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Marine and coastal GIS for geomorphology, habitat mapping, and marine reserves

TitleMarine and coastal GIS for geomorphology, habitat mapping, and marine reserves
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsWright, DJ, Heyman, WD
JournalMar. Geod.Mar. Geod.Mar. Geod.
Keywords6th special issue on marine and coastal GIS, GIS and oceanography, habitat, marine reserve/sanctuary/protected area, marine ecology, seafloor/seabed mapping, satellite remote sensing, Marine GIS, acoustic remote sensing, marine geomorphology, benthic

This sixth special issue onMarine and Coastal Geographic Information Systems (M&CGIS) is the first to be based on an organized series of presentations at a conference, the 2008 Association of American Geographers (AAG) Annual Meeting in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. The papers were selected and peer reviewed for publication in this special issue under the theme “Marine Geomorphology as a Determinant for Essential Life Habitat: An Ecosystem Management Approach to Planning for Marine Reserve Networks” (see
presentations and resources online at The sessions were co-sponsored by the Coastal and Marine, Geographic Information Science and Systems, and Biogeography specialty groups of the AAG. The unifying goal of these sessions was
to examine critically the growing body of data suggesting that the underlying geology and geomorphology of marine environments dictate the location of critical life habitat for a variety marine species. For example, it is becoming clearer that spawning aggregations of many species of commercially important reef fishes commonly occur at the windward edge of reef promontories that jut into deep water (e.g., Heyman et al. 2007; Heyman et al. 2005).
As another example, seamounts serve as attractors for pelagic fishes and as stepping stones for transoceanic species dispersal (e.g., de Forges et al. 2000; Stocks et al. 2004). The broad
implications of these findings suggest that geomorphology might be used as a proxy for (or at least help to identify) critical life habitat for marine species and thus serve to advance the application of ecosystem-based management (EBM)1 to the design of marine reserve networks (e.g., Lubchenco et al. 2007; Halpin et al. 2007; Halpern et al. 2008).

Short TitleMarine GeodesyMarine Geodesy
Alternate JournalMarine Geodesy