WorldWideScience

Sample records for habitat suitability mapping

  1. Elk habitat suitability map for North Carolina

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Steven G.; Cobb, David T.; Collazo, Jaime A.

    2015-01-01

    Although eastern elk (Cervus elaphus canadensis) were extirpated from the eastern United States in the 19th century, they were successfully reintroduced in the North Carolina portion of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in the early 2000s. The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC) is evaluating the prospect of reintroducing the species in other locations in the state to augment recreational opportunities. As a first step in the process, we created a state-wide elk habitat suitability map. We used medium-scale data sets and a two-component approach to iden- tify areas of high biological value for elk and exclude from consideration areas where elk-human conflicts were more likely. Habitats in the state were categorized as 66% unsuitable, 16.7% low, 17% medium, and <1% high suitability for elk. The coastal plain and Piedmont contained the most suitable habitat, but prospective reintroduction sites were largely excluded from consideration due to extensive agricultural activities and pervasiveness of secondary roads. We ranked 31 areas (≥ 500 km2) based on their suitability for reintroduction. The central region of the state contained the top five ranked areas. The Blue Ridge Mountains, where the extant population of elk occurs, was ranked 21st. Our work provides a benchmark for decision makers to evaluate potential consequences and trade-offs associated with the selection of prospective elk reintroduction sites.

  2. Mapping anuran habitat suitability to estimate effects of grassland and wetland conservation programs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mushet, David M.; Euliss, Ned H.; Stockwell, Craig A.

    2012-01-01

    The conversion of the Northern Great Plains of North America to a landscape favoring agricultural commodity production has negatively impacted wildlife habitats. To offset impacts, conservation programs have been implemented by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and other agencies to restore grassland and wetland habitat components. To evaluate effects of these efforts on anuran habitats, we used call survey data and environmental data in ecological niche factor analyses implemented through the program Biomapper to quantify habitat suitability for five anuran species within a 196 km2 study area. Our amphibian call surveys identified Northern Leopard Frogs (Lithobates pipiens), Wood Frogs (Lithobates sylvaticus), Boreal Chorus Frogs (Pseudacris maculata), Great Plains Toads (Anaxyrus cognatus), and Woodhouse’s Toads (Anaxyrus woodhousii) occurring within the study area. Habitat suitability maps developed for each species revealed differing patterns of suitable habitat among species. The most significant findings of our mapping effort were 1) the influence of deep-water overwintering wetlands on suitable habitat for all species encountered except the Boreal Chorus Frog; 2) the lack of overlap between areas of core habitat for both the Northern Leopard Frog and Wood Frog compared to the core habitat for both toad species; and 3) the importance of conservation programs in providing grassland components of Northern Leopard Frog and Wood Frog habitat. The differences in habitats suitable for the five species we studied in the Northern Great Plains, i.e., their ecological niches, highlight the importance of utilizing an ecosystem based approach that considers the varying needs of multiple species in the development of amphibian conservation and management plans.

  3. An Improved Neural Network for Regional Giant Panda Habitat Suitability Mapping: A Case Study in Ya’an Prefecture

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jingwei Song

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Expert knowledge is a combination of prior information and subjective opinions based on long-experience; as such it is often not sufficiently objective to produce convincing results in animal habitat suitability index mapping. In this study, an animal habitat assessment method based on a learning neural network is proposed to reduce the level of subjectivity in animal habitat assessments. Based on two hypotheses, this method substitutes habitat suitability index with apparent density and has advantages over conventional ones such as those based on analytical hierarchy process or multivariate regression approaches. Besides, this method is integrated with a learning neural network and is suitable for building non-linear transferring functions to fit complex relationships between multiple factors influencing habitat suitability. Once the neural network is properly trained, new earth observation data can be integrated for rapid habitat suitability monitoring which could save time and resources needed for traditional data collecting approaches through extensive field surveys. Giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca natural habitat in Ya’an prefecture and corresponding landsat images, DEM and ground observations are tested for validity of using the methodology reported. Results show that the method scores well in key efficiency and performance indicators and could be extended for habitat assessments, particularly of other large, rare and widely distributed animal species.

  4. Mapping snags and understory shrubs for LiDAR based assessment of wildlife habitat suitability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sebastian Martinuzzi; Lee A. Vierling; William A. Gould; Michael J. Falkowski; Jeffrey S. Evans; Andrew T. Hudak; Kerri T. Vierling

    2009-01-01

    The lack of maps depicting forest three-dimensional structure, particularly as pertaining to snags and understory shrub species distribution, is a major limitation for managing wildlife habitat in forests. Developing new techniques to remotely map snags and understory shrubs is therefore an important need. To address this, we first evaluated the use of LiDAR data for...

  5. Marine Benthic Habitats and Seabed Suitability Mapping for Potential Ocean Current Energy Siting Offshore Southeast Florida

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amanda Mulcan

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available This study examines the legal framework for ocean current energy policy and regulation to develop a metric for assessing the biological and geological characteristics of a seabed area with respect to the siting of OCE devices, a framework of criteria by which to assess seabed suitability (seabed suitability framework that can facilitate the siting, and implementation of ocean current energy (OCE projects. Seafloor geology and benthic biological data were analyzed in conjunction with seafloor core sample geostatistical interpolation to locate suitable substrates for OCE anchoring. Existing submarine cable pathways were considered to determine pathways for power transmission cables that circumvent biologically sensitive areas. Suitability analysis indicates that areas east of the Miami Terrace and north of recently identified deep-sea coral mounds are the most appropriate for OCE siting due to abundance of sand/sediment substrate, existing underwater cable route access, and minimal biological presence (i.e., little to no benthic communities. Further reconnaissance requires higher resolution maps of geological substrate and benthic community locations to identify specific OCE development locations, classify benthic conditions, and minimize potentially negative OCE environmental impacts.

  6. Habitat suitability mapping of Anopheles darlingi in the surroundings of the Manso hydropower plant reservoir, Mato Grosso, Central Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miyazaki Rosina D

    2007-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Hydropower plants provide more than 78 % of Brazil's electricity generation, but the country's reservoirs are potential new habitats for main vectors of malaria. In a case study in the surroundings of the Manso hydropower plant in Mato Grosso state, Central Brazil, habitat suitability of Anopheles darlingi was studied. Habitat profile was characterized by collecting environmental data. Remote sensing and GIS techniques were applied to extract additional spatial layers of land use, distance maps, and relief characteristics for spatial model building. Results Logistic regression analysis and ROC curves indicate significant relationships between the environment and presence of An. darlingi. Probabilities of presence strongly vary as a function of land cover and distance from the lake shoreline. Vector presence was associated with spatial proximity to reservoir and semi-deciduous forests followed by Cerrado woodland. Vector absence was associated with open vegetation formations such as grasslands and agricultural areas. We suppose that non-significant differences of vector incidences between rainy and dry seasons are associated with the availability of anthropogenic breeding habitat of the reservoir throughout the year. Conclusion Satellite image classification and multitemporal shoreline simulations through DEM-based GIS-analyses consist in a valuable tool for spatial modeling of A. darlingi habitats in the studied hydropower reservoir area. Vector presence is significantly increased in forested areas near reservoirs in bays protected from wind and wave action. Construction of new reservoirs under the tropical, sub-humid climatic conditions should therefore be accompanied by entomologic studies to predict the risk of malaria epidemics.

  7. Integrating Open Access Geospatial Data to Map the Habitat Suitability of the Declining Corn Bunting (Miliaria calandra

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abdulhakim M. Abdi

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available The efficacy of integrating open access geospatial data to produce habitat suitability maps for the corn bunting (Miliaria calandra was investigated. Landsat Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+, Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM and Corine (Coordination of Information on the Environment land cover data for the year 2000 (CLC2000 were processed to extract explanatory variables and divided into three sets; Satellite (ETM+, SRTM, CLC2000 and Combined (CLC2000 + Satellite. Presence-absence data for M. calandra, collected during structured surveys for the Catalan Breeding Bird Atlas, were provided by the Catalan Ornithological Institute. The dataset was partitioned into an equal number of presence and absence points by dividing it into five groups, each composed of 88 randomly selected presence points to match the number of absences. A logistic regression model was then built for each group. Models were evaluated using area under the curve (AUC of the receiver operating characteristic (ROC. Results of the five groups were averaged to produce mean Satellite, CLC2000 and Combined models. The mean AUC values were 0.69, 0.81 and 0.90 for the CLC2000, Satellite and the Combined model, respectively. The probability of M. calandra presence had the strongest positive correlation with land surface temperature, modified soil adjusted vegetation index, coefficient of variation for ETM+ band 5 and the fraction of non-irrigated arable land.

  8. NEPR Benthic Habitat Map 2015

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This benthic habitat map was created from a semi-automated habitat mapping process, using a combination of bathymetry, satellite imagery, aerial imagery and...

  9. A habitat suitability model for Pacific oysters (Crassostrea gigas) in the Oosterschelde

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schellekens, T.; Wijsman, J.W.M.; Brink, van den A.M.

    2012-01-01

    The modelled habitat suitability maps show a reasonable estimation of the suitability for oysters throughout the Delta and can be used to broadly indicate the consequences of the effect of climate change and infrastructural changes on the habitat suitability for oysters. The largest effect on the

  10. Habitat Mapping Camera (HABCAM)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This dataset entails imagery collected using the HabCam towed underwater vehicle and annotated data on objects or habitats in the images and notes on image...

  11. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Red-winged blackbird

    Science.gov (United States)

    Short, Henry L.

    1985-01-01

    A review and synthesis of existing information were used to develop a Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) model for the red-winged blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus L.). The model consolidates habitat use information into a framework appropriate for field application, and is scaled to produce an index between 0.0 (unsuitable habitat) to 1.0 (optimum habitat). HSI models are designed to be used with Habitat Evaluation Procedures previously developed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

  12. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Yellow-headed blackbird

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schroeder, Richard L.

    1982-01-01

    Habitat preferences of the yellow-headed blackbird (Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus) are described in this publication. It is one of a series of Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) models and was developed through an analysis of available infomration on the species-habitat requirements of the species. Habitat use information is presented in a review of the literature, followed by the development of an HSI model, designed for use in impact assessment and habitat management activities.

  13. Modeling mountain pine beetle habitat suitability within Sequoia National Park

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nguyen, Andrew

    Understanding significant changes in climate and their effects on timber resources can help forest managers make better decisions regarding the preservation of natural resources and land management. These changes may to alter natural ecosystems dependent on historical and current climate conditions. Increasing mountain pine beetle (MBP) outbreaks within the southern Sierra Nevada are the result of these alterations. This study better understands MPB behavior within Sequoia National Park (SNP) and model its current and future habitat distribution. Variables contributing to MPB spread are vegetation stress, soil moisture, temperature, precipitation, disturbance, and presence of Ponderosa (Pinus ponderosa) and Lodgepole (Pinus contorta) pine trees. These variables were obtained using various modeled, insitu, and remotely sensed sources. The generalized additive model (GAM) was used to calculate the statistical significance of each variable contributing to MPB spread and also created maps identifying habitat suitability. Results indicate vegetation stress and forest disturbance to be variables most indicative of MPB spread. Additionally, the model was able to detect habitat suitability of MPB with a 45% accuracy concluding that a geospatial driven modeling approach can be used to delineate potential MPB spread within SNP.

  14. Deep-Sea Soft Coral Habitat Suitability

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Deep-sea corals, also known as cold water corals, create complex communities that provide habitat for a variety of invertebrate and fish species, such as grouper,...

  15. Deep-Sea Stony Coral Habitat Suitability

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Deep-sea corals, also known as cold water corals, create complex communities that provide habitat for a variety of invertebrate and fish species, such as grouper,...

  16. Land suitability maps for waste disposal siting

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hrasna, M.

    1996-01-01

    The suitability of geoenvironment for waste disposal depends mainly on its stability and on the danger of groundwater pollution. Besides them, on the land suitability maps for the given purpose also those factors of the factors of the geoenvironment and the landscape should be taken into account, which enable another way of the land use, such as mineral resources, water resources, fertile soils, nature reserves, etc. On the base of the relevant factors influence evaluation - suitable, moderately suitable and unsuitable territorial units are delimited on the maps. The different way of various scale maps compilation is applied, taken into account their different representing feasibilities. (authors)

  17. Habitat suitability and nest survival of white-headed woodpeckers in unburned forests of Oregon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hollenbeck, Jeff P.; Saab, Victoria A.; Frenzel, Richard W.

    2011-01-01

    We evaluated habitat suitability and nest survival of breeding white-headed woodpeckers (Picoides albolarvatus) in unburned forests of central Oregon, USA. Daily nest-survival rate was positively related to maximum daily temperature during the nest interval and to density of large-diameter trees surrounding the nest tree. We developed a niche-based habitat suitability model (partitioned Mahalanobis distance) for nesting white-headed woodpeckers using remotely sensed data. Along with low elevation, high density of large trees, and low slope, our habitat suitability model suggested that interspersion–juxtaposition of low- and high-canopy cover ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) patches was important for nest-site suitability. Cross-validation suggested the model performed adequately for management planning at a scale >1 ha. Evaluation of mapped habitat suitability index (HSI) suggested that the maximum predictive gain (HSI = 0.36), where the number of nest locations are maximized in the smallest proportion of the modeled landscape, provided an objective initial threshold for identification of suitable habitat. However, managers can choose the threshold HSI most appropriate for their purposes (e.g., locating regions of low–moderate suitability that have potential for habitat restoration). Consequently, our habitat suitability model may be useful for managing dry coniferous forests for white-headed woodpeckers in central Oregon; however, model validation is necessary before our model could be applied to other locations.

  18. Modelling Fish Habitat Suitability in the Eastern English Channel. Application to community habitat level

    OpenAIRE

    Vaz, Sandrine; Carpentier, Andre; Loots, Christophe; Koubbi, Philippe

    2004-01-01

    Valuable marine habitats and living resources can be found in the Eastern English Channel and in 2003, a Franco-British Interreg IIIA project, ‘Eastern Channel Habitat Atlas for Marine Resource Management’ (CHARM), was initiated to support decision-making for management of essential fish habitats. Fish habitat corresponds to geographic areas within which ranges of environmental factors define the presence of a particular species. Habitat Suitability index (HSI) modelling was used to relate fi...

