Report 593
Community Analysis of Fulmar MCZ, Offshore Brighton MCZ and Western Channel MCZ
(2016)
Louisa Jones, Megan Parry & Hugh Wright
This report documents the statistical analyses carried out by JNCC on benthic community data collected from MB0120 surveys acquired in three offshore MCZs which were designated in the second tranche of MCZs (January 2016).
 

Introduction

 

The Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 allows for the creation of Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs). There are currently 50 MCZs designated within English and Welsh inshore and UK offshore waters providing protection to a range of nationally important marine wildlife, habitats, geology and geomorphology. Government policy dictates that establishment of MCZs should be based on the “best available evidence”. To this effect a number of surveys have been undertaken to gather evidence on the composition of seabed habitats and communities within MCZ areas.

JNCC undertook statistical analysis on offshore MCZ benthic community data, and the results of these analyses were then used to assign biotopes to the survey data, based on both the Marine Habitat Classification for Britain and Ireland (Parry 2015) and European Nature Information System (EUNIS) classification scheme. Data analysed consisted of faunal abundance counts from both benthic grab samples and from video footage and still images. The data sets were rationalised before undertaking multivariate statistical analyses using the PRIMERv6 software package. Data from three offshore MCZs were analysed:

  • Fulmar MCZ
  • Offshore Brighton MCZ
  • Western Channel MCZ
 
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ISSN 0963-8901
 
Please cite as: Louisa Jones, Megan Parry & Hugh Wright, (2016), Community Analysis of Fulmar MCZ, Offshore Brighton MCZ and Western Channel MCZ, JNCC Report 593, ISSN 0963-8901