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An atlas of seabed biodiversity for Aotearoa New Zealand

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Fabrice StephensonORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© 2023 Copernicus GmbH. All rights reserved. The waters of Aotearoa New Zealand span over 4.2ĝ€¯millionĝ€¯km2 of the South Pacific Ocean and harbour a rich diversity of seafloor-Associated taxa. Due to the immensity and remoteness of the area, there are significant gaps in the availability of data that can be used to quantify and map the distribution of seafloor and demersal biodiversity, limiting effective management. In this study, we describe the development and accessibility of an online atlas of seabed biodiversity that aims to fill these gaps. Species distribution models were developed for 579 taxa across four taxonomic groups: demersal fish, reef fish, subtidal invertebrates and macroalgae. Spatial layers for taxa distribution based on habitat suitability were statistically validated and then, as a further check, evaluated by taxonomic experts to provide measures of confidence to guide the future use of these layers. Spatially explicit uncertainty (SD) layers were also developed for each taxon distribution. We generated layer-specific metadata, including statistical and expert evaluation scores, which were uploaded alongside the accompanying spatial layers to the open access database Zenodo. This database provides the most comprehensive source of information on the distribution of seafloor taxa for Aotearoa New Zealand and is thus a valuable resource for managers, researchers and the public that will guide the management and conservation of seafloor communities. The atlas of seabed biodiversity for Aotearoa New Zealand is freely accessible via the open-Access database Zenodo under 10.5281/zenodo.7083642 (Stephenson et al., 2022).

Publication metadata

Author(s): Stephenson F, Brough T, Lohrer D, Leduc D, Geange S, Anderson O, Bowden D, Clark MR, Davey N, Pardo E, Gordon DP, Finucci B, Kelly M, Macpherson D, McCartain L, Mills S, Neill K, Nelson W, Peart R, Pinkerton MH, Read GB, Robertson J, Rowden A, Schnabel K, Stewart A, Struthers C, Tait L, Tracey D, Weston S, Lundquist C

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Earth System Science Data

Year: 2023

Volume: 15

Issue: 9

Pages: 3931-3939

Online publication date: 05/09/2023

Acceptance date: 03/08/2023

Date deposited: 22/11/2023

ISSN (print): 1866-3508

ISSN (electronic): 1866-3516

Publisher: Copernicus Publications


DOI: 10.5194/essd-15-3931-2023


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