  19. Using habitat suitability models to target invasive plant species surveys.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crall, Alycia W; Jarnevich, Catherine S; Panke, Brendon; Young, Nick; Renz, Mark; Morisette, Jeffrey

    2013-01-01

    Managers need new tools for detecting the movement and spread of nonnative, invasive species. Habitat suitability models are a popular tool for mapping the potential distribution of current invaders, but the ability of these models to prioritize monitoring efforts has not been tested in the field. We tested the utility of an iterative sampling design (i.e., models based on field observations used to guide subsequent field data collection to improve the model), hypothesizing that model performance would increase when new data were gathered from targeted sampling using criteria based on the initial model results. We also tested the ability of habitat suitability models to predict the spread of invasive species, hypothesizing that models would accurately predict occurrences in the field, and that the use of targeted sampling would detect more species with less sampling effort than a nontargeted approach. We tested these hypotheses on two species at the state scale (Centaurea stoebe and Pastinaca sativa) in Wisconsin (USA), and one genus at the regional scale (Tamarix) in the western United States. These initial data were merged with environmental data at 30-m2 resolution for Wisconsin and 1-km2 resolution for the western United States to produce our first iteration models. We stratified these initial models to target field sampling and compared our models and success at detecting our species of interest to other surveys being conducted during the same field season (i.e., nontargeted sampling). Although more data did not always improve our models based on correct classification rate (CCR), sensitivity, specificity, kappa, or area under the curve (AUC), our models generated from targeted sampling data always performed better than models generated from nontargeted data. For Wisconsin species, the model described actual locations in the field fairly well (kappa = 0.51, 0.19, P guiding invasive species monitoring, and we support the use of an iterative sampling design for

  20. Predicted deep-sea coral habitat suitability for the U.S. West coast.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John M Guinotte

    Full Text Available Regional scale habitat suitability models provide finer scale resolution and more focused predictions of where organisms may occur. Previous modelling approaches have focused primarily on local and/or global scales, while regional scale models have been relatively few. In this study, regional scale predictive habitat models are presented for deep-sea corals for the U.S. West Coast (California, Oregon and Washington. Model results are intended to aid in future research or mapping efforts and to assess potential coral habitat suitability both within and outside existing bottom trawl closures (i.e. Essential Fish Habitat (EFH and identify suitable habitat within U.S. National Marine Sanctuaries (NMS. Deep-sea coral habitat suitability was modelled at 500 m×500 m spatial resolution using a range of physical, chemical and environmental variables known or thought to influence the distribution of deep-sea corals. Using a spatial partitioning cross-validation approach, maximum entropy models identified slope, temperature, salinity and depth as important predictors for most deep-sea coral taxa. Large areas of highly suitable deep-sea coral habitat were predicted both within and outside of existing bottom trawl closures and NMS boundaries. Predicted habitat suitability over regional scales are not currently able to identify coral areas with pin point accuracy and probably overpredict actual coral distribution due to model limitations and unincorporated variables (i.e. data on distribution of hard substrate that are known to limit their distribution. Predicted habitat results should be used in conjunction with multibeam bathymetry, geological mapping and other tools to guide future research efforts to areas with the highest probability of harboring deep-sea corals. Field validation of predicted habitat is needed to quantify model accuracy, particularly in areas that have not been sampled.

  1. Regional prediction of basin-scale brown trout habitat suitability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Ceola

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available In this study we propose a novel method for the estimation of ecological indices describing the habitat suitability of brown trout (Salmo trutta. Traditional hydrological tools are coupled with an innovative regional geostatistical technique, aiming at the prediction of the brown trout habitat suitability index where partial or totally ungauged conditions occur. Several methods for the assessment of ecological indices are already proposed in the scientific literature, but the possibility of exploiting a geostatistical prediction model, such as Topological Kriging, has never been investigated before. In order to develop a regional habitat suitability model we use the habitat suitability curve, obtained from measured data of brown trout adult individuals collected in several river basins across the USA. The Top-kriging prediction model is then employed to assess the spatial correlation between upstream and downstream habitat suitability indices. The study area is the Metauro River basin, located in the central part of Italy (Marche region, for which both water depth and streamflow data were collected. The present analysis focuses on discharge values corresponding to the 0.1-, 0.5-, 0.9-empirical quantiles derived from flow-duration curves available for seven gauging stations located within the study area, for which three different suitability indices (i.e. ψ10, ψ50 and ψ90 are evaluated. The results of this preliminary analysis are encouraging showing Nash-Sutcliffe efficiencies equal to 0.52, 0.65, and 0.69, respectively.

  2. Regional prediction of basin-scale brown trout habitat suitability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ceola, S.; Pugliese, A.

    2014-09-01

    In this study we propose a novel method for the estimation of ecological indices describing the habitat suitability of brown trout (Salmo trutta). Traditional hydrological tools are coupled with an innovative regional geostatistical technique, aiming at the prediction of the brown trout habitat suitability index where partial or totally ungauged conditions occur. Several methods for the assessment of ecological indices are already proposed in the scientific literature, but the possibility of exploiting a geostatistical prediction model, such as Topological Kriging, has never been investigated before. In order to develop a regional habitat suitability model we use the habitat suitability curve, obtained from measured data of brown trout adult individuals collected in several river basins across the USA. The Top-kriging prediction model is then employed to assess the spatial correlation between upstream and downstream habitat suitability indices. The study area is the Metauro River basin, located in the central part of Italy (Marche region), for which both water depth and streamflow data were collected. The present analysis focuses on discharge values corresponding to the 0.1-, 0.5-, 0.9-empirical quantiles derived from flow-duration curves available for seven gauging stations located within the study area, for which three different suitability indices (i.e. ψ10, ψ50 and ψ90) are evaluated. The results of this preliminary analysis are encouraging showing Nash-Sutcliffe efficiencies equal to 0.52, 0.65, and 0.69, respectively.

  3. Multi-criteria Decision Analysis to Model Ixodes ricinus Habitat Suitability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rousseau, Raphaël; McGrath, Guy; McMahon, Barry J; Vanwambeke, Sophie O

    2017-09-01

    Tick-borne diseases present a major threat to both human and livestock health throughout Europe. The risk of infection is directly related to the presence of its vector. Thereby it is important to know their distribution, which is strongly associated with environmental factors: the presence and availability of a suitable habitat, of a suitable climate and of hosts. The present study models the habitat suitability for Ixodes ricinus in Ireland, where data on tick distribution are scarce. Tick habitat suitability was estimated at a coarse scale (10 km) with a multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) method according to four different scenarios (depending on the variables used and on the weights granted to each of them). The western part of Ireland and the Wicklow mountains in the East were estimated to be the most suitable areas for I. ricinus in the island. There was a good level of agreement between results from the MCDA and recorded tick presence. The different scenarios did not affect the spatial outputs substantially. The current study suggests that tick habitat suitability can be mapped accurately at a coarse scale in a data-scarce context using knowledge-based methods. It can serve as a guideline for future countrywide sampling that would help to determine local risk of tick presence and refining knowledge on tick habitat suitability in Ireland.

  4. Evaluating timber harvesting impacts on wildlife habitat suitability using FOREX

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chris B. LeDoux

    1997-01-01

    Precommercial, commercial, and final harvesting operations can impact wildlife habitat suitability by altering the vegetation composition on a given site. Harvesting operations remove trees and many times provide the necessary perturbation to trigger successional conditions different from those that existed prior to the harvest. Although these new successional changes...

  5. Ecological variables governing habitat suitability and the distribution ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    governed by soil particle size distribution), in combination with the cover provided by trees, as the two ecological factors that best explained habitat suitability for Juliana's golden mole at the three localities. An IndVal analysis failed to identify ...

  6. Transferability of habitat suitability criteria for fishes in warmwater streams

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freeman, Mary C.; Bowen, Z.H.; Crance, J.H.

    1997-01-01

    We developed habitat suitability criteria and tested their transferability for nine fishes inhabiting unregulated Piedmont and Coastal Plain streams in Alabama. Cr iteria for optimal habitat were defined as ranges of depth, velocity, substrate type and cover type for which a species' suitability index (proportional abundance divided by proportional habitat availability, scaled from 0 to 1) equalled or exceeded 0.4. We evaluated the transferability of criteria between study sites by testing the null hypothesis that species occurrence in a sample was independent of whether or not the sample was taken in optimal habitat. We also tested criteria transference to a large, flow-regulated river sampled during low flow periods. Depth, velocity and most substrate criteria developed for the bronze darter Percina palmaris successfully transferred between unregulated streams and to the flow-regulated river samples. All criteria developed for a pair of closely related, allopatric darter species, Etheostoma chuckwachattee and E. jordani, transferred sucessfully when applied between species (in the unregulated sites) and to the regulated river samples. In contrast, criteria for the Alabama shiner Cyprinella callistia failed nearly all tests of transferability. Criteria for E. stigmaeum, P. nigrofasciata, an undescribed Percina species, and a pair of related, allopatric Cyprinella species transferred inconsistently. The species with good criteria transference had high suitability indices for shallow depths, fast current velocities and coarse substrates, characteristic of riffle species. We suggest that microhabitat criteria for riffle fishes are more likely to provide a transferable measure of habitat quality than criteria for fishes that, although restricted to fluvial habitats, commonly occupy a variety of pool and riffle habitats.

  7. Predicting habitat suitability for rare plants at local spatial scales using a species distribution model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gogol-Prokurat, Melanie

    2011-01-01

    If species distribution models (SDMs) can rank habitat suitability at a local scale, they may be a valuable conservation planning tool for rare, patchily distributed species. This study assessed the ability of Maxent, an SDM reported to be appropriate for modeling rare species, to rank habitat suitability at a local scale for four edaphic endemic rare plants of gabbroic soils in El Dorado County, California, and examined the effects of grain size, spatial extent, and fine-grain environmental predictors on local-scale model accuracy. Models were developed using species occurrence data mapped on public lands and were evaluated using an independent data set of presence and absence locations on surrounding lands, mimicking a typical conservation-planning scenario that prioritizes potential habitat on unsurveyed lands surrounding known occurrences. Maxent produced models that were successful at discriminating between suitable and unsuitable habitat at the local scale for all four species, and predicted habitat suitability values were proportional to likelihood of occurrence or population abundance for three of four species. Unfortunately, models with the best discrimination (i.e., AUC) were not always the most useful for ranking habitat suitability. The use of independent test data showed metrics that were valuable for evaluating which variables and model choices (e.g., grain, extent) to use in guiding habitat prioritization for conservation of these species. A goodness-of-fit test was used to determine whether habitat suitability values ranked habitat suitability on a continuous scale. If they did not, a minimum acceptable error predicted area criterion was used to determine the threshold for classifying habitat as suitable or unsuitable. I found a trade-off between model extent and the use of fine-grain environmental variables: goodness of fit was improved at larger extents, and fine-grain environmental variables improved local-scale accuracy, but fine-grain variables

  8. Evaluation of habitat suitability models for forest passerines using demographic data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chadwick D. Rittenhouse; Frank R., III Thompson; William D. Dijak; Joshua J. Millspaugh; Richard L. Clawson

    2010-01-01

    Habitat suitability is often used as a surrogate for demographic responses (i.e., abundance, survival, fecundity, or population viability) in the application of habitat suitability index (HSI) models. Whether habitat suitability actually relates to demographics, however, has rarely been evaluated. We validated HSI models of breeding habitat suitability for wood thrush...

  9. Proceedings of a workshop on fish habitat suitability index models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Terrell, James W.

    1984-01-01

    One of the habitat-based methodologies for impact assessment currently in use by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the Habitat Evaluation Procedures (HEP) (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 1980). HEP is based on the assumption that the quality of an area as wildlife habitat at a specified target year can be described by a single number, called a Habitat Suitability Index (HSI). An HSI of 1.0 represents optimum habitat: an HSI of 0.0 represents unsuitable habitat. The verbal or mathematical rules by which an HSI is assigned to an area are called an HSI model. A series of Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) models, described by Schamberger et al. (1982), have been published to assist users in applying HEP. HSI model building approaches are described in U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (1981). One type of HSI model described in detail requires the development of Suitability Index (SI) graphs for habitat variables believed to be important for the growth, survival, standing crop, or other measure of well-being for a species. Suitability indices range from 0 to 1.0, with 1.0 representing optimum conditions for the variable. When HSI models based on suitability indices are used, habitat variable values are measured, or estimated, and converted to SI's through the use of a Suitability Index graph for each variable. Individual SI's are aggregated into an HSI. Standard methods for testing this type of HSI model did not exist at the time the studies reported in this document were performed. A workshop was held in Fort Collins, Colorado, February 14-15, 1983, that brought together biologists experienced in the use, development, and testing of aquatic HSI models, in an effort to address the following objectives: (1) review the needs of HSI model users; (2) discuss and document the results of aquatic HSI model tests; and (3) provide recommendations for the future development, testing, modification, and use of HSI models. Individual presentations, group discussions, and group

  10. Agroforestry suitability analysis based upon nutrient availability mapping: a GIS based suitability mapping

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Firoz Ahmad

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Agroforestry has drawn the attention of researchers due to its capacity to reduce the poverty and land degradation, improve food security and mitigate the climate change. However, the progress in promoting agroforestry is held back due to the lack of reliable data sets and appropriate tools to accurately map and to have an adequate decision making system for agroforestry modules. Agroforestry suitability being one special form of land suitability is very pertinent to study in the current times when there is tremendous pressure on the land as it is a limited commodity. The study aims for applying the geo-spatial tools towards visualizing various soil and environmental data to reveal the trends and interrelationships and to achieve a nutrient availability and agroforestry suitability map. Using weight matrix and ranks, individual maps were developed in ArcGIS 10.1 platform to generate nutrient availability map, which was later used to develop agroforestry suitability map. Watersheds were delineated using DEM in some part of the study area and were evaluated for prioritizing it and agroforestry suitability of the watersheds were also done as per the schematic flowchart. Agroforestry suitability regions were delineated based upon the weight and ranks by integrated mapping. The total open area was identified 42.4% out of which 21.6% area was found to have high suitability towards agroforestry. Within the watersheds, 22 village points were generated for creating buffers, which were further evaluated showing its proximity to high suitable agroforestry sites thus generating tremendous opportunity to the villagers to carry out agroforestry projects locally. This research shows the capability of remote sensing in studying agroforestry practices and in estimating the prominent factors for its optimal productivity. The ongoing agroforestry projects can be potentially diverted in the areas of high suitability as an extension. The use of ancillary data in GIS

  11. Habitat suitability and movement corridors of grey wolf (Canis lupus) in Northern Pakistan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kabir, Muhammad; Hameed, Shoaib; Ali, Hussain; Bosso, Luciano; Din, Jaffar Ud; Bischof, Richard; Redpath, Steve

    2017-01-01

    Habitat suitability models are useful to understand species distribution and to guide management and conservation strategies. The grey wolf (Canis lupus) has been extirpated from most of its historic range in Pakistan primarily due to its impact on livestock and livelihoods. We used non-invasive survey data from camera traps and genetic sampling to develop a habitat suitability model for C. lupus in northern Pakistan and to explore the extent of connectivity among populations. We detected suitable habitat of grey wolf using a maximum entropy approach (Maxent ver. 3.4.0) and identified suitable movement corridors using the Circuitscape 4.0 tool. Our model showed high levels of predictive performances, as seen from the values of area under curve (0.971±0.002) and true skill statistics (0.886±0.021). The main predictors for habitat suitability for C. lupus were distances to road, mean temperature of the wettest quarter and distance to river. The model predicted ca. 23,129 km2 of suitable areas for wolf in Pakistan, with much of suitable habitat in remote and inaccessible areas that appeared to be well connected through vulnerable movement corridors. These movement corridors suggest that potentially the wolf range can expand in Pakistan’s Northern Areas. However, managing protected areas with stringent restrictions is challenging in northern Pakistan, in part due to heavy dependence of people on natural resources. The habitat suitability map provided by this study can inform future management strategies by helping authorities to identify key conservation areas. PMID:29121089

  12. Quantitative validation of a habitat suitability index for oyster restoration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seth eTheuerkauf

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Habitat suitability index (HSI models provide spatially explicit information on the capacity of a given habitat to support a species of interest, and their prevalence has increased dramatically in recent years. Despite caution that the reliability of HSIs must be validated using independent, quantitative data, most HSIs intended to inform terrestrial and marine species management remain unvalidated. Furthermore, of the eight HSI models developed for eastern oyster (Crassostrea virginica restoration and fishery production, none has been validated. Consequently, we developed, calibrated, and validated an HSI for the eastern oyster to identify optimal habitat for restoration in a tributary of Chesapeake Bay, the Great Wicomico River (GWR. The GWR harbors a high density, restored oyster population, and therefore serves as an excellent model system for assessing the validity of the HSI. The HSI was derived from GIS layers of bottom type, salinity, and water depth (surrogate for dissolved oxygen, and was tested using live adult oyster density data from a survey of high vertical relief reefs (HRR and low vertical relief reefs (LRR in the sanctuary network. Live adult oyster density was a statistically-significant sigmoid function of the HSI, which validates the HSI as a robust predictor of suitable oyster reef habitat for rehabilitation or restoration. In addition, HRR had on average 103-116 more adults m^−2 than LRR at a given level of the HSI. For HRR, HSI values ≥0.3 exceeded the accepted restoration target of 50 live adult oysters m^−2. For LRR, the HSI was generally able to predict live adult oyster densities that meet or exceed the target at HSI values ≥0.3. The HSI indicated that there remain large areas of suitable habitat for restoration in the GWR. This study provides a robust framework for HSI model development and validation, which can be refined and applied to other systems and previously developed HSIs to improve the efficacy of

  13. A comparative framework to infer landscape effects on population genetic structure: Are habitat suitability models effective in explaining gene flow?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maria C. Mateo-Sanchez; Niko Balkenhol; Samuel Cushman; Trinidad Perez; Ana Dominguez; Santiago Saura

    2015-01-01

    Most current methods to assess connectivity begin with landscape resistance maps. The prevailing resistance models are commonly based on expert opinion and, more recently, on a direct transformation of habitat suitability. However, habitat associations are not necessarily accurate indicators of dispersal, and thus may fail as a surrogate of resistance to...

