Consultation and testing

Phases of external consultation and testing of the classification system have been essential to ensure the classification is as robust and usable as possible.
 
The advice of external consultees has been important in two key areas:
 
  • Marine scientists have contributed expertise in their understanding of the marine environment and its communities, both from a generic perspective and with specific knowledge of communities at particular sites around the country. Of particular importance has been advice on the relationships of environmental factors to community structure and the spatial and temporal dynamics of the marine environment.
 
  • Environmental and conservation managers and end-users have helped define their end needs for the classification system. This has been reflected both in terms of the overall structure of the classification, such as the orientation of biotope complexes to mapping and sensitivity needs, the type of information given in the description of each classification type, and the demands of field application.