||Delavenne Juliette1, Marchal Paul1, Vaz Sandrine1
||1 : Inst IFREMER, Lab Ressources Halieut, F-62321 Boulogne Sur Mer, France.
||Continental Shelf Research (0278-4343) (Pergamon-elsevier Science Ltd), 2013-01 , Vol. 52 , P. 87-96
|WOS© Times Cited
||Eastern English Channel, Pelagic typology, Clustering analysis, Seasonality
||Classifying marine habitats is a growing research field and is of increasing interest to spatial planners and managers. Most studies have predominantly focused on the seabed to determine benthic habitat types, and only limited attention has been paid to the water column. Classification projects aim at identifying candidate management units for the application of various regional or national regulations such as the European Water Framework Directive. Here, we propose a seasonal classification of the water column in the eastern English Channel, which we validated with biological data. For the three tested compartments, phytoplankton, zooplankton and pelagic fishes, the validation results were satisfactory, with recall values (i.e. percentage of observations correctly assigned in a given water type) ranging from 0.5 to 1. This validation was a crucial step to verify that the proposed typology was ecologically relevant and to use it as a biodiversity surrogate in management and conservation plans. Because management plans are generally set on an annual rather than a seasonal basis, we also produced a "multi-seasonal" typology encompassing seasonal variability, which can be used as an appropriate all year round description of the water column attributes in the eastern English Channel. The "multi-seasonal" typology reflected the relative stability of the French waters and the central part of the eastern English Channel and the strongest variability of the English coastal waters and the Dover strait. (c) 2012 Published by Elsevier Ltd.
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|Author's final draft