Standardized distribution maps for over 33,500 species of fishes, marine mammals and invertebrates

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Creating Standardized Range Maps for Eventually All Species in the Oceans
AquaMaps are computer-generated predictions of natural occurrence of marine species, based on the environmental tolerance of a given species with respect to depth, salinity, temperature, primary productivity, and its association with sea ice or coastal areas. These 'environmental envelopes' are matched against an authority file which contains respective information for the Oceans of the World. Independent knowledge such as distribution by FAO areas or bounding boxes are used to avoid mapping species in areas that contain suitable habitat, but are not occupied by the species. Maps show the color-coded likelihood of a species to occur in a half-degree cell, with about 50 km side length near the equator. Experts are able to review, modify and approve maps.

Environmental envelopes are created in part (FAO areas, bounding boxes, depth ranges) from respective information in species databases such as FishBase and SeaLifeBase and in part from occurrence records available from GBIF or OBIS. AquaMaps predictions have been validated successfully for a number of species using independent data sets and the model was shown to perform equally well or better than other standard species distribution models, when faced with the currently existing suboptimal input data sets (Ready et al. 2010).

Gabriel Reygondeau, coordinator
    Instagram: @aquamap
    Twitter: @nuestracr
Kristin Kaschner, model development
    Contact: the AquaMaps team

AquaMaps is supported by:
Ocean Biodiversity Information System
AquaMaps received support from:
Biogeoinformatics of Hexacorals
European Commission
The Pew Fellows Program in
Marine Conservation
Sea Around Us
U.S. Geological Survey
WorldFish Center
GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for
Ocean Research Kiel

Alfred Wegener Institute