Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Vermont
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Fabrizio, M.C., Henderson, M.J., Rose, K., Petitgas, P. Editorial: Habitat and Distribution Models of Marine and Estuarine Species: Advances for a Sustainable Future. Submitted to Frontiers in Marine Science.


The physical and biological characterization of suitable habitats and species-specific models to estimate the extent of available suitable habitats are valuable for conservation and fisheries management. As exploited species and habitats face challenges from anthropogenic influences, such as fishing and climate change, the identification and protection of habitats becomes increasingly important. Most of the papers within this special topic issue used some form of species distribution model (SDM) to identify habitats used by fishes (Asch et al. 2022, Crear et al. 2020, Fabrizio et al. 2021, Freidland et al. 2021, Zydlewski et al. 2021), marine mammals (Astarloa et al. 2021), nearshore invertebrates (Cristiani et al. 2021, Behan et al. 2021), or deep-sea communities (Bowden et al. 2021, Saunders et al. 2021). A few papers focused on developing methods to better describe habitats (Griffin et al. 2021, Henderson et al. 2020, Cecino et al. 2021), while others investigated model performance and incorporation of new statistical methods to improve model accuracy (Asch et al. 2022, Behan et al. 2021, Bowden et al. 2021). Below we provide a synthesis of these papers and examine data sources used for analyses, statistical methods, stationarity and model performance, connectivity, and management implications; we conclude with a consideration of opportunities for advancing this field of study.