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There is no global map of marine biomes, i.e., areas characterized by similar habitat forming plant life forms. We defined five marine biomes; seagrass, kelp, mangroves, zooxanthellate corals, and saltmarshes. We mapped seagrass and kelp biomes using species distribution modeling (MaxEnt) of species occurrence records from the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) and the United Nations Environment Programme-World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) Ocean Data Viewer. Environmental data layers were extracted from Global Marine Environment Datasets (GMED) and interpolated into 30 arc seconds resolution. The resulting MaxEnt model predicted a similar geographical distribution to the occurrence records. In addition, it mapped areas where previous maps lacked data and predicted seagrass occupies 1,646,788 km2. This map will be combined with maps of kelp, coral, and mangrove biomes to show the spatial extent of marine biomes for use in global carbon budgets and design Marine Protected Area networks.
This is an abstract which has been accepted for the WCMB.