Process for submitting new biotope proposals

If you have found a community that you think is different to all existing biotopes in the JNCC classification, you can inform us at You will then be asked to submit a proposal. You can also suggest revisions to existing biotope descriptions. We will aim to respond within a week, requesting further information as described below.

Submit a new biotope proposal when:

  • Characterising species do not match those listed in any existing biotope descriptions.
  • The new biotope meets set criteria, as outlined in the classification introduction (Connor et. al, 2004).


Submit a biotope revision proposal when:

  • Characterising species match an existing biotope description, but the environmental conditions differ from those described  (e.g. depth range is give as 50-100m, but you have recorded the community at 200m).
  • You notice an error in the biotope description.

Information required in a submission


When you contact JNCC to express an interest in submitting a proposal, you will be asked to supply the following information:

  • A completed submission form which contains basic information and will take minimal time to fill in.
  • Any report in which the new/revised biotope is described.
  • The raw data for samples of the new/revised biotope (stills, videos, grab photographs)
  • The metadata for samples of the new/revised biotope in a spreadsheet. As a minimum, this should include: survey name, sample reference, date, depth, equipment type and mesh size (for grabs).
  • Interpreted information for samples of the new/revised biotope (PSA results, other substrate classifications, species matrix)
  • Outputs from any statistical analysis undertaken (dendrograms, ordinations, SIMPER results, any interpretation of clusters). Ensure you supply enough information so it is clear which clusters the new/revised biotope refers to.


Review process


The new biotope proposal process runs through three stages: submission, review, and inclusion in the classification. This is outlined in the flow chart below, with an expected timeframe given for each task. Work is currently underway to revise the JNCC Marine Habitat Classification. Submissions will be logged and considered as part of this revision. This standard review process will put into place following the publication of the new version. This is likely to be in 2017.


New biotope flowchart