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Introduction

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This publication presents a national classification of marine habitats for the shores and seabed around Britain and Ireland. It has been substantially revised and updated from the previous version which was developed by JNCC’s Marine Nature Conservation Review (MNCR) as part of the EC Life Nature-funded BioMar programme (Connor et al. 1997a, b). This new version reflects the continuing needs of end-users for improved information about each habitat, which is presented in a variety of interactive ways in this web-based version. As a result of re-analysis of field data, including new data from recent surveys in Special Areas of Conservation (SACs), a number of new habitat types have been described. The classification has been restructured, both to reflect improved understanding of the inter-relationship of habitat types and to align itself more closely with the European EUNIS habitat classification system.

 

Content

 
Acknowledgements  
Introduction  
Rationale and need for a habitat classification
  Purpose and scope
  Requirements of a habitat classification system
  Applications
Nature of the marine environment
  The habitat scale in characterising the marine environment
  Environmental influences at the habitat scale
  Terminology: the terms biotope, habitat and community
Classification development - approach and methods used
  Review of classification systems and literature
  Consultation and testing
  Field surveys and other data acquisition
  Data analysis
    Littoral Rock
    Littoral Sediment
    Infralittoral Rock
    Circalittoral Rock
    Sublittoral Sediment
Structure of the classification
  A framework for the classification (EUNIS levels 2 and 3)
  Development of a hierarchical classification
    Top-down classification
    Bottom-up classification
  Distinguishing and defining types
How to use the classification
  Finding your way around
  Habitat matrices
  Hierarchy structure diagrams
  Hierarchical list of types
  Search by keyword
  Layout of descriptions for each type
  Species nomenclature
  Understanding the codes
Field recording and data management
  Terms used for field recording and habitat definition
  MNCR SACFOR abundance scales
References

For further information contact:

- sediment habitats

- rock habitats

- general, EUNIS

 

 

Introduction

 

 

This report should be cited as:
DAVID W. CONNOR, JAMES H. ALLEN, NEIL GOLDING, LOUISE M. LIEBERKNECHT, KATE O. NORTHEN AND JOHNNY B. REKER
The National Marine Habitat Classification for Britain and Ireland Version 03.02 2003 Copyright JNCC, Peterborough ISBN 1 86107 546 4 (internet version)