  14. Application of GIS to predict malaria hotspots based on Anopheles arabiensis habitat suitability in Southern Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gwitira, Isaiah; Murwira, Amon; Zengeya, Fadzai M.; Shekede, Munyaradzi Davis

    2018-02-01

    Malaria remains a major public health problem and a principal cause of morbidity and mortality in most developing countries. Although malaria still presents health problems, significant successes have been recorded in reducing deaths resulting from the disease. As malaria transmission continues to decline, control interventions will increasingly depend on the ability to define high-risk areas known as malaria hotspots. Therefore, there is urgent need to use geospatial tools such as geographic information system to detect spatial patterns of malaria and delineate disease hot spots for better planning and management. Thus, accurate mapping and prediction of seasonality of malaria hotspots is an important step towards developing strategies for effective malaria control. In this study, we modelled seasonal malaria hotspots as a function of habitat suitability of Anopheles arabiensis (A. Arabiensis) as a first step towards predicting likely seasonal malaria hotspots that could provide guidance in targeted malaria control. We used Geographical information system (GIS) and spatial statistic methods to identify seasonal hotspots of malaria cases at the country level. In order to achieve this, we first determined the spatial distribution of seasonal malaria hotspots using the Getis Ord Gi* statistic based on confirmed positive malaria cases recorded at health facilities in Zimbabwe over four years (1996-1999). We then used MAXENT technique to model habitat suitability of A. arabiensis from presence data collected from 1990 to 2002 based on bioclimatic variables and altitude. Finally, we used autologistic regression to test the extent to which malaria hotspots can be predicted using A. arabiensis habitat suitability. Our results show that A. arabiensis habitat suitability consistently and significantly (p < 0.05) predicts malaria hotspots from 1996 to 1999. Overall, our results show that malaria hotspots can be predicted using A. arabiensis habitat suitability, suggesting

  15. A NEW HABITAT CLASSIFICATION AND MANUAL FOR STANDARDIZED HABITAT MAPPING

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. KUN

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available Today the documentation of natural heritage with scientific methods but for conservation practice – like mapping of actual vegetation – becomes more and more important. For this purpose mapping guides containing only the names and descriptions of vegetation types are not sufficient. Instead, new, mapping-oriented vegetation classification systems and handbooks are needed. There are different standardised systems fitted to the characteristics of a region already published and used successfully for surveying large territories. However, detailed documentation of the aims and steps of their elaboration is still missing. Here we present a habitat-classification method developed specifically for mapping and the steps of its development. Habitat categories and descriptions reflect site conditions, physiognomy and species composition as well. However, for species composition much lower role was given deliberately than in the phytosociological systems. Recognition and mapping of vegetation types in the field is highly supported by a definition, list of subtypes and list of ‘types not belonging to this habitat category’. Our system is two-dimensional: the first dimension is habitat type, the other is naturalness based habitat quality. The development of the system was conducted in two steps, over 200 mappers already tested it over 7000 field days in different projects.

  16. Global habitat suitability for framework-forming cold-water corals.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew J Davies

    Full Text Available Predictive habitat models are increasingly being used by conservationists, researchers and governmental bodies to identify vulnerable ecosystems and species' distributions in areas that have not been sampled. However, in the deep sea, several limitations have restricted the widespread utilisation of this approach. These range from issues with the accuracy of species presences, the lack of reliable absence data and the limited spatial resolution of environmental factors known or thought to control deep-sea species' distributions. To address these problems, global habitat suitability models have been generated for five species of framework-forming scleractinian corals by taking the best available data and using a novel approach to generate high resolution maps of seafloor conditions. High-resolution global bathymetry was used to resample gridded data from sources such as World Ocean Atlas to produce continuous 30-arc second (∼1 km(2 global grids for environmental, chemical and physical data of the world's oceans. The increased area and resolution of the environmental variables resulted in a greater number of coral presence records being incorporated into habitat models and higher accuracy of model predictions. The most important factors in determining cold-water coral habitat suitability were depth, temperature, aragonite saturation state and salinity. Model outputs indicated the majority of suitable coral habitat is likely to occur on the continental shelves and slopes of the Atlantic, South Pacific and Indian Oceans. The North Pacific has very little suitable scleractinian coral habitat. Numerous small scale features (i.e., seamounts, which have not been sampled or identified as having a high probability of supporting cold-water coral habitat were identified in all ocean basins. Field validation of newly identified areas is needed to determine the accuracy of model results, assess the utility of modelling efforts to identify vulnerable marine

  17. Habitat Mapping Cruise (HB0805, EK60)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Objectives are to: 1) perform multibeam mapping of transitional and deepwater habitats in Hudson Canyon (off New Jersey) with the National Institute of Undersea...

  18. High Resolution Habitat Suitability Modelling For Restricted-Range Hawaiian Alpine Arthropod Species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stephenson, N. M.

    2016-12-01

    Mapping potentially suitable habitat is critical for effective species conservation and management but can be challenging in areas exhibiting complex heterogeneity. An approach that combines non-intrusive spatial data collection techniques and field data can lead to a better understanding of landscapes and species distributions. Nysius wekiuicola, commonly known as the wēkiu bug, is the most studied arthropod species endemic to the Maunakea summit in Hawai`i, yet details about its geographic distribution and habitat use remain poorly understood. To predict the geographic distribution of N. wekiuicola, MaxEnt habitat suitability models were generated from a diverse set of input variables, including fifteen years of species occurrence data, high resolution digital elevation models, surface mineralogy maps derived from hyperspectral remote sensing, and climate data. Model results indicate that elevation (78.2 percent), and the presence of nanocrystalline hematite surface minerals (13.7 percent) had the highest influence, with lesser contributions from aspect, slope, and other surface mineral classes. Climatic variables were not included in the final analysis due to auto-correlation and coarse spatial resolution. Biotic factors relating to predation and competition also likely dictate wēkiu bug capture patterns and influence our results. The wēkiu bug range and habitat suitability models generated as a result of this study will be directly incorporated into management and restoration goals for the summit region and can also be adapted for other arthropod species present, leading to a more holistic understanding of metacommunity dynamics. Key words: Microhabitat, Structure from Motion, Lidar, MaxEnt, Habitat Suitability

  19. A test of the habitat suitability model for Merriam's wild turkeys

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mark A. Rumble; Stanley H. Anderson

    1996-01-01

    An important research area regarding the wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) is development of sound habitat models. Habitat models provide standardized methods to quantify wild turkey habitat and stimulate new research hypotheses. Habitat suitability index (HSI) models show species-habitat relationships on a scale of O-l, with 1 being optimum. A...

  20. Faecal corticosterone metabolite concentrations are not a good predictor of habitat suitability for common gartersnakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halliday, William D; Gilmour, Kathleen M; Blouin-Demers, Gabriel

    2015-01-01

    Measuring habitat suitability is important in conservation and in wildlife management. Measuring the abundance or presence-absence of a species in various habitats is not sufficient to measure habitat suitability because these metrics can be poor predictors of population success. Therefore, having some measure of population success is essential in assessing habitat suitability, but estimating population success is difficult. Identifying suitable proxies for population success could thus be beneficial. We examined whether faecal corticosterone metabolite (fCM) concentrations could be used as a proxy for habitat suitability in common gartersnakes (Thamnophis sirtalis). We conducted a validation study and confirmed that fCM concentrations indeed reflect circulating corticosterone concentrations. We estimated abundance, reproductive output and growth rate of gartersnakes in field and in forest habitat and we also measured fCM concentrations of gartersnakes from these same habitats. Common gartersnakes were more abundant and had higher reproductive outputs and higher growth rates in field habitat than in forest habitat, but fCM concentrations did not differ between the same two habitats. Our results suggest either that fCM concentrations are not a useful metric of habitat suitability in common gartersnakes or that the difference in suitability between the two habitats was too small to induce changes in fCM concentrations. Incorporating fitness metrics in estimates of habitat suitability is important, but these metrics of fitness have to be sensitive enough to vary between habitats.

  1. Modelling seasonal habitat suitability for wide-ranging species: Invasive wild pigs in northern Australia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jens G Froese

    Full Text Available Invasive wildlife often causes serious damage to the economy and agriculture as well as environmental, human and animal health. Habitat models can fill knowledge gaps about species distributions and assist planning to mitigate impacts. Yet, model accuracy and utility may be compromised by small study areas and limited integration of species ecology or temporal variability. Here we modelled seasonal habitat suitability for wild pigs, a widespread and harmful invader, in northern Australia. We developed a resource-based, spatially-explicit and regional-scale approach using Bayesian networks and spatial pattern suitability analysis. We integrated important ecological factors such as variability in environmental conditions, breeding requirements and home range movements. The habitat model was parameterized during a structured, iterative expert elicitation process and applied to a wet season and a dry season scenario. Model performance and uncertainty was evaluated against independent distributional data sets. Validation results showed that an expert-averaged model accurately predicted empirical wild pig presences in northern Australia for both seasonal scenarios. Model uncertainty was largely associated with different expert assumptions about wild pigs' resource-seeking home range movements. Habitat suitability varied considerably between seasons, retracting to resource-abundant rainforest, wetland and agricultural refuge areas during the dry season and expanding widely into surrounding grassland floodplains, savanna woodlands and coastal shrubs during the wet season. Overall, our model suggested that suitable wild pig habitat is less widely available in northern Australia than previously thought. Mapped results may be used to quantify impacts, assess risks, justify management investments and target control activities. Our methods are applicable to other wide-ranging species, especially in data-poor situations.

  2. Spatial Heterogeneity of Habitat Suitability for Rift Valley Fever Occurrence in Tanzania: An Ecological Niche Modelling Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sindato, Calvin; Stevens, Kim B.; Karimuribo, Esron D.; Mboera, Leonard E. G.; Paweska, Janusz T.; Pfeiffer, Dirk U.

    2016-01-01

    Background Despite the long history of Rift Valley fever (RVF) in Tanzania, extent of its suitable habitat in the country remains unclear. In this study we investigated potential effects of temperature, precipitation, elevation, soil type, livestock density, rainfall pattern, proximity to wild animals, protected areas and forest on the habitat suitability for RVF occurrence in Tanzania. Materials and Methods Presence-only records of 193 RVF outbreak locations from 1930 to 2007 together with potential predictor variables were used to model and map the suitable habitats for RVF occurrence using ecological niche modelling. Ground-truthing of the model outputs was conducted by comparing the levels of RVF virus specific antibodies in cattle, sheep and goats sampled from locations in Tanzania that presented different predicted habitat suitability values. Principal Findings Habitat suitability values for RVF occurrence were higher in the northern and central-eastern regions of Tanzania than the rest of the regions in the country. Soil type and precipitation of the wettest quarter contributed equally to habitat suitability (32.4% each), followed by livestock density (25.9%) and rainfall pattern (9.3%). Ground-truthing of model outputs revealed that the odds of an animal being seropositive for RVFV when sampled from areas predicted to be most suitable for RVF occurrence were twice the odds of an animal sampled from areas least suitable for RVF occurrence (95% CI: 1.43, 2.76, p < 0.001). Conclusion/Significance The regions in the northern and central-eastern Tanzania were more suitable for RVF occurrence than the rest of the regions in the country. The modelled suitable habitat is characterised by impermeable soils, moderate precipitation in the wettest quarter, high livestock density and a bimodal rainfall pattern. The findings of this study should provide guidance for the design of appropriate RVF surveillance, prevention and control strategies which target areas with

  3. The Spatial Suitable Habitat Model of Acacia decurrens in Mount Merbabu National Park

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yoko Untoro

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Green wattle (Acacia decurrens is an invasive alien species (IAS found in the Mount Merbabu National Park (TNGMb. This study aim to obtain spatially studies on habitat suitability models of A. decurrens in TNGMb region. In fact, this species became as a high invasive and dominance in the TNGMb and contributes the negative impact to the ecosystem. In addition, the result of this study should be useful for controling activities of A. decurrens. Predictor variables in this research were (altitude, slope, rainfall, air temperature, distance from river, NDVI, NDMI, distance from hiking trail, and distance from burnt area. The survey was conducted with random sampling of presence or absence of A. decurrens by marking the coordinate point of location using GPS. Data analysis in this research was used binary logistic regression enter method. Binary logistic regression involves the data acquisition of the presence and absence of A. decurrens as the y variable, while the predictor variable map as the variable x. The type of spatial distribution of A. decurrens in the TNGMb was identified as clumped. The Nagelkerke R2 values obtained in the model was 39,2%, while 60,8% was explained by other variables were not used in the model. The results of the logistic regression model showed a high percentage of suitability of 64,29%, a medium suitability of 28,57%, and a low suitability of 7.14% then the Implications for controlling activities of A. decurrens in TNGMb could be prioritized in high suitability habitat. Keywords: Acacia decurrens, green wattle, invasive, spatial suitable habitat 

  4. Northeast Puerto Rico and Culebra Island - Benthic Habitat Map 2015

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This benthic habitat map was created from a semi-automated habitat mapping process, using a combination of bathymetry, satellite imagery, aerial imagery and...

  5. Himalayan ibex (Capra ibex sibirica habitat suitability and range resource dynamics in the Central Karakorum National Park, Pakistan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Garee Khan

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available The study investigates Himalayan ibex (Capra ibex sibirica and their range resource condition within the preferred habitat in the Central Karakoram National Park, Pakistan. We apply ecological niche factor analysis (ENFA using 110 ibex sighting data and 6 key biophysical variables describing the habitat conditions and produce habitat suitability and maps with GIS and statistical tool (BioMapper. The modeling results of specialization factor shows some limitation for ibex over the use of slope, elevation, vegetation types and ruggedness. The habitat area selection for the ibex is adjusted to the ibex friendly habitat available conditions. The model results predicted suitable habitat for ibex in certain places, where field observation was never recorded. The range resource dynamics depict a large area that comes under the alpine meadows has the highest seasonal productivity, assessed by remote sensing based fortnightly vegetation condition data of the last 11 years. These meadows are showing browning trend over the years, attributable to grazing practices or climate conditions. At lower elevation, there are limited areas with suitable dry steppes, which may cause stress on ibex, especially during winter.

  6. Technical suitability mapping of feedstocks for biological hydrogen production

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Panagiotopoulos, I.A.; Karaoglanoglou, L.S.; Koullas, D.P.; Bakker, R.R.; Claassen, P.A.M.; Koukios, E.G.

    2015-01-01

    The objective of this work was to map and compare the technical suitability of different raw materials for biological hydrogen production. Our model was based on hydrogen yield potential, sugar mobilization efficiency, fermentability and coproduct yield and value. The suitability of the studied

  7. The areal extent of brown shrimp habitat suitability in Mobile Bay, Alabama, USA: Targeting vegetated habitat restoration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, L.M.; Nestlerode, J.A.; Harwell, L.C.; Bourgeois, P.

