funded through offset funds provided by an INPEX-led Ichthys LNG Project to the Northern Territory Government’s Department of Environment and Natural Resources (NTG-DENR) with co-investment from Geoscience Australia (GA) and the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS). The intent of this program is to improve knowledge of the marine environments in the Darwin and Bynoe Harbour regions by collating and collecting baseline data that enable the creation of thematic habitat maps and information to underpin marine resource management decisions. The probability of occurrence grid of hard corals was derived from a compilation of multiple surveys undertaken by GA, AIMS and NTG-DENR between 2011 and 2017, including GA0333 (Siwabessy et al., 2015), GA0341 (Siwabessy et al., 2015), GA0351/SOL6187 (Siwabessy et al., 2016), GA4452/SOL6432 (Siwabessy et al., 2017), GA0356 (Radke et al., 2017), and GA0358 and GA0359 (Radke et al., 2018), adding to those from a previous survey GA0333 collected by GA, AIMS and NTG-DENR.
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The goal of the program was developing comprehensive inventories and maps of the distribution and abundance of physical and biological seabed habitats, seagrasses and benthic assemblages to provide baseline environmental mapping and a description of ecological patterns. The benthic habitat mapping was performed by utilising R/Python and Maxent software within the species distribution modelling domain. We correlated the probability of occurrence of individual benthic habitat classes with the environmental predictors developed forom the multibeam hydroacoustic dataset: bathymetry, aspect, slope, plan curvature, profile curvature, overall curvature, depth range, standard deviation of depth, average depth across spatial neighbourhoods. There are five maps for the probability of occurrence of individual benthic habitat classes: Macroalgae, Seagrass, Hard Corals, Filter feeders and Bare seafloor; and a maximum likelihood map incorporating all the individual layers (1- Macroalgae; 2- Filter Feeders; 3- Seagrass; 4- Hard Corals; 5- Bare seafloor).