The Biotic Component uses broad phylogenetic and taxonomic groups to describe living biota. In this context, biota are defined as the living organisms that are attached to or closely associated with the seafloor. This can be any benthic plant, alga, or animal.
Benthic biota are classified based on the dominant taxonomic group (biomass, number of individuals or percentage cover).
Detailed descriptions and images of each class can be found in the Biotic Component Visual Classification Guide below.
Individual morpho-type and/or species classification
Individual morphotypes and/or species can be recorded using the (non-hierarchical) Species and Co-Occurring Species elements. This allows sparse or rare species of importance to be captured without affecting the dominance-based Biotic Component.
Unknown, Not Assessed, or Co-Occurring Element
An Unknown, Not Assessed, or Co-Occurring Element classification can be applied at any level within the hierarchy.