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Predicted deep-sea coral habitat suitability for Alaskan waters
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    "Predictive habitat models for deep-sea corals in Alaskan waters, including the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone, were developed for NOAA-NMFS' Office of Habitat Conservation. Models are intended to aid in future research/mapping efforts, assess potential coral habitat suitability both within and outside existing bottom trawl closures (i.e. Essential Fish Habitat (EFH), Habitat Areas of Particular Concern (HAPC), Habitat Conservation Areas (HCA), etc.)). Deep-sea coral habitat suitability was modeled at ~ 700 m x 700 m spatial resolution using a variety of physical, chemical and environmental variables known or thought to influence the distribution of deep-sea corals. maxent models identified slope, temperature, salinity and depth as important predictors for most deep-sea coral taxa. Large areas of highly suitable deep-sea coral habitat results are not meant to identify coral areas with pin point accuracy and probably over predict actual coral distribution due to model limitations and unincorporated variables (i.e. substrate) that are known to limit their distribution. Predicted habitat results should be used in conjunction with multibeam bathymetry, geological maps, and other tools to guide future research efforts to areas with the highest probability of harboring deep-sea corals. Field validation of predicted habitat is needed to quantify model accuracy, particularly in areas that have not been sampled. Model accuracy would improve with the addition of coral presence and absence data from field validation efforts currently underway"--Abstract.

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