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Systematic conservation planning for the North-Atlantic deep sea
Selection frequency of planning units in final scenarios of the ATLAS-EU basin-scale systematic conservation planning exercise, aiming to identify conservation priority areas for the deep-sea biodiversity. The selection frequency reflects how often the 25km * 25km units were selected within the 30 solutions of the scenario, from 0 for units that were never selected, to 30 for systematically selected units. This basin-scale systematic conservation planning in aimed to inform Marine Spatial Planning and conservation initiatives for the deep sea of the North Atlantic, by identifying conservation priority areas for the Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems (VMEs) and deep fish species and discussing the efficiency of the current spatial management context relatively to conservation stakes. This work is exposed in ATLAS-EU Deliverable 3.4: “Conservation Management Issues in ATLAS. Basin-scale systematic conservation planning: identifying suitable networks for VMEs protection”.
Conservation scenarios were implemented using the R package Prioritizr, on a gridded area representing the North Atlantic (18°N to 76°N and 36°E to 98°W) from 0 to 3500m depth, divided in 25km * 25km planning units. Spatial prioritisation and mapping were done on an Albers equal-area conic projection centered on the Atlantic ocean (latitude 30°N; longitude 30°W). A wide range of datasets displaying the distribution of species and habitats, human activities and current spatial management was integrated to conservation scenarios.
The “all benthic regionalised” scenario targets the VME-indicator benthic species (cold-water corals and sponge), and habitat (VMEs, VME-supporting geomorphological structures) features, while replicating the conservation objectives in the different regions of the ocean basin, and considering an area-based cost. The conservation problem was solved 100 times and the 30 best solutions (with the lowest cost) were selected to evaluate the selection frequency of…
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