    2010-01-01

    The availability of wetlands and shallow water habitats significantly influences Gulf of Mexico (GOM) penaeid shrimp fishery productivity. However, the GOM region has the highest rate of wetland loss in the USA. Protection and management of these vital GOM habitats are critical to sustainable shrimp fisheries. Brown shrimp (Farfantepenaeus aztecus) are a major component of GOM fisheries. We present an approach for estimating the areal extent of suitable habitat for post-larval and juvenile brown shrimp in Mobile Bay, Alabama, using an existing habitat suitability index model for the northern GOM calculated from probabilistic survey of water quality and sediment data, land cover data, and submerged aquatic vegetation coverages. This estuarine scale approach is intended to support targeted protection and restoration of these habitats. These analyses indicate that approximately 60% of the area of Mobile Bay is categorized as suitable to near optimal for post-larval and juvenile shrimp and 38% of the area is marginally to minimally suitable. We identify potential units within Mobile Bay for targeted restoration to improve habitat suitability. ?? 2010 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

  8. Managing Environmental Flows for Impounded Rivers in Semi-Arid Regions- A Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) Approach for the Assessment of River Habitat for Salmonid Populations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pai, H.; Sivakumaran, K.; Villamizar, S. R.; Flanagan, J.; Guo, Q.; Harmon, T. C.

    2013-12-01

    Balancing ecosystem health in water-scarce, agriculturally dominated river basins remains a challenge. In dry water years, maintaining conditions for restored and sustained indigenous fish populations (a frequently used indicator for ecosystem health) is particularly challenging. Competing human demands include urban and agricultural water supplies, hydropower, and flood control. In many semi-arid regions, increasing drought intensity and frequency under future climate scenarios will combine with population increases to water scarcity. The goal of this work is to better understand how reservoir releases affect fish habitat and overall river aquatic ecosystem quality. Models integrating a diverse array of physical and biological processes and system state are used to forecast the river ecosystem response to changing drivers. We propose a distributed parameter-based Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) approach for assessing fish habitat quality. Our river ecosystem HSI maps are based on a combination of the following: (1) In situ data describing stream flow and water quality conditions; (2) Spatial observations, including surveyed cross-sections, aerial imagery and digital elevation maps (DEM) of the river and its riparian corridor; and (3) Simulated spatially distributed water depths, flow velocities, and temperatures estimated from 1D and 2D river flow and temperature models (HEC-RAS and CE-QUAL-W2, respectively). With respect to (2), image processing schemes are used to classify and map key habitat features, namely riparian edge and shallow underwater vegetation. HSI maps can be modified temporally to address specific life cycle requirements of indicator fish species. Results are presented for several reaches associated with the San Joaquin River Restoration Project, focusing on several components of the Chinook salmon life cycle. HSI maps and interpretations are presented in the context of a range of prescribed reservoir release hydrographs linked to California water

  9. Upward Altitudinal Shifts in Habitat Suitability of Mountain Vipers since the Last Glacial Maximum.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masoud Yousefi

    Full Text Available We determined the effects of past and future climate changes on the distribution of the Montivipera raddei species complex (MRC that contains rare and endangered viper species limited to Iran, Turkey and Armenia. We also investigated the current distribution of MRC to locate unidentified isolated populations as well as to evaluate the effectiveness of the current network of protected areas for their conservation. Present distribution of MRC was modeled based on ecological variables and model performance was evaluated by field visits. Some individuals at the newly identified populations showed uncommon morphological characteristics. The distribution map of MRC derived through modeling was then compared with the distribution of protected areas in the region. We estimated the effectiveness of the current protected area network to be 10%, which would be sufficient for conserving this group of species, provided adequate management policies and practices are employed. We further modeled the distribution of MRC in the past (21,000 years ago and under two scenarios in the future (to 2070. These models indicated that climatic changes probably have been responsible for an upward shift in suitable habitats of MRC since the Last Glacial Maximum, leading to isolation of allopatric populations. Distribution will probably become much more restricted in the future as a result of the current rate of global warming. We conclude that climate change most likely played a major role in determining the distribution pattern of MRC, restricting allopatric populations to mountaintops due to habitat alterations. This long-term isolation has facilitated unique local adaptations among MRC populations, which requires further investigation. The suitable habitat patches identified through modeling constitute optimized solutions for inclusion in the network of protected areas in the region.

  10. Modeling freshwater snail habitat suitability and areas of potential snail-borne disease transmission in Uganda

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stensgaard, Anna-Sofie; Jørgensen, Aslak; Kabatereine, N B

    2006-01-01

    -borne disease transmission areas. Furthermore, knowledge of abiotic factors affecting intra-molluscan parasitic development can be used to make "masks" based on remotely sensed climatic data, and these can in turn be used to refine these predictions. We used data from a recent freshwater snail survey from......Geographic information system (GIS-based modeling of an intermediate host snail species environmental requirements using known occurrence records can provide estimates of its spatial distribution. When other data are lacking, this can be used as a rough spatial prediction of potential snail...... Uganda, environmental data and the genetic algorithm for rule-set prediction (GARP) to map the potential distribution of snail species known to act as intermediate hosts of several human and animal parasites. The results suggest that large areas of Uganda are suitable habitats for many of these snail...

  11. Evaluation of osprey habitat suitability and interaction with contaminant exposure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toschik, P.C.; Christman, M.C.; Rattner, B.A.; Ottinger, M.A.

    2006-01-01

    Ospreys (Pandion haliaetus) have been the focus of conservation efforts since their dramatic population decline attributed to dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane and related chemicals in the 1960s. Several recent studies of ospreys nesting in the United States have indicated improved reproduction. However, the density of breeding ospreys varies greatly among locations, with some areas seemingly habitable but not occupied. Because of concerns about pollution in the highly industrialized portions of the Delaware River and Bay, USA, we evaluated contaminant exposure and productivity in ospreys nesting on the Delaware River and Bay in 2002. We characterized habitat in the coastal zone of Delaware, USA, and the area around the river in Pennsylvania, USA, using data we collected as well as extant information provided by state and federal sources. We characterized habitat based on locations of occupied osprey nests in Delaware and Pennsylvania. We evaluated water clarity, water depth, land use and land cover, nest availability, and contaminants in sediment for use in a nest-occupancy model. Our results demonstrated that the presence of occupied nests was associated with water depth, water clarity, distance to an occupied osprey nest, and presence of urban land use, whereas a companion study demonstrated that hatching success was associated with the principal components derived from organochlorine-contaminant concentrations in osprey eggs (total polychlorinated biphenyls, p,p'-dichlorodiphenylethylene, chlordane and metabolites, and heptachlor epoxide). Our study provides guidelines for resource managers and local conservation organizations in management of ospreys and in development of habitat models that are appropriate for other piscivorous and marsh-nesting birds.

  12. A Bayesian spawning habitat suitability model for American shad in southeastern United States rivers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hightower, Joseph E.; Harris, Julianne E.; Raabe, Joshua K.; Brownell, Prescott; Drew, C. Ashton

    2012-01-01

    Habitat suitability index models for American shad Alosa sapidissima were developed by Stier and Crance in 1985. These models, which were based on a combination of published information and expert opinion, are often used to make decisions about hydropower dam operations and fish passage. The purpose of this study was to develop updated habitat suitability index models for spawning American shad in the southeastern United States, building on the many field and laboratory studies completed since 1985. We surveyed biologists who had knowledge about American shad spawning grounds, assembled a panel of experts to discuss important habitat variables, and used raw data from published and unpublished studies to develop new habitat suitability curves. The updated curves are based on resource selection functions, which can model habitat selectivity based on use and availability of particular habitats. Using field data collected in eight rivers from Virginia to Florida (Mattaponi, Pamunkey, Roanoke, Tar, Neuse, Cape Fear, Pee Dee, St. Johns), we obtained new curves for temperature, current velocity, and depth that were generally similar to the original models. Our new suitability function for substrate was also similar to the original pattern, except that sand (optimal in the original model) has a very low estimated suitability. The Bayesian approach that we used to develop habitat suitability curves provides an objective framework for updating the model as new studies are completed and for testing the model's applicability in other parts of the species' range.

  13. Utilizing NASA Earth Observations to investigate habitat suitability of the Cape Vulture in the Western Cape Province of South Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gray, D.; Estes, M. G., Jr.; Griffin, R.; Estes, S. M.

    2017-12-01

    As the global urban population rapidly increases, many wild species lose habitat to human development. The Western Cape of South Africa contains one of Earth's 35 biodiversity hotspots, with remarkably high levels of species richness and endemism. Understanding the relationship between anthropogenic changes and key species in this region is crucial for conservation of its threatened ecosystems. The objective of this research was to investigate the effect that climate change and urbanization each have on habitat suitability of the Cape Vulture. This research utilized NASA satellite data and crowdsourced species sightings to model past, current, and future habitat suitability for this key species in the Western Cape. Data used from NASA Earth Observations included: Landsat 8- derived Land Cover, Modis Land Surface Temperature, Digital Elevation Models from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission, and precipitation data which integrated in-situ stations with Infrared data. Species observations were sourced from the Global Biodiversity Information Facility online database. A geospatial modelling framework was used to generate maps of present, past and future suitable habitats for analysis and comparison. Changes in precipitation and temperature may be a factor in the extreme loss of habitat since 1995, and predict even more drastic loss in the future. This research provides insights on anthropogenic effects on a species' range which may be used to inform discussions of conservation as an element of environmentally sustainable development.

  14. A habitat suitability model for Chinese sturgeon determined using the generalized additive method

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yi, Yujun; Sun, Jie; Zhang, Shanghong

    2016-03-01

    The Chinese sturgeon is a type of large anadromous fish that migrates between the ocean and rivers. Because of the construction of dams, this sturgeon's migration path has been cut off, and this species currently is on the verge of extinction. Simulating suitable environmental conditions for spawning followed by repairing or rebuilding its spawning grounds are effective ways to protect this species. Various habitat suitability models based on expert knowledge have been used to evaluate the suitability of spawning habitat. In this study, a two-dimensional hydraulic simulation is used to inform a habitat suitability model based on the generalized additive method (GAM). The GAM is based on real data. The values of water depth and velocity are calculated first via the hydrodynamic model and later applied in the GAM. The final habitat suitability model is validated using the catch per unit effort (CPUEd) data of 1999 and 2003. The model results show that a velocity of 1.06-1.56 m/s and a depth of 13.33-20.33 m are highly suitable ranges for the Chinese sturgeon to spawn. The hydraulic habitat suitability indexes (HHSI) for seven discharges (4000; 9000; 12,000; 16,000; 20,000; 30,000; and 40,000 m3/s) are calculated to evaluate integrated habitat suitability. The results show that the integrated habitat suitability reaches its highest value at a discharge of 16,000 m3/s. This study is the first to apply a GAM to evaluate the suitability of spawning grounds for the Chinese sturgeon. The study provides a reference for the identification of potential spawning grounds in the entire basin.

  15. Predicted Habitat Suitability for Montipora Corals in the Au'au Channel Region

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This raster denotes predicted habitat suitability for Montipora in the Au'au Channel region. Maximum Entropy (MaxEnt) modeling software was used to create this...

  16. Predicted Habitat Suitability for Porites in the Au'au Channel Region

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This raster denotes predicted habitat suitability for Porites in the Au'au Channel region. Maximum Entropy (MaxEnt) modeling software was used to create this...

  17. Predicted Habitat Suitability for Leptoseris Corals in the Au'au Channel Region

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This raster denotes predicted habitat suitability for Leptoseris in the Au'au Channel region. Maximum Entropy (MaxEnt) modeling software was used to create this...

  18. Predicted Habitat Suitability for Leptoseris in the Au'au Channel Region

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This raster denotes predicted habitat suitability for Leptoseris in the Au'au Channel region. Maximum Entropy (MaxEnt) modeling software was used to create this...

  19. Predicted Habitat Suitability for All Mesophotic Corals in the Au'au Channel Region

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This raster denotes predicted habitat suitability for all mesophotic corals in the Au'au Channel region. Maximum Entropy (MaxEnt) modeling software was used to...

  20. Subterranean systems provide a suitable overwintering habitat for Salamandra salamandra

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Monika Balogová

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available The fire salamander (Salamandra salamandra has been repeatedly noted to occur in natural and artificial subterranean systems. Despite the obvious connection of this species with underground shelters, their level of dependence and importance to the species is still not fully understood. In this study, we carried out long-term monitoring based on the capture-mark-recapture method in two wintering populations aggregated in extensive underground habitats. Using the POPAN model we found the population size in a natural shelter to be more than twice that of an artificial underground shelter. Survival and recapture probabilities calculated using the Cormack-Jolly-Seber model were very constant over time, with higher survival values in males than in females and juveniles, though in terms of recapture probability, the opposite situation was recorded. In addition, survival probability obtained from Cormack-Jolly-Seber model was higher than survival from POPAN model. The observed bigger population size and the lower recapture rate in the natural cave was probably a reflection of habitat complexity. Our study showed that regular visits are needed to detect the true significance of underground shelters for fire salamanders. The presence of larvae was recorded in both wintering sites, especially in bodies of water near the entrance. On the basis of previous and our observations we incline to the view, that karst areas can induce not only laying in underground shelters but also group wintering in this species. Our study highlights the strong connection of the life cycle of fire salamanders with underground shelters and their essential importance for the persistence of some populations during unfavourable conditions and breeding activity. In addition, the study introduces the POPAN and Cormac-Jolly-Seber models for estimating of population size, survival and recapture probability in wintering populations of the species, which could provide important information

  1. Ensemble modeling to predict habitat suitability for a large-scale disturbance specialist

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quresh S. Latif; Victoria A. Saab; Jonathan G. Dudley; Jeff P. Hollenbeck

    2013-01-01

    To conserve habitat for disturbance specialist species, ecologists must identify where individuals will likely settle in newly disturbed areas. Habitat suitability models can predict which sites at new disturbances will most likely attract specialists. Without validation data from newly disturbed areas, however, the best approach for maximizing predictive accuracy can...

  2. Predicting Species Distributions Using Record Centre Data: Multi-Scale Modelling of Habitat Suitability for Bat Roosts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bellamy, Chloe; Altringham, John

    2015-01-01

    Conservation increasingly operates at the landscape scale. For this to be effective, we need landscape scale information on species distributions and the environmental factors that underpin them. Species records are becoming increasingly available via data centres and online portals, but they are often patchy and biased. We demonstrate how such data can yield useful habitat suitability models, using bat roost records as an example. We analysed the effects of environmental variables at eight spatial scales (500 m - 6 km) on roost selection by eight bat species (Pipistrellus pipistrellus, P. pygmaeus, Nyctalus noctula, Myotis mystacinus, M. brandtii, M. nattereri, M. daubentonii, and Plecotus auritus) using the presence-only modelling software MaxEnt. Modelling was carried out on a selection of 418 data centre roost records from the Lake District National Park, UK. Target group pseudoabsences were selected to reduce the impact of sampling bias. Multi-scale models, combining variables measured at their best performing spatial scales, were used to predict roosting habitat suitability, yielding models with useful predictive abilities. Small areas of deciduous woodland consistently increased roosting habitat suitability, but other habitat associations varied between species and scales. Pipistrellus were positively related to built environments at small scales, and depended on large-scale woodland availability. The other, more specialist, species were highly sensitive to human-altered landscapes, avoiding even small rural towns. The strength of many relationships at large scales suggests that bats are sensitive to habitat modifications far from the roost itself. The fine resolution, large extent maps will aid targeted decision-making by conservationists and planners. We have made available an ArcGIS toolbox that automates the production of multi-scale variables, to facilitate the application of our methods to other taxa and locations. Habitat suitability modelling has the

  3. Assessing range-wide habitat suitability for the Lesser Prairie-Chicken

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jarnevich, Catherine S.; Holcombe, Tracy R.; Grisham, Blake A.; Timmer, Jennifer M.; Boal, Clint W.; Butler, Matthew; Pitman, James C.; Kyle, Sean; Klute, David; Beauprez, Grant M.; Janus, Allan; Van Pelt, William E.

