Biological Assessments

Biological assessments are evaluations of the function of aquatic habitats using surveys and other direct measurements of resident organisms including macroinvertebrates, fish, and plants. Spatially explicit environmental data (e.g., weather and climate properties, water quality, seafloor substratum types, water depth) and their functional relationships with species by life stage are used to determine types, distribution, and amount of available suitable habitats that support living resources.


Evaluating the function of these habitats ultimately can include measures of habitat-specific vital rates such as growth, maturity, fecundity, and mortality, as well as patterns and rates of movement among habitats.

In concert with many of the NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office's acoustic seafloor mapping efforts around the region, the Office conducts spatially explicit fish and invertebrate sampling to study and monitor habitat function and to evaluate the quality and magnitude of associated ecosystem services.

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