Document Type



Coastal habitats, such as seagrasses, mangroves, rocky and coral reefs, salt marshes, and kelp forests, sustain many key fish and invertebrate populations around the globe. Our understanding of how animals use these broadly defined habitat types is typically derived from a few well-studied regions and is often extrapolated to similar habitats elsewhere. As a result, a working understanding of their habitat importance is often based on information derived from other regions and environmental contexts. Contexts such as tidal range, rainfall, and local geomorphology may fundamentally alter animal–habitat relationships, and there is growing evidence that broadly defined habitat types such as “mangroves” or “salt marsh” may show predictable spatial and temporal variation in habitat function in relation to these environmental drivers. In the present article, we develop a framework for systematically examining contextual predictability to define the geographic transferability of animal–habitat relationships, to guide ongoing research, conservation, and management actions in these systems.

Publication Date



Marine and Environmental Sciences