    2016-01-01

    Population declines of many wildlife species have been linked to habitat loss incurred through land-use change. Incorporation of conservation planning into development planning may mitigate these impacts. The threatened Lesser Prairie-Chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) is experiencing loss of native habitat and high levels of energy development across its multijurisdictional range. Our goal was to explore relationships of the species occurrence with landscape characteristics and anthropogenic effects influencing its distribution through evaluation of habitat suitability associated with one particular habitat usage, lekking. Lekking has been relatively well-surveyed, though not consistently, in all jurisdictions. All five states in which Lesser Prairie-Chickens occur cooperated in development of a Maxent habitat suitability model. We created two models, one with state as a factor and one without state. When state was included it was the most important predictor, followed by percent of land cover consisting of known or suspected used vegetation classes within a 5000 m area around a lek. Without state, land cover was the most important predictor of relative habitat suitability for leks. Among the anthropogenic predictors, landscape condition, a measure of human impact integrated across several factors, was most important, ranking third in importance without state. These results quantify the relative suitability of the landscape within the current occupied range of Lesser Prairie-Chickens. These models, combined with other landscape information, form the basis of a habitat assessment tool that can be used to guide siting of development projects and targeting of areas for conservation.

  4. Evaluation of Limiting Climatic Factors and Simulation of a Climatically Suitable Habitat for Chinese Sea Buckthorn.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guoqing Li

    Full Text Available Chinese sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides subsp. sinensis has considerable economic potential and plays an important role in reclamation and soil and water conservation. For scientific cultivation of this species across China, we identified the key climatic factors and explored climatically suitable habitat in order to maximize survival of Chinese sea buckthorn using MaxEnt and GIS tools, based on 98 occurrence records from herbarium and publications and 13 climatic factors from Bioclim, Holdridge life zone and Kria' index variables. Our simulation showed that the MaxEnt model performance was significantly better than random, with an average test AUC value of 0.93 with 10-fold cross validation. A jackknife test and the regularized gain change, which were applied to the training algorithm, showed that precipitation of the driest month (PDM, annual precipitation (AP, coldness index (CI and annual range of temperature (ART were the most influential climatic factors in limiting the distribution of Chinese sea buckthorn, which explained 70.1% of the variation. The predicted map showed that the core of climatically suitable habitat was distributed from the southwest to northwest of Gansu, Ningxia, Shaanxi and Shanxi provinces, where the most influential climate variables were PDM of 1.0-7.0 mm, AP of 344.0-1089.0 mm, CI of -47.7-0.0°C, and ART of 26.1-45.0°C. We conclude that the distribution patterns of Chinese sea buckthorn are related to the northwest winter monsoon, the southwest summer monsoon and the southeast summer monsoon systems in China.

  5. Modeling Habitat Suitability of Migratory Birds from Remote Sensing Images Using Convolutional Neural Networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Su, Jin-He; Piao, Ying-Chao; Luo, Ze; Yan, Bao-Ping

    2018-01-01

    Simple Summary The understanding of the spatio-temporal distribution of the species habitats would facilitate wildlife resource management and conservation efforts. Existing methods have poor performance due to the limited availability of training samples. More recently, location-aware sensors have been widely used to track animal movements. The aim of the study was to generate suitability maps of bar-head geese using movement data coupled with environmental parameters, such as remote sensing images and temperature data. Therefore, we modified a deep convolutional neural network for the multi-scale inputs. The results indicate that the proposed method can identify the areas with the dense goose species around Qinghai Lake. In addition, this approach might also be interesting for implementation in other species with different niche factors or in areas where biological survey data are scarce. Abstract With the application of various data acquisition devices, a large number of animal movement data can be used to label presence data in remote sensing images and predict species distribution. In this paper, a two-stage classification approach for combining movement data and moderate-resolution remote sensing images was proposed. First, we introduced a new density-based clustering method to identify stopovers from migratory birds’ movement data and generated classification samples based on the clustering result. We split the remote sensing images into 16 × 16 patches and labeled them as positive samples if they have overlap with stopovers. Second, a multi-convolution neural network model is proposed for extracting the features from temperature data and remote sensing images, respectively. Then a Support Vector Machines (SVM) model was used to combine the features together and predict classification results eventually. The experimental analysis was carried out on public Landsat 5 TM images and a GPS dataset was collected on 29 birds over three years. The results

  6. An Expert-Based Assessment Model for Evaluating Habitat Suitability of Pond-Breeding Amphibians

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shin-Ruoh Juang

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Farm ponds are important habitats for amphibians, birds, and other wildlife. In Taiwan, artificial ponds were originally created on farmlands for irrigation purposes and the needs of the domestic water supply. Although pond creation is a typical farming practice, it also provides habitats for pond-breeding amphibians. Thus, it is essential to understand the current status of habitats and their vulnerability regarding urgent conservation needs for target species. Günther’s frog (Hylarana guentheri, a pond-breeding amphibian, has a high sensitivity towards surrounding environmental changes, and can be used as an indicator species to assess habitat suitability. The purpose of this study is to establish a systematic framework to assess the habitat suitability of pond-breeding amphibians by using Günther’s frog as a pilot-study species. First, we collected frog survey data from Chiayi, Taiwan, from winter 2013 to spring 2015, and investigated the present status of the environmental conditions around the ponds. Next, expert questionnaires and the fuzzy Delphi method were applied to establish the hierarchical evaluation criteria regarding the habitat suitability assessment. Four indicators: the aquatic environments of farm ponds; the terrestrial environments around ponds; landscape connectivity; and the conservation perceptions of the residents, were determined as first-layer factors in the assessment criteria, while ten other indicators were defined as second-layer factors. Based on the established assessment criteria, we performed in situ habitat suitability evaluations on 69 selected sites and surveyed the perceptions of the residents using questionnaires. Results revealed that 19% of locations were rich in frog species with a high habitat suitability. However, 67% of locations showed signs of habitat degradation, which may imply a higher need in practicing habitat improvement or restoration. The Kappa value was 0.6061, which indicated a high

  7. Creating a Ruggedness Layer for Use in Habitat Suitability Modeling for Ikh Nart Nature Reserve, Mongolia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nanette Bragin

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Spatially-explicit wildlife habitat models are increasingly used to study optimal habitat for species of conservation focus. A ruggedness layer, that summarizes aspect and slope, provides a useful tool for analyses conducted in a Geographic Information System (GIS, such as developing a habitat suitability index model to measure species habitat use. Ruggedness layers prove especially useful in areas where topography represents a key habitat component. We created a ruggedness layer for the Ikh Nart Nature Reserve and surrounding areas in northern Dornogobi Aimag (province, Mongolia. Using a 90 m Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM digital elevation model (DEM and ArcGIS 10 spatial analyst, we created 9 categories for ruggedness. When combined with other thematic layers such as vegetation, the ruggedness layer becomes a powerful tool for analyzing habitat use by individual animals. The results of such analyses may inform decision makers in protected area planning and conservation of endangered species.

  8. Identifying Farm Pond Habitat Suitability for the Common Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus: A Conservation-Perspective Approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chun-Hsien Lai

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of this study was to establish a habitat-suitability assessment model for Gallinula chloropus, or the Common Moorhen, to be applied to the selection of the most suitable farm pond for habitat conservation in Chiayi County, Taiwan. First, the fuzzy Delphi method was employed to evaluate habitat selection factors and calculate the weights of these factors. The results showed that the eight crucial factors, by importance, in descending order, were (1 area ratio of farmlands within 200 m of the farm pond; (2 pond area; (3 pond perimeter; (4 aquatic plant coverage of the pond surface; (5 drought period; (6 coverage of high and low shrubs around the pond bank; (7 bank type; and (8 water-surface-to-bank distance. Subsequently, field evaluations of 75 farm ponds in Chiayi County were performed. The results indicated that 15 farm ponds had highly-suitable habitats and were inhabited by unusually high numbers of Common Moorhens; these habitats were most in need of conservation. A total of two farm ponds were found to require habitat-environment improvements, and Common Moorhens with typical reproductive capacity could be appropriately introduced into 22 farm ponds to restore the ecosystem of the species. Additionally, the habitat suitability and number of Common Moorhens in 36 farm ponds were lower than average; these ponds could be used for agricultural irrigation, detention basins, or for recreational use by community residents. Finally, the total habitat suitability scores and occurrence of Common Moorhens in each farm pond were used to verify the accuracy of the habitat-suitability assessment model for the Common Moorhen. The overall accuracy was 0.8, and the Kappa value was 0.60, which indicates that the model established in this study exhibited high credibility. To sum up, this is an applicable framework not only to assess the habitat suitability of farm ponds for Common Moorhens, but also to determine whether a particular location may

  9. Development of tiger habitat suitability model using geospatial tools-a case study in Achankmar Wildlife Sanctuary (AMWLS), Chhattisgarh India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, R; Joshi, P K; Kumar, M; Dash, P P; Joshi, B D

    2009-08-01

    Geospatial tools supported by ancillary geo-database and extensive fieldwork regarding the distribution of tiger and its prey in Anchankmar Wildlife Sanctuary (AMWLS) were used to build a tiger habitat suitability model. This consists of a quantitative geographical information system (GIS) based approach using field parameters and spatial thematic information. The estimates of tiger sightings, its prey sighting and predicted distribution with the assistance of contextual environmental data including terrain, road network, settlement and drainage surfaces were used to develop the model. Eight variables in the dataset viz., forest cover type, forest cover density, slope, aspect, altitude, and distance from road, settlement and drainage were seen as suitable proxies and were used as independent variables in the analysis. Principal component analysis and binomial multiple logistic regression were used for statistical treatments of collected habitat parameters from field and independent variables respectively. The assessment showed a strong expert agreement between the predicted and observed suitable areas. A combination of the generated information and published literature was also used while building a habitat suitability map for the tiger. The modeling approach has taken the habitat preference parameters of the tiger and potential distribution of prey species into account. For assessing the potential distribution of prey species, independent suitability models were developed and validated with the ground truth. It is envisaged that inclusion of the prey distribution probability strengthens the model when a key species is under question. The results of the analysis indicate that tiger occur throughout the sanctuary. The results have been found to be an important input as baseline information for population modeling and natural resource management in the wildlife sanctuary. The development and application of similar models can help in better management of the protected

  10. Habitat Suitability analysis of Koklass (Pucrasia macrolopha) Pheasant in Churdhar Wildlife Sanctuary of Himachal Pradesh, India using Geospatial Technology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eliza, K.; Sarma, K.

    2014-12-01

    Pheasants are at the brink of destruction due to degradation of forests, environmental pollution, climatic changes and extensive hunting of wild floras and faunas.The problem is more acute in the developing countries where wildlife and biodiversity conservation are often less prioritized due to more pressing demands of food security and poverty alleviation. Koklass Pheasant (Pucrasia macrolopha) species is distributed from Afghanistan and Pakistan in the east along the Himalayas to southeastern Tibet, western China and southeastern Mongolia.This species is grouped under endangered species in Red Data Book of Zoological Survey of India and also classified as least concern species according to IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.Conservation biologists and managers need a range of both classical analyses and specific modern tools to face the increasing threats to biodiversity. Among these tools, habitat-suitability modeling has recently emerged as a relevant technique to assess global impacts to define wide conservation priorities.The present study is carried out using remote sensing satellite imagery and GIS modeling technique for assessing habitat suitability of Koklass Pheasants and finding out the habitat factors influencing the Koklass distribution in Churdhar Wildlife Sanctuary, India. Effective management and conservation of wildlife populations and their habitats largely depend on our ability to understand and predict species-habitat interactions. Different thematic maps viz., land use/cover, forest types, drainage buffer, multiple ring buffers of sighting locations and multiple ring buffers of roads have been prepared to support the objective of the study. The Weighted Overlay Analysis model is used for identifying different potential areas of habitat for this endangered species. The most suitable area for Koklass Pheasant within the Wildlife Sanctuary is found to be about 23.8 percent of the total area which is due to favourable habitat conditions for the

  11. Comparing habitat suitability and connectivity modeling methods for conserving pronghorn migrations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erin E Poor

    Full Text Available Terrestrial long-distance migrations are declining globally: in North America, nearly 75% have been lost. Yet there has been limited research comparing habitat suitability and connectivity models to identify migration corridors across increasingly fragmented landscapes. Here we use pronghorn (Antilocapra americana migrations in prairie habitat to compare two types of models that identify habitat suitability: maximum entropy (Maxent and expert-based (Analytic Hierarchy Process. We used distance to wells, distance to water, NDVI, land cover, distance to roads, terrain shape and fence presence to parameterize the models. We then used the output of these models as cost surfaces to compare two common connectivity models, least-cost modeling (LCM and circuit theory. Using pronghorn movement data from spring and fall migrations, we identified potential migration corridors by combining each habitat suitability model with each connectivity model. The best performing model combination was Maxent with LCM corridors across both seasons. Maxent out-performed expert-based habitat suitability models for both spring and fall migrations. However, expert-based corridors can perform relatively well and are a cost-effective alternative if species location data are unavailable. Corridors created using LCM out-performed circuit theory, as measured by the number of pronghorn GPS locations present within the corridors. We suggest the use of a tiered approach using different corridor widths for prioritizing conservation and mitigation actions, such as fence removal or conservation easements.

  12. Comparing habitat suitability and connectivity modeling methods for conserving pronghorn migrations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poor, Erin E; Loucks, Colby; Jakes, Andrew; Urban, Dean L

    2012-01-01

    Terrestrial long-distance migrations are declining globally: in North America, nearly 75% have been lost. Yet there has been limited research comparing habitat suitability and connectivity models to identify migration corridors across increasingly fragmented landscapes. Here we use pronghorn (Antilocapra americana) migrations in prairie habitat to compare two types of models that identify habitat suitability: maximum entropy (Maxent) and expert-based (Analytic Hierarchy Process). We used distance to wells, distance to water, NDVI, land cover, distance to roads, terrain shape and fence presence to parameterize the models. We then used the output of these models as cost surfaces to compare two common connectivity models, least-cost modeling (LCM) and circuit theory. Using pronghorn movement data from spring and fall migrations, we identified potential migration corridors by combining each habitat suitability model with each connectivity model. The best performing model combination was Maxent with LCM corridors across both seasons. Maxent out-performed expert-based habitat suitability models for both spring and fall migrations. However, expert-based corridors can perform relatively well and are a cost-effective alternative if species location data are unavailable. Corridors created using LCM out-performed circuit theory, as measured by the number of pronghorn GPS locations present within the corridors. We suggest the use of a tiered approach using different corridor widths for prioritizing conservation and mitigation actions, such as fence removal or conservation easements.

  13. Climate and air pollution impacts on habitat suitability of Austrian forest ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dirnböck, Thomas; Djukic, Ika; Kitzler, Barbara; Kobler, Johannes; Mol-Dijkstra, Janet P; Posch, Max; Reinds, Gert Jan; Schlutow, Angela; Starlinger, Franz; Wamelink, Wieger G W

    2017-01-01

    Climate change and excess deposition of airborne nitrogen (N) are among the main stressors to floristic biodiversity. One particular concern is the deterioration of valuable habitats such as those protected under the European Habitat Directive. In future, climate-driven shifts (and losses) in the species potential distribution, but also N driven nutrient enrichment may threaten these habitats. We applied a dynamic geochemical soil model (VSD+) together with a novel niche-based plant response model (PROPS) to 5 forest habitat types (18 forest sites) protected under the EU Directive in Austria. We assessed how future climate change and N deposition might affect habitat suitability, defined as the capacity of a site to host its typical plant species. Our evaluation indicates that climate change will be the main driver of a decrease in habitat suitability in the future in Austria. The expected climate change will increase the occurrence of thermophilic plant species while decreasing cold-tolerant species. In addition to these direct impacts, climate change scenarios caused an increase of the occurrence probability of oligotrophic species due to a higher N immobilisation in woody biomass leading to soil N depletion. As a consequence, climate change did offset eutrophication from N deposition, even when no further reduction in N emissions was assumed. Our results show that climate change may have positive side-effects in forest habitats when multiple drivers of change are considered.

