Habitat characterisation

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  • This dataset assembles historical information existing in public and private documentary archives. Taken together, these data contribute to the building of a knowledge base of the historical presence, extent and biogenic formations of European flat oyster ecosystems prior to and during the intensification of bottom fishing activities. To identify and recover such information requires significant resources and expertise. The establishment of a Historical Ecology Working Group under the umbrella of the Native Oyster Restoration Alliance in early 2020 presented a unique opportunity to coalesce interdisciplinary expertise and resources from multiple European countries to collate and interrogate historical data sources. To date, this is the only known dataset that evidences the past distribution, extent and characteristics of this seabed ecosystem across its full biogeographic range. The described datasets present qualitative and quantitative extracts from written records published between 1524-2022, which show: (1) estimated locations of past oyster fisheries and/or reef habitat across its full biogeographical range, with associated levels of confidence; (2) recorded extent of past reef habitats, and; (3) species associated with these habitats. This comprehensive historical analysis demonstrates that oyster reefs were once a dominant three-dimensional feature along much of the European coastline and some shallow shelf seas.

  • The dataset provides full-coverage maps of the habitats and biotopes in the German Baltic Sea at a resolution of 1 x 1 km for the entire region and at 50 x 50 m resolution in specific areas. We combined geological and biological surveys to map the seabed and collected extensive data to classify different habitats and their associated benthic communities. Using newly established national guidelines and predictive habitat modelling, we produced highly accurate maps. The maps show Broad and Other Habitat Types (including Habitats Directive Annex I habitat types) according to the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) as well as HELCOM HUB biotope types. Detailed documentation is available at:

  • The national monitoring program is financed by the Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management. Monitoring is performed by the Swedish Museum of Natural History. Data are stored in the Swedish Ocean Archive (SHARK) by the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI). Information about the program and the methods are available in Swedish at the website of Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management,

  • The dataset contains circalitoral habita types in the Slovenian coastal area. It contains the description of habitat types, EUNIS codes, areas of the habitat and the key species described.

  • Geological features of seabed habitats extracted from an extant layer of the official cartography of the MPA

  • Description of the coastal zone bank habitats of the Baltic Sea on Latvia-Lithuania border based on underwater video observation. Observation for National environmental status assessment, Maritime spatial planning, Marine Strategy Framework Directive. Underwater video observation was done by Latvian Institute of Aquatic Ecology. Open data policy.

  • This database has been designed to hold data pertaining or related to the distribution of deep-sea sponges from the North Atlantic. All data was collected as part of the SponGES project, an EU funded (Horizon 2020, 2016-2021) project. The data here in largely comprises previously unpublished distribution records and records not digitized or available in other online databases.

  • Coralligenous and Rhodolith beds found in Oceana expeditons between 2006 and 2020

  • The dataset represents the areas protected under the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands and relevant information about them.

  • Biospheres are places where nature and culture connect. In 1981, UNESCO recognised the importance of Dublin Bay by designating North Bull Island as a Biosphere because of its rare and internationally important habitats and species of wildlife. To support sustainable development, UNESCO’s concept of a Biosphere has evolved to include not just areas of ecological value but also the areas around them and the communities that live and work within these areas. There have since been additional international and national designations, covering much of Dublin Bay, to ensure the protection of its water quality and biodiversity. To fulfil these broader management aims for the ecosystem, the Biosphere was expanded in 2015. The Biosphere now covers Dublin Bay, reflecting its significant environmental, economic, cultural and tourism importance, and extends to over 300km². Over 300,000 people live within the newly enlarged Biosphere. See for further information.