HABITAT modelling is a spatial analysis tool to determine environmental impact to support the development of management plans. The tool is especially designed for ecological assessment to analyse the availability and quality of habitats for individual or groups of species. However, it can also be used for other spatial analysis where grid operations are needed like flood risk maps or damages to agriculture or urban areas in case of floods and droughts.
Using cause-effect relationships (knowledge rules) that describe:
Habitat analyses are important for studying the ecological functioning of water- and land systems. Knowledge about species and interactions between species is vital in this process. In a world with increasing environmental pressures, it is important to quantify these impacts. Knowledge about the effectiveness of measures can be used to develop policy on spatial planning and water- and ecosystem management in order to realize ecological goals.
Examples of (inter)national HABITAT studies are:
The approach used in HABITAT modelling is based on the Habitat evaluation procedures (HEP) modelling developed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 1980; Duel et al, 1995). This approach has resulted in the development of the HABITAT model (Haasnoot, Verkade & Bruijn, 2009).
Duel, Specken, H.B.P., Denneman, W.D., Kwakernaak, C. (1995) “The Habitat evaluation procedure as a tool for ecological rehabilitation of wetlands in the Netherlands”, Wat. Sci. Tech. Vol. 31, No. 8, pp. 387-391
Haasnoot, M. J.S. Verkade, K.M. Bruijn. (2009) HABITAT a spatial analysis tool for environmental impact and damage assessment. Hydroinformatics Conference. Chili 12-16 January 2009U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (1980). Habitat evaluation procedures (HEP. U.S. Department of Interior Fish and Wildlife Service, Division Ecological Services Manual 102. Washington, D.C. USA.