  14. Climate and air pollution impacts on habitat suitability of Austrian forest ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Djukic, Ika; Kitzler, Barbara; Kobler, Johannes; Mol-Dijkstra, Janet P.; Posch, Max; Reinds, Gert Jan; Schlutow, Angela; Starlinger, Franz; Wamelink, Wieger G. W.

    2017-01-01

    Climate change and excess deposition of airborne nitrogen (N) are among the main stressors to floristic biodiversity. One particular concern is the deterioration of valuable habitats such as those protected under the European Habitat Directive. In future, climate-driven shifts (and losses) in the species potential distribution, but also N driven nutrient enrichment may threaten these habitats. We applied a dynamic geochemical soil model (VSD+) together with a novel niche-based plant response model (PROPS) to 5 forest habitat types (18 forest sites) protected under the EU Directive in Austria. We assessed how future climate change and N deposition might affect habitat suitability, defined as the capacity of a site to host its typical plant species. Our evaluation indicates that climate change will be the main driver of a decrease in habitat suitability in the future in Austria. The expected climate change will increase the occurrence of thermophilic plant species while decreasing cold-tolerant species. In addition to these direct impacts, climate change scenarios caused an increase of the occurrence probability of oligotrophic species due to a higher N immobilisation in woody biomass leading to soil N depletion. As a consequence, climate change did offset eutrophication from N deposition, even when no further reduction in N emissions was assumed. Our results show that climate change may have positive side-effects in forest habitats when multiple drivers of change are considered. PMID:28898262

  15. Climate and air pollution impacts on habitat suitability of Austrian forest ecosystems.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas Dirnböck

    Full Text Available Climate change and excess deposition of airborne nitrogen (N are among the main stressors to floristic biodiversity. One particular concern is the deterioration of valuable habitats such as those protected under the European Habitat Directive. In future, climate-driven shifts (and losses in the species potential distribution, but also N driven nutrient enrichment may threaten these habitats. We applied a dynamic geochemical soil model (VSD+ together with a novel niche-based plant response model (PROPS to 5 forest habitat types (18 forest sites protected under the EU Directive in Austria. We assessed how future climate change and N deposition might affect habitat suitability, defined as the capacity of a site to host its typical plant species. Our evaluation indicates that climate change will be the main driver of a decrease in habitat suitability in the future in Austria. The expected climate change will increase the occurrence of thermophilic plant species while decreasing cold-tolerant species. In addition to these direct impacts, climate change scenarios caused an increase of the occurrence probability of oligotrophic species due to a higher N immobilisation in woody biomass leading to soil N depletion. As a consequence, climate change did offset eutrophication from N deposition, even when no further reduction in N emissions was assumed. Our results show that climate change may have positive side-effects in forest habitats when multiple drivers of change are considered.

  16. Hydrologic and water-quality rehabilitation of environments for suitable fish habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, C. S.; Yang, S. T.; Xiang, H.; Liu, C. M.; Zhang, H. T.; Yang, Z. L.; Zhang, Y.; Sun, Y.; Mitrovic, S. M.; Yu, Q.; Lim, R. P.

    2015-11-01

    Aquatic ecological rehabilitation is attracting increasing public and research attention, but without knowledge of the responses of aquatic species to their habitats the success of habitat restoration is uncertain. Thus efficient study of species response to habitat, through which to prioritize the habitat factors influencing aquatic ecosystems, is highly important. However many current models have too high requirement for assemblage information and have great bias in results due to consideration of only the species' attribute of presence/absence, abundance or biomass, thus hindering the wider utility of these models. This paper, using fish as a case, presents a framework for identification of high-priority habitat factors based on the responses of aquatic species to their habitats, using presence/absence, abundance and biomass data. This framework consists of four newly developed sub-models aiming to determine weightings for the evaluation of species' contributions to their communities, to quantitatively calculate an integrated habitat suitability index for multi-species based on habitat factors, to assess the suitable probability of habitat factors and to assess the rehabilitation priority of habitat factors. The framework closely links hydrologic, physical and chemical habitat factors to fish assemblage attributes drawn from monitoring datasets on hydrology, water quality and fish assemblages at a total of 144 sites, where 5084 fish were sampled and tested. Breakpoint identification techniques based on curvature in cumulated dominance along with a newly developed weighting calculation model based on theory of mass systems were used to help identify the dominant fish, based on which the presence and abundance of multiple fish were normalized to estimate the integrated habitat suitability index along gradients of various factors, based on their variation with principal habitat factors. Then, the appropriate probability of every principal habitat factor was

  17. Physiology-based modelling approaches to characterize fish habitat suitability: Their usefulness and limitations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teal, Lorna R.; Marras, Stefano; Peck, Myron A.; Domenici, Paolo

    2018-02-01

    Models are useful tools for predicting the impact of global change on species distribution and abundance. As ectotherms, fish are being challenged to adapt or track changes in their environment, either in time through a phenological shift or in space by a biogeographic shift. Past modelling efforts have largely been based on correlative Species Distribution Models, which use known occurrences of species across landscapes of interest to define sets of conditions under which species are likely to maintain populations. The practical advantages of this correlative approach are its simplicity and the flexibility in terms of data requirements. However, effective conservation management requires models that make projections beyond the range of available data. One way to deal with such an extrapolation is to use a mechanistic approach based on physiological processes underlying climate change effects on organisms. Here we illustrate two approaches for developing physiology-based models to characterize fish habitat suitability. (i) Aerobic Scope Models (ASM) are based on the relationship between environmental factors and aerobic scope (defined as the difference between maximum and standard (basal) metabolism). This approach is based on experimental data collected by using a number of treatments that allow a function to be derived to predict aerobic metabolic scope from the stressor/environmental factor(s). This function is then integrated with environmental (oceanographic) data of current and future scenarios. For any given species, this approach allows habitat suitability maps to be generated at various spatiotemporal scales. The strength of the ASM approach relies on the estimate of relative performance when comparing, for example, different locations or different species. (ii) Dynamic Energy Budget (DEB) models are based on first principles including the idea that metabolism is organised in the same way within all animals. The (standard) DEB model aims to describe

  18. Habitat suitability models for cavity-nesting birds in a postfire landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robin E. Russell; Victoria A. Saab; Jonathan G. Dudley

    2007-01-01

    Models of habitat suitability in postfire landscapes are needed by land managers to make timely decisions regarding postfire timber harvest and other management activities. Many species of cavity-nesting birds are dependent on postfire landscapes for breeding and other aspects of their life history and are responsive to postfire management activities (e.g., timber...

  19. Models to predict suitable habitat for juvenile bull trout in Washington state

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jason B. Dunham; G. L. Chandler

    2001-01-01

    This report describes results of research conducted in 2000 to develop models of suitable habitat for juvenile bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus) in Washington State. The research is associated with a cooperative agreement (Agreement #134100H001) between U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the U.S. Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research...

  20. St. John Benthic Habitat Mapping - Moderate Depth Ground Validation Sites

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Benthic habitats of the moderate-depth marine environment in and around the Virgin Islands Coral Reef National Monument were mapped using a combination of...

  1. Habitat Mapping Cruise - Hudson Canyon (HB0904, EK60)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Objectives are to: 1) perform multibeam mapping of transitional and deepwater habitats in Hudson Canyon (off New Jersey) with the National Institute of Undersea...

  2. Temporal habitat suitability modeling of Caspian shad (Alosa spp. in the southern Caspian Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ali Haghi Vayghan

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available To comprehensively manage an ecosystem such as that of the Caspian Sea, the world’s largest lake, detailed knowledge of the habitat traits of the living organisms in the ecosystem is essential. The present study examined environmental variables and used the Habitat Suitability Index (HSI model to determine the most preferred seasonal habitat and optimal environmental range of Caspian shad (Alosa spp. The fish preferred deep waters with low levels of total organic matter and sea level anomaly in winter and productive areas with a high concentration of chlorophyll-a (Chla and relatively high benthos biomass in spring. The number per unit area (NPUA-based HSI model determined that the geometric mean model (GMM was the optimal model for defining a suitable habitat in winter. For spring, the arithmetic mean model (or GMM in the NPUA-based HSI model most accurately predicted preferred habitat for Caspian shad. The average NPUA in both seasons increased with the HSI; areas with an HSI of between 0.4 and 0.6 in spring and between 0.6 and 0.8 in winter had a high percentage of total catch. Areas with an HSI of more than 0.5 had over 91% and 63% of the total catch in spring and winter, respectively, demonstrating the reliability of the NPUA-based HSI model in predicting Caspian shad habitat. The present study shows that remotely sensed data plus depth are the most critical environmental variables in Caspian shad habitats and that Chla and SLA are the most critical remotely sensed parameters for near real-time prediction of Caspian shad habitat.

  3. A GIS model of habitat suitability for Solanum conocarpum (Solanaceae) in St. John, US Virgin Islands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palumbo, Matthew D.; Fleming, Jonathan P.; Monsegur, Omar A.; Vilella, Francisco

    2016-01-01

    Solanum conocarpum (Solanaceae) (Marron Bacora) is a rare, dry-forest shrub endemic to the island of St. John, US Virgin Islands, considered for listing under the Endangered Species Act. Given its status as a species of conservation concern, we incorporated environmental characteristics of 3 observed populations and 5 additional known locations into a geographic information system (GIS) analysis to create a habitat-suitability model for the species on the island of St. John. Our model identified 1929.87 ha of highly suitable and moderately suitable habitat. Of these, 1161.20 ha (60.2%) occurred within the boundaries of Virgin Islands National Park. Our model provides spatial information on potential locations for future surveys and restoration sites for this endemic species of the US Virgin Islands.

  4. Predicting the effects of proposed Mississippi River diversions on oyster habitat quality; application of an oyster habitat suitability index model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soniat, Thomas M.; Conzelmann, Craig P.; Byrd, Jason D.; Roszell, Dustin P.; Bridevaux, Joshua L.; Suir, Kevin J.; Colley, Susan B.

    2013-01-01

    In an attempt to decelerate the rate of coastal erosion and wetland loss, and protect human communities, the state of Louisiana developed its Comprehensive Master Plan for a Sustainable Coast. The master plan proposes a combination of restoration efforts including shoreline protection, marsh creation, sediment diversions, and ridge, barrier island, and hydrological restoration. Coastal restoration projects, particularly the large-scale diversions of fresh water from the Mississippi River, needed to supply sediment to an eroding coast potentially impact oyster populations and oyster habitat. An oyster habitat suitability index model is presented that evaluates the effects of a proposed sediment and freshwater diversion into Lower Breton Sound. Voluminous freshwater, needed to suspend and broadly distribute river sediment, will push optimal salinities for oysters seaward and beyond many of the existing reefs. Implementation and operation of the Lower Breton Sound diversion structure as proposed would render about 6,173 ha of hard bottom immediately east of the Mississippi River unsuitable for the sustained cultivation of oysters. If historical harvests are to be maintained in this region, a massive and unprecedented effort to relocate private leases and restore oyster bottoms would be required. Habitat suitability index model results indicate that the appropriate location for such efforts are to the east and north of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet.

  5. Guidelines for using the Delphi Technique to develop habitat suitability index curves

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crance, Johnie H.

    1987-01-01

    Habitat Suitability Index (SI) curves are one method of presenting species habitat suitability criteria. The curves are often used with the Habitat Evaluation Procedures (HEP) and are necessary components of the Instream Flow Incremental Methodology (IFIM) (Armour et al. 1984). Bovee (1986) described three categories of SI curves or habitat suitability criteria based on the procedures and data used to develop the criteria. Category I curves are based on professional judgment, with 1ittle or no empirical data. Both Category II (utilization criteria) and Category III (preference criteria) curves have as their source data collected at locations where target species are observed or collected. Having Category II and Category III curves for all species of concern would be ideal. In reality, no SI curves are available for many species, and SI curves that require intensive field sampling often cannot be developed under prevailing constraints on time and costs. One alternative under these circumstances is the development and interim use of SI curves based on expert opinion. The Delphi technique (Pill 1971; Delbecq et al. 1975; Linstone and Turoff 1975) is one method used for combining the knowledge and opinions of a group of experts. The purpose of this report is to describe how the Delphi technique may be used to develop expert-opinion-based SI curves.

  6. Future habitat suitability for coral reef ecosystems under global warming and ocean acidification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Couce, Elena; Ridgwell, Andy; Hendy, Erica J

    2013-12-01

    Rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations are placing spatially divergent stresses on the world's tropical coral reefs through increasing ocean surface temperatures and ocean acidification. We show how these two stressors combine to alter the global habitat suitability for shallow coral reef ecosystems, using statistical Bioclimatic Envelope Models rather than basing projections on any a priori assumptions of physiological tolerances or fixed thresholds. We apply two different modeling approaches (Maximum Entropy and Boosted Regression Trees) with two levels of complexity (one a simplified and reduced environmental variable version of the other). Our models project a marked temperature-driven decline in habitat suitability for many of the most significant and bio-diverse tropical coral regions, particularly in the central Indo-Pacific. This is accompanied by a temperature-driven poleward range expansion of favorable conditions accelerating up to 40-70 km per decade by 2070. We find that ocean acidification is less influential for determining future habitat suitability than warming, and its deleterious effects are centered evenly in both hemispheres between 5° and 20° latitude. Contrary to expectations, the combined impact of ocean surface temperature rise and acidification leads to little, if any, degradation in future habitat suitability across much of the Atlantic and areas currently considered 'marginal' for tropical corals, such as the eastern Equatorial Pacific. These results are consistent with fossil evidence of range expansions during past warm periods. In addition, the simplified models are particularly sensitive to short-term temperature variations and their projections correlate well with reported locations of bleaching events. Our approach offers new insights into the relative impact of two global environmental pressures associated with rising atmospheric CO2 on potential future habitats, but greater understanding of past and current controls on coral

  7. Blanding’s Turtle (Emydoidea blandingii Potential Habitat Mapping Using Aerial Orthophotographic Imagery and Object Based Classification

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Douglas J. King

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Blanding’s turtle (Emydoidea blandingii is a threatened species under Canada’s Species at Risk Act. In southern Québec, field based inventories are ongoing to determine its abundance and potential habitat. The goal of this research was to develop means for mapping of potential habitat based on primary habitat attributes that can be detected with high-resolution remotely sensed imagery. Using existing spring leaf-off 20 cm resolution aerial orthophotos of a portion of Gatineau Park where some Blanding’s turtle observations had been made, habitat attributes were mapped at two scales: (1 whole wetlands; (2 within wetland habitat features of open water, vegetation (used for camouflage and thermoregulation, and logs (used for spring sun-basking. The processing steps involved initial pixel-based classification to eliminate most areas of non-wetland, followed by object-based segmentations and classifications using a customized rule sequence to refine the wetland map and to map the within wetland habitat features. Variables used as inputs to the classifications were derived from the orthophotos and included image brightness, texture, and segmented object shape and area. Independent validation using field data and visual interpretation showed classification accuracy for all habitat attributes to be generally over 90% with a minimum of 81.5% for the producer’s accuracy of logs. The maps for each attribute were combined to produce a habitat suitability map for Blanding’s turtle. Of the 115 existing turtle observations, 92.3% were closest to a wetland of the two highest suitability classes. High-resolution imagery combined with object-based classification and habitat suitability mapping methods such as those presented provide a much more spatially explicit representation of detailed habitat attributes than can be obtained through field work alone. They can complement field efforts to document and track turtle activities and can contribute to

  8. Hydropower Production and Fish Habitat Suitability: Impact and Effectiveness of Environmental Flow Prescriptions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castellarin, A.; Galeati, G.; Ceola, S.; Pugliese, A.; Ventura, M.; Montanari, A.

