Consequences of Map Resolution on Coral Reef Studies Quantified to Improve Science and Management
Newly processed data enhance managers’ evaluation of mapped bottom types within existing Marine Protected Areas, inform the design of new MPAs, and improve scientists’ use of benthic maps in change analysis and forecasting. Scientists from NCCOS and the University of Maryland have quantified the influence of spatial (size of smallest mapped features) and categorical (number of feature types) resolution on maps of coral reef ecosystems. The results, published in the April 2008 issue of Marine Geodesy, will be used to guide creation of the next generation of reef ecosystem maps for use by coastal scientists and managers in all U.S. States and Territories. Seafloor maps are a fundamental information need for research, ecological forecasting, integrated ecosystem assessments, and informed management of coral reef ecosystems.