The Combined Biotope Classification Scheme is designed to provide data and information for natural resource management and conservation. It is for mapping biological communities and informing scientists and managers on changes in health and distribution over time.

CBiCS is a universal system for comparing data from varied sources, ranging from citizen science to detailed research programs and between different regions in Australia and the world.

We encourage all researchers, managers and citizen scientists to consider using the standardised classes of CBiCS for their marine ecological needs. Further documentation and supporting materials will be available shortly (and please feel free to contact the authors for further enquiries).

The CBiCS scheme is open for all scientists, organisations and citizen scientists, however its use is not without limitation. There are some rules in place to ensure the data are robust, reliable and fit for purpose. These are contained in CBiCS Guidance Notes. There are also some copyright, acknowledgement and terms of use to bear in mind, detailed at the relevant links.

This website is presently being developed in phases. This phase includes a description of the CBiCS components and a tool for exploring the hierarchical classes. The next phase will provide access to catalogue pages for each class, with descriptions and images.

CBiCS has the key features:

Standardised Classification
Hierarchical classification structure aligned with the resolution of sensors.
Resolution to Detailed Ecological Classes
Highly resolved classes providing powerful interpretation, environmental accounts, monitoring and predictability.
Tools for Managing Ground Truthing and Remote Sensing Data
Interaction between hierarchical classification structure, ground truthing data and software-based classification routines.
Tools for Image Scoring and Classification
Hierarchical scheme for classifying images to biotope level and scoring morphospecies.

CBiCS has seven components that are used to describe and classify habitats, biotopes and biodiversity. These components are derived from the international schema used by CMECS, JNCC and EUNIS. They are: (BS) biogeographic setting; (AS) aquatic setting; (WC) water column component; (SC) substratum component; (GC) geoform component); (BC) biotic component; and (MC) morphospecies component.