    2017-12-01

    The anthropogenic alteration of the natural flow regime of a river for hydropower production can significantly modify the processes and functions associated with fluvial ecosystems. In order to preserve the fluvial habitat downstream of dams and diversion structures, environmental flows are commonly defined. Such environmental flows are generally computed from empirical methodologies, which are seldom based on site-specific studies, and may not be representative of local ecological and hydraulic conditions. Here we present the results of a quantitative analysis on the effectiveness of two alternative environmental flow scenarios prescribed in Central Italy (time-invariant experimental and empirically-based flow release versus time-variant hydrogeomorphologically-based flow release) and their impact on hydropower production and fish habitat suitability. The latter is examined by means of several models of habitat suitability curve, which is a well-known approach capable of analysing fluvial species preferences as a function of key eco-hydraulic features, such as water depth, flow velocity and river substrate. The results show an evident loss of hydropower production moving from the time-invariant experimental flow release to the hydrogeomorphological one (nearly 20% at the annual scale). Concerning the effects in terms of fish habitat suitability, our outcomes are less obvious, since they are species- and life stage-specific. The proposed analysis, which can be easily adapted to different riparian habitats and hydrological contexts, is a useful tool to guide the derivation of optimal water resource management strategies in order to ensure both hydropower production and fluvial ecosystem protection.

  9. Developing user-friendly habitat suitability tools from regional stream fish survey data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zorn, T.G.; Seelbach, P.; Wiley, M.J.

    2011-01-01

    We developed user-friendly fish habitat suitability tools (plots) for fishery managers in Michigan; these tools are based on driving habitat variables and fish population estimates for several hundred stream sites throughout the state. We generated contour plots to show patterns in fish biomass for over 60 common species (and for 120 species grouped at the family level) in relation to axes of catchment area and low-flow yield (90% exceedance flow divided by catchment area) and also in relation to axes of mean and weekly range of July temperatures. The plots showed distinct patterns in fish habitat suitability at each level of biological organization studied and were useful for quantitatively comparing river sites. We demonstrate how these plots can be used to support stream management, and we provide examples pertaining to resource assessment, trout stocking, angling regulations, chemical reclamation of marginal trout streams, indicator species, instream flow protection, and habitat restoration. These straightforward and effective tools are electronically available so that managers can easily access and incorporate them into decision protocols and presentations.

  10. Influence of discharge on fish habitat suitability curves in mountain watercourses in IFIM methodology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Macura Viliam

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available In this study, the quality of the aquatic habitats of mountain and piedmont streams was evaluated using the ‘Instream Flow Incremental Methodology (IFIM’ decision-making tool. The quality of habitats was interpreted from the behaviour of bioindicators in the form of habitat suitability curves (HSCs. From 1995 until the present, 59 different reaches of 43 mountain streams in Slovakia and 3 validation reaches were evaluated, and the results analysed. The aim of this study was to generalize the parameters of the HSCs for the brown trout. The generalized curves will be useful for water management planning. It is difficult and time-consuming to take hydrometrical and ichthyological measurements at different water levels. Therefore, we developed a methodology for modifying suitability curves based on an ichthyological survey during a low flow and a flow at which fish lose the ability to resist the flow velocity. The study provides the information how such curves can be modified for a wider flow range. In summary, this study shows that generalized HSCs provide representative data that can be used to support both the design of river restoration and the assessment of the impacts of the water use or of climate change on stream habitat quality.

  11. Assessment of fine-scale resource selection and spatially explicit habitat suitability modelling for a re-introduced tiger (Panthera tigris population in central India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mriganka Shekhar Sarkar

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Background Large carnivores influence ecosystem functions at various scales. Thus, their local extinction is not only a species-specific conservation concern, but also reflects on the overall habitat quality and ecosystem value. Species-habitat relationships at fine scale reflect the individuals’ ability to procure resources and negotiate intraspecific competition. Such fine scale habitat choices are more pronounced in large carnivores such as tiger (Panthera tigris, which exhibits competitive exclusion in habitat and mate selection strategies. Although landscape level policies and conservation strategies are increasingly promoted for tiger conservation, specific management interventions require knowledge of the habitat correlates at fine scale. Methods We studied nine radio-collared individuals of a successfully reintroduced tiger population in Panna Tiger Reserve, central India, focussing on the species-habitat relationship at fine scales. With 16 eco-geographical variables, we performed Manly’s selection ratio and K-select analyses to define population-level and individual-level variation in resource selection, respectively. We analysed the data obtained during the exploratory period of six tigers and during the settled period of eight tigers separately, and compared the consequent results. We further used the settled period characteristics to model and map habitat suitability based on the Mahalanobis D2 method and the Boyce index. Results There was a clear difference in habitat selection by tigers between the exploratory and the settled period. During the exploratory period, tigers selected dense canopy and bamboo forests, but also spent time near villages and relocated village sites. However, settled tigers predominantly selected bamboo forests in complex terrain, riverine forests and teak-mixed forest, and totally avoided human settlements and agriculture areas. There were individual variations in habitat selection between exploratory

  12. Assessment of fine-scale resource selection and spatially explicit habitat suitability modelling for a re-introduced tiger (Panthera tigris) population in central India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarkar, Mriganka Shekhar; Krishnamurthy, Ramesh; Johnson, Jeyaraj A; Sen, Subharanjan; Saha, Goutam Kumar

    2017-01-01

    Large carnivores influence ecosystem functions at various scales. Thus, their local extinction is not only a species-specific conservation concern, but also reflects on the overall habitat quality and ecosystem value. Species-habitat relationships at fine scale reflect the individuals' ability to procure resources and negotiate intraspecific competition. Such fine scale habitat choices are more pronounced in large carnivores such as tiger ( Panthera tigris ), which exhibits competitive exclusion in habitat and mate selection strategies. Although landscape level policies and conservation strategies are increasingly promoted for tiger conservation, specific management interventions require knowledge of the habitat correlates at fine scale. We studied nine radio-collared individuals of a successfully reintroduced tiger population in Panna Tiger Reserve, central India, focussing on the species-habitat relationship at fine scales. With 16 eco-geographical variables, we performed Manly's selection ratio and K-select analyses to define population-level and individual-level variation in resource selection, respectively. We analysed the data obtained during the exploratory period of six tigers and during the settled period of eight tigers separately, and compared the consequent results. We further used the settled period characteristics to model and map habitat suitability based on the Mahalanobis D 2 method and the Boyce index. There was a clear difference in habitat selection by tigers between the exploratory and the settled period. During the exploratory period, tigers selected dense canopy and bamboo forests, but also spent time near villages and relocated village sites. However, settled tigers predominantly selected bamboo forests in complex terrain, riverine forests and teak-mixed forest, and totally avoided human settlements and agriculture areas. There were individual variations in habitat selection between exploratory and settled periods. Based on threshold limits

  13. Future habitat suitability for coral reef ecosystems under global warming and ocean acidification

    OpenAIRE

    Couce, Elena M; Ridgwell, Andy J; Hendy, Erica

    2013-01-01

    Rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations are placing spatially divergent stresses on the world’s tropical coral reefs through increasing ocean surface temperatures and ocean acidification. We show how these two stressors combine to alter the global habitat suitability for shallow coral reef ecosystems, using statistical Bioclimatic Envelope Models rather than basing projections on any a priori assumptions of physiological tolerances or fixed thresholds. We apply two different modeling approaches...

  14. Suitable reference tissues for quantitative susceptibility mapping of the brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Straub, Sina; Schneider, Till M; Emmerich, Julian; Freitag, Martin T; Ziener, Christian H; Schlemmer, Heinz-Peter; Ladd, Mark E; Laun, Frederik B

    2017-07-01

    Since quantitative susceptibility mapping (QSM) quantifies magnetic susceptibility relative to a reference value, a suitable reference tissue has to be available to compare different subjects and stages of disease. To find such a suitable reference tissue for QSM of the brain, melanoma patients with and without brain metastases were measured. Twelve reference regions were chosen and assessed for stability of susceptibility values with respect to multiple intra-individual and inter-individual measurements, age, and stage of disease. Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), the internal capsule and one region in the splenium of the corpus callosum are the regions with the smallest standard deviations of the mean susceptibility value. The mean susceptibility is 0.010 ± 0.014 ppm for CSF in the atrium of the lateral ventricles (csf post ), -0.060 ± 0.019 ppm for the posterior limb of the internal capsule (ci2), and -0.008 ± 0.019 ppm for the splenium of the corpus callosum. csf post and ci2 show nearly no dependence on age or stage of disease, whereas some other regions, e.g., the red nucleus, show moderate dependence on age or disease. The internal capsule and CSF appear to be the most suitable reference regions for QSM of the brain in the melanoma patients studied. Both showed virtually no dependence on age or disease and small variations among patients. Magn Reson Med 78:204-214, 2017. © 2016 International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine. © 2016 International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine.

  15. Suitability

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bokdam, J.; Braeckel, van A.

    2002-01-01

    The suitability of grazing, burning, mowing and cutting as tools for succession control in peatland was assessed and expressed on a scale from 0 - 1. All management tools are suitable, but their effects are conditional. The suitability depends on the targeted vegetation transition and on their

  16. Habitat suitability and ecological niches of different plankton functional types in the global ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vogt, Meike; Brun, Philipp; Payne, Mark R.; O'Brien, Colleen J.; Bednaršek, Nina; Buitenhuis, Erik T.; Doney, Scott C.; Leblanc, Karine; Le Quéré, Corinne; Luo, Yawei; Moriarty, Róisín; O'Brien, Todd D.; Schiebel, Ralf; Swan, Chantal

    2013-04-01

    Marine plankton play a central role in the biogeochemical cycling of important elements such as carbon, nitrogen, and sulphur. While our knowledge about marine ecosystem structure and functioning is still scarce and episodic, several recent observational studies confirm that marine ecosystems have been changing due to recent climate change, overfishing, and coastal eutrophication. In order to better understand marine ecosystem dynamics, the MAREDAT initiative has recently collected abundance and biomass data for 5 autotrophic (diatoms, Phaeocystis, coccolithophores, nitrogen fixers, picophytoplankton), and 6 heterotrophic plankton functional types (PFTs; bacteria, micro-, meso- and macrozooplankton, foraminifera and pteropods). Species distribution models (SDMs) are statistical tools that can be used to derive information about species habitats in space and time. They have been used extensively for a wide range of ecological applications in terrestrial ecosystems, but here we present the first global application in the marine realm, which was made possible by the MAREDAT data synthesis effort. We use a maximum entropy SDM to simulate global habitat suitability, habitat extent and ecological niches for different PFTs in the modern ocean. Present habitat suitability is derived from presence-only MAREDAT data and the observed annual and monthly mean levels of physiologically relevant variables such as SST, nutrient concentration or photosynthetic active radiation received in the mixed layer. This information can then be used to derive ecological niches for different species or taxa within each PFT, and to compare the ecological niches of different PFTs. While these results still need verification because data was not available for all ocean regions for all PFTs, they can give a first indication what present and future plankton habitats may look like, and what consequences we may have to expect for future marine ecosystem functioning and service provision in a warmer

  17. Aedes aegypti Global Suitability Maps Using a Water Container Energy Balance Model for Dengue Risk Applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steinhoff, D.

    2015-12-01

    Dengue infections are estimated to total nearly 400 million per year worldwide, with both the geographic range and the magnitude of infections having increased in the past 50 years. The primary dengue vector mosquito Aedes aegypti is closely associated with humans. It lives exclusively in urban and semi-urban areas, preferentially bites humans, and spends its developmental stages in artificial water containers. Climate regulates the development of Ae. aegypti immature mosquitoes in artificial containers. Potential containers for Ae. aegypti immature development include, but are not limited to, small sundry items (e.g., bottles, cans, plastic containers), buckets, tires, barrels, tanks, and cisterns. Successful development of immature mosquitoes from eggs to larvae, pupae, and eventually adults is largely dependent on the availability of water and the thermal properties of the water in the containers. Recent work has shown that physics-based approaches toward modeling container water properties are promising for resolving the complexities of container water dynamics and the effects on immature mosquito development. An energy balance container model developed by the author, termed the Water Height And Temperature in Container Habitats Energy Model (WHATCH'EM), solves for water temperature and height for user-specified containers with readily available weather data. Here we use WHATCH'EM with NASA Earth Science products used as input to construct global suitability maps based on established water temperature ranges for immature Ae. aegypti mosquitoes. A proxy for dengue risk is provided from habitat suitability, but also population estimates, as Ae. aegypti is closely associated with human activity. NASA gridded Global Population of the World data is used to mask out rural areas with low dengue risk. Suitability maps are illustrated for a variety of containers (size, material, color) and shading scenarios.

  18. Mapping Oyster Reef Habitats in Mobile Bay

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bolte, Danielle

    2011-01-01

    Oyster reefs around the world are declining rapidly, and although they haven t received as much attention as coral reefs, they are just as important to their local ecosystems and economies. Oyster reefs provide habitats for many species of fish, invertebrates, and crustaceans, as well as the next generations of oysters. Oysters are also harvested from many of these reefs and are an important segment of many local economies, including that of Mobile Bay, where oysters rank in the top five commercial marine species both by landed weight and by dollar value. Although the remaining Mobile Bay oyster reefs are some of the least degraded in the world, projected climate change could have dramatic effects on the health of these important ecosystems. The viability of oyster reefs depends on water depth and temperature, appropriate pH and salinity levels, and the amount of dissolved oxygen in the water. Projected increases in sea level, changes in precipitation and runoff patterns, and changes in pH resulting from increases in the amount of carbon dioxide dissolved in the oceans could all affect the viability of oyster reefs in the future. Human activities such as dredging and unsustainable harvesting practices are also adversely impacting the oyster reefs. Fortunately, several projects are already under way to help rebuild or support existing or previously existing oyster reefs. The success of these projects will depend on the local effects of climate change on the current and potential habitats and man s ability to recognize and halt unsustainable harvesting practices. As the extent and health of the reefs changes, it will have impacts on the Mobile Bay ecosystem and economy, changing the resources available to the people who live there and to the rest of the country, since Mobile Bay is an important national source of seafood. This project identified potential climate change impacts on the oyster reefs of Mobile Bay, including the possible addition of newly viable

  19. Global Habitat Suitability and Ecological Niche Separation in the Phylum Placozoa.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Omid Paknia

    Full Text Available The enigmatic placozoans, which hold a key position in the metazoan Tree of Life, have attracted substantial attention in many areas of biological and biomedical research. While placozoans have become an emerging model system, their ecology and particularly biogeography remain widely unknown. In this study, we use modelling approaches to explore habitat preferences, and distribution pattern of the placozoans phylum. We provide hypotheses for discrete ecological niche separation between genetic placozoan lineages, which may also help to understand biogeography patterns in other small marine invertebrates. We, here, used maximum entropy modelling to predict placozoan distribution using 20 environmental grids of 9.2 km2 resolution. In addition, we used recently developed metrics of niche overlap to compare habitat suitability models of three genetic clades. The predicted distributions range from 55°N to 44°S and are restricted to regions of intermediate to warm sea surface temperatures. High concentrations of salinity and low nutrient concentrations appear as secondary factors. Tests of niche equivalency reveal the largest differences between placozoan clades I and III. Interestingly, the genetically well-separated clades I and V appear to be ecologically very similar. Our habitat suitability models predict a wider latitudinal distribution for placozoans, than currently described, especially in the northern hemisphere. With respect to biogeography modelling, placozoans show patterns somewhere between higher metazoan taxa and marine microorganisms, with the first group usually showing complex biogeographies and the second usually showing "no biogeography."

