Ecosystems and Climate Change
Lophelia pertusa is the most common reef framework-forming cold-water coral species. The complex reef structure is known to support a high diversity of benthic species. Mapping L. Pertusa distribution is essential for resource management, but challenging given the remoteness of their habitats. In this study, maximum entropy modelling (Maxent) was used to predict the potential distribution of L. pertusa at the Traena Reef on the Norwegian margin, with multiscale (30, 50 and 90 m) terrain variables being used in the model run. Maxent successfully predicted the potential distribution of L. pertusa at the Traena Reef. The suitable habitat was predicted to occur on the easterly tips of extended topographic features. Jackknife tests showed the terrain variables slope, aspect and plan curvature (at scale 50 m) were the most useful terrain parameters for habitat prediction of L. pertusa when used in isolation. The live L. pertusa occurrence at the Traena Reef is to a large degree influenced by local scale terrain features, with elevated areas of extant reef structures facing into prevalent current flows being most suitable for ongoing L. pertusa growth and reef development.
KeywordsPotential Distribution Reef Structure Reef Development Jackknife Test Ecological Niche Factor Analysis
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