A habitat is the living environment of organisms and is determined by both, biotic and abiotic factors whereby the organism can occur. In the Scheldt estuary, the habitat diversity is strongly influenced by hydro- and morphodynamic factors such as tidal movements and sediment deposition. In the estuary, also many valuable and internationally protected biotopes are present.
Ecotope maps are developed based on several parameters (such as desiccation time, salt content and bottom) and are a combination of physiotope and geomorphological maps. Ecotope maps create the possibility to observe the evolution of quality and quantity of the different biotopes. In that way, conservation of diversity, nature development and the effect of measures can be evaluated in the Scheldt estuary. This has been included in the section ‘Nature’ of the ‘Agenda voor de toekomst’ of VNSC.