Using two different analytical approaches, URI researchers re-examined the data collected during the Ocean SAMP process to improve our understanding of the nature and distribution habitats across the entire Ocean SAMP area. The Habitat Template Approach uses information about natural disturbances and growth factors such as available nutrients, stress factors, and growth rates of different species to determine biodiversity abundance. The Habitat Typology Approach uses only abiotic variables such as physical structure of habitats, sediment typology, and physical disturbance to determine biodiversity abundance. Both methods identified factors that affect habitat structure in the Ocean SAMP area that include seafloor geomorphology, depth and distance to the coast, and biodiversity abundance. Because both methods result in maps, they each contribute scientific information to the marine spatial planning process.


Areas Predicted as Biodiversity Hotspots in the Ocean SAMP Study Area Using a Habitat Template Approach.