Mapping marine plants and animals
Mapping plant and animal communities on the seabed (benthos) uses direct sampling techniques like diving, grabs, dredges, video and photography.
Information is collected at a sample site to find out what and how many species are there.
This is to assess the biodiversity values for an area of interest.
This information is used to help make decisions for sustainable development within the Northern Territory's (NT) marine environment and conservation of its native marine plants and animals.
Mapping of plant and animal species and communities extends the sample site to a broader area of interest.
Scientists combine species and environmental characteristics at a number of sites to predict where these species may be found in areas outside these sites.
The final community or species habitat map reflects the best estimate of habitat distribution.
An example of community mapping is the Darwin and Bynoe Harbours habitat mapping program.