III: GIS Habitat Model Construction
Once all the available data were collected and
processed, the GIS model construction phase proceeded.
The framework for the model is similar to the design of
the EFH classification scheme. For this investigation, a
species' potential habitat is defined by a combination
of abiotic and biotic parameters. The abiotic parameters
in the model include SST, depth, substrate, and wave
exposure. For species where Giant Kelp is a suitable
habitat, a merged dataset consisting of the potential
distribution of Giant Kelp and the 9-year kelp data
composite, was included as a biotic parameter. This
maximized the potential habitat extent for species that
require Giant Kelp as a habitat and included kelp areas
not captured by the models.