  20. Hydrographic influence on the spawning habitat suitability of western Baltic cod (Gadus morhua)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hüssy, K.; Hinrichsen, H.-H.; Huwer, B.

    2012-01-01

    Hydrographic influence on the spawning habitat suitability of western Baltic cod (Gadus morhua) – ICES Journal of Marine Science, 69: 1736–1743.Recruitment variability of marine fish is influenced by the reproductive potential of the stock (i.e. stock characteristics and abundance) and the survival...... of early life stages, mediated by environmental conditions of both a physical (water temperature, salinity and oxygen conditions, ocean currents) and a biological nature (i.e. food, predators). The objective of this study is to assess the importance of variability in environmental conditions within...... allowing survival of western Baltic cod eggs indicates that favourable conditions predominantly occurred during the late spawning season in April/May, while minimum survival rates could be expected from January to March. Unsuitable time periods and habitats exhibiting the highest mortality rates...

  1. Smartphone-based distributed data collection enables rapid assessment of shorebird habitat suitability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thieler, E. Robert; Zeigler, Sara; Winslow, Luke; Hines, Megan K.; Read, Jordan S.; Walker, Jordan I.

    2016-01-01

    Understanding and managing dynamic coastal landscapes for beach-dependent species requires biological and geological data across the range of relevant environments and habitats. It is difficult to acquire such information; data often have limited focus due to resource constraints, are collected by non-specialists, or lack observational uniformity. We developed an open-source smartphone application called iPlover that addresses these difficulties in collecting biogeomorphic information at piping plover (Charadrius melodus) nest sites on coastal beaches. This paper describes iPlover development and evaluates data quality and utility following two years of collection (n = 1799 data points over 1500 km of coast between Maine and North Carolina, USA). We found strong agreement between field user and expert assessments and high model skill when data were used for habitat suitability prediction. Methods used here to develop and deploy a distributed data collection system have broad applicability to interdisciplinary environmental monitoring and modeling.

  2. The evolution of mapping habitat for northern spotted owls (Strix occidentalis caurina): A comparison of photo-interpreted, Landsat-based, and lidar-based habitat maps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steven H. Ackers; Raymond J. Davis; Keith A. Olsen; Katie M. Dugger

    2015-01-01

    Wildlife habitat mapping has evolved at a rapid pace over the last fewdecades. Beginning with simple, often subjective, hand-drawn maps, habitat mapping now involves complex species distribution models (SDMs) using mapped predictor variables derived from remotely sensed data. For species that inhabit large geographic areas, remote sensing technology is often...

  3. Flow Management to Control Excessive Growth of Macrophytes - An Assessment Based on Habitat Suitability Modeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ochs, Konstantin; Rivaes, Rui P; Ferreira, Teresa; Egger, Gregory

    2018-01-01

    Mediterranean rivers in intensive agricultural watersheds usually display outgrowths of macrophytes - notably alien species - due to a combination of high concentrations of nutrients in the water runoff and low flows resulting from water abstraction for irrigation. Standard mechanical and chemical control is used to mitigate the problems associated with excessive growth of plant biomass: mainly less drainage capacity and higher flood risk. However, such control measures are cost and labor-intensive and do not present long-term efficiency. Although the high sensitivity of aquatic vegetation to instream hydraulic conditions is well known, management approaches based on flow management remain relatively unexplored. The aim of our study was therefore to apply physical habitat simulation techniques promoted by the Instream Flow Incremental Method (IFIM) to aquatic macrophytes - the first time it has been applied in this context - in order to model shifts in habitat suitability under different flow scenarios in the Sorraia river in central Portugal. We used this approach to test whether the risk of invasion and channel encroachment by nuisance species can be controlled by setting minimum annual flows. We used 960 randomly distributed survey points to analyze the habitat suitability for the most important aquatic species (including the invasive Brazilian milfoil Myriophyllum aquaticum , Sparganium erectum , and Potamogeton crispus ) in regard to the physical parameters 'flow velocity,' 'water depth,' and 'substrate size'. We chose the lowest discharge period of the year in order to assess the hydraulic conditions while disturbances were at a low-point, thus allowing aquatic vegetation establishment and subsistence. We then used the two-dimensional hydraulic River2D software to model the potential habitat availability for different flow conditions based on the site-specific habitat suitability index for each physical parameter and species. Our results show that the growth

  4. Flow Management to Control Excessive Growth of Macrophytes – An Assessment Based on Habitat Suitability Modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ochs, Konstantin; Rivaes, Rui P.; Ferreira, Teresa; Egger, Gregory

    2018-01-01

    Mediterranean rivers in intensive agricultural watersheds usually display outgrowths of macrophytes – notably alien species – due to a combination of high concentrations of nutrients in the water runoff and low flows resulting from water abstraction for irrigation. Standard mechanical and chemical control is used to mitigate the problems associated with excessive growth of plant biomass: mainly less drainage capacity and higher flood risk. However, such control measures are cost and labor-intensive and do not present long-term efficiency. Although the high sensitivity of aquatic vegetation to instream hydraulic conditions is well known, management approaches based on flow management remain relatively unexplored. The aim of our study was therefore to apply physical habitat simulation techniques promoted by the Instream Flow Incremental Method (IFIM) to aquatic macrophytes – the first time it has been applied in this context – in order to model shifts in habitat suitability under different flow scenarios in the Sorraia river in central Portugal. We used this approach to test whether the risk of invasion and channel encroachment by nuisance species can be controlled by setting minimum annual flows. We used 960 randomly distributed survey points to analyze the habitat suitability for the most important aquatic species (including the invasive Brazilian milfoil Myriophyllum aquaticum, Sparganium erectum, and Potamogeton crispus) in regard to the physical parameters ‘flow velocity,’ ‘water depth,’ and ‘substrate size’. We chose the lowest discharge period of the year in order to assess the hydraulic conditions while disturbances were at a low-point, thus allowing aquatic vegetation establishment and subsistence. We then used the two-dimensional hydraulic River2D software to model the potential habitat availability for different flow conditions based on the site-specific habitat suitability index for each physical parameter and species. Our results show

  5. Habitat Scale Mapping of Fisheries Ecosystem Service Values in Estuaries

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Timothy G. O'Higgins

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Little is known about the variability of ecosystem service values at spatial scales most relevant to local decision makers. Competing definitions of ecosystem services, the paucity of ecological and economic information, and the lack of standardization in methodology are major obstacles to applying the ecosystem-services approach at the estuary scale. We present a standardized method that combines habitat maps and habitat-faunal associations to estimate ecosystem service values for recreational and commercial fisheries in estuaries. Three case studies in estuaries on the U.S. west coast (Yaquina Bay, Oregon, east coast (Lagoon Pond, Massachusetts, and the Gulf of Mexico (Weeks Bay, Alabama are presented to illustrate our method's rigor and limitations using available data. The resulting spatially explicit maps of fisheries ecosystem service values show within and between estuary variations in the value of estuarine habitat types that can be used to make better informed resource-management decisions.

  6. Spatial transferability of habitat suitability models of Nephrops norvegicus among fished areas in the Northeast Atlantic: sufficiently stable for marine resource conservation?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valentina Lauria

    Full Text Available Knowledge of the spatial distribution and habitat associations of species in relation to the environment is essential for their management and conservation. Habitat suitability models are useful in quantifying species-environment relationships and predicting species distribution patterns. Little is known, however, about the stability and performance of habitat suitability models when projected into new areas (spatial transferability and how this can inform resource management. The aims of this study were to model habitat suitability of Norway lobster (Nephrops norvegicus in five fished areas of the Northeast Atlantic (Aran ground, Irish Sea, Celtic Sea, Scotland Inshore and Fladen ground, and to test for spatial transferability of habitat models among multiple regions. Nephrops burrow density was modelled using generalised additive models (GAMs with predictors selected from four environmental variables (depth, slope, sediment and rugosity. Models were evaluated and tested for spatial transferability among areas. The optimum models (lowest AICc for different areas always included depth and sediment as predictors. Burrow densities were generally greater at depth and in finer sediments, but relationships for individual areas were sometimes more complex. Aside from an inclusion of depth and sediment, the optimum models differed between fished areas. When it came to tests of spatial transferability, however, most of the models were able to predict Nephrops density in other areas. Furthermore, transferability was not dependent on use of the optimum models since competing models were also able to achieve a similar level of transferability to new areas. A degree of decoupling between model 'fitting' performance and spatial transferability supports the use of simpler models when extrapolating habitat suitability maps to different areas. Differences in the form and performance of models from different areas may supply further information on the processes

  7. Using environmental niche modeling to find suitable habitats for the Hard-ground Barasingha in Madhya Pradesh, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. P. Singh

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available The subspecies of Swamp Deer, the Hard-ground Barasingha (Rucervus duvaucelii branderi Pocock, is presently found only in Kanha Tiger Reserve (KTR in Madhya Pradesh, India. This subspecies is highly vulnerable to extinction, and reintroduction in suitable sites is the need of the hour.  Environmental niche models (GARP, SVM, ED, CSM aimed at providing a detailed prediction of species distribution by relating presence of species to 19 bioclimatic indices were developed, using swamp deer occurrence records in KTR. The predictions were appropriately weighted with the prevailing LU/LC classes to identify suitable habitats in Madhya Pradesh, India. The result shows that the southern region of Madhya Pradesh is suitable for the sustenance of Barasingha with varying degrees of habitability. Vicarious validation shows that most of these forest areas were the same as that of historical records dating back to 50 years. However, land use maps can help identify areas where this subspecies can be reintroduced. 

  8. Global decline in suitable habitat for Angiostrongylus ( = Parastrongylus cantonensis: the role of climate change.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emily M York

    Full Text Available Climate change is implicated in the alteration of the ranges of species worldwide. Such shifts in species distributions may introduce parasites/pathogens, hosts, and vectors associated with disease to new areas. The parasite Angiostrongylus ( = Parastrongylus cantonensis is an invasive species that causes eosinophilic meningitis in humans and neurological abnormalities in domestic/wild animals. Although native to southeastern Asia, A. cantonensis has now been reported from more than 30 countries worldwide. Given the health risks, it is important to describe areas with potentially favorable climate for the establishment of A. cantonensis, as well as areas where this pathogen might become established in the future. We used the program Maxent to develop an ecological niche model for A. cantonensis based on 86 localities obtained from published literature. We then modeled areas of potential A. cantonensis distribution as well as areas projected to have suitable climatic conditions under four Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP scenarios by the 2050s and the 2070s. The best model contained three bioclimatic variables: mean diurnal temperature range, minimum temperature of coldest month and precipitation of warmest quarter. Potentially suitable habitat for A. cantonensis was located worldwide in tropical and subtropical regions. Under all climate change RCP scenarios, the center of the projected distribution shifted away from the equator at a rate of 68-152 km per decade. However, the extent of areas with highly suitable habitat (>50% declined by 10.66-15.66% by the 2050s and 13.11-16.11% by the 2070s. These results conflict with previous studies, which have generally found that the prevalence of tropical pathogens will increase during the 21st century. Moreover, it is likely that A. cantonensis will continue to expand its current range in the near future due to introductions and host expansion, whereas climate change will reduce the total

  9. Global decline in suitable habitat for Angiostrongylus ( = Parastrongylus) cantonensis: the role of climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    York, Emily M; Butler, Christopher J; Lord, Wayne D

    2014-01-01

    Climate change is implicated in the alteration of the ranges of species worldwide. Such shifts in species distributions may introduce parasites/pathogens, hosts, and vectors associated with disease to new areas. The parasite Angiostrongylus ( = Parastrongylus) cantonensis is an invasive species that causes eosinophilic meningitis in humans and neurological abnormalities in domestic/wild animals. Although native to southeastern Asia, A. cantonensis has now been reported from more than 30 countries worldwide. Given the health risks, it is important to describe areas with potentially favorable climate for the establishment of A. cantonensis, as well as areas where this pathogen might become established in the future. We used the program Maxent to develop an ecological niche model for A. cantonensis based on 86 localities obtained from published literature. We then modeled areas of potential A. cantonensis distribution as well as areas projected to have suitable climatic conditions under four Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP) scenarios by the 2050s and the 2070s. The best model contained three bioclimatic variables: mean diurnal temperature range, minimum temperature of coldest month and precipitation of warmest quarter. Potentially suitable habitat for A. cantonensis was located worldwide in tropical and subtropical regions. Under all climate change RCP scenarios, the center of the projected distribution shifted away from the equator at a rate of 68-152 km per decade. However, the extent of areas with highly suitable habitat (>50%) declined by 10.66-15.66% by the 2050s and 13.11-16.11% by the 2070s. These results conflict with previous studies, which have generally found that the prevalence of tropical pathogens will increase during the 21st century. Moreover, it is likely that A. cantonensis will continue to expand its current range in the near future due to introductions and host expansion, whereas climate change will reduce the total geographic area of

  10. Habitat suitability index model of the sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus (Selenka): A case study of Shandong Peninsula, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Zhipeng; Zhou, Jian; Song, Jingjing; Wang, Qixiang; Liu, Hongjun; Tang, Xuexi

    2017-09-15

    A habitat suitability index (HSI) model for the sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus (Selenka) was established in the present study. Based on geographic information systems, the HSI model was used to identify potential sites around the Shandong Peninsula suitable for restoration of immature (25g) A. japonicus. Six habitat factors were used as input variables for the HSI model: sediment classification, water temperature, salinity, water depth, pH and dissolved oxygen. The weighting of each habitat factor was defined through the Delphi method. Sediment classification was the most important condition affecting the HSI of A. japonicus in the different study areas, while water temperature was the most important condition in different seasons. The HSI of Western Laizhou Bay was relatively low, meaning the site was not suitable for aquaculture-based restoration of A. japonicus. In contrast, Xiaoheishan Island, Rongcheng Bay and Qingdao were preferable sites, suitable as habitats for restoration efforts. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Distribution and habitat suitability index model for the Andean catfish Astroblepus ubidiai (Pisces: Siluriformes in Ecuador

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luis A Vélez-Espino

    2006-06-01

    Full Text Available In conservation biology there is a basic need to determine habitat suitability and availability. Astroblepus ubidiai (Siluriforms, the only native fish in the highlands of Imbabura province in the Ecuadorian Andes, was abundant in the past in the Imbakucha watershed and adjacent drainages, but currently it is restricted to a few isolated refuges. Conservation actions are needed if this unique fish is to persist. A Habitat Suitability Index (HSI for the species has been developed in order to aid management decisions. In this HIS model biomass density (B was selected as a better indicator of habitat quality than either abundance or density. A population well-being index (PI was constructed with the combination of B and an indicator of fish health (proportion of fish in the population with parasites and deformities. Based in other models of benthic fish the habitat variables current velocity, flow, depth, width, cover, invertebrate composition, vegetation type, terrestrial vegetation, land use, substrate, temperature, pH, TDS, oxygen, altitude, and slope were included in the analysis. An anthropogenic perturbation index (H and a fragment isolation index (FII were developed and included as habitat variables as well. The HSI model was applied to refuges and a sample of 15 aquatic bodies without fish populations within the study region. From the sampled sites without A. ubidiai 26.6% presented low quality, and the remaining 73.3% had medium quality according to the HSI estimated. Good quality habitat for dispersal, escape or translocations is rare in the region. The low HSIs estimated in some of the refuges suggests that current populations are not settled in the most favorable habitat but in the habitat least favorable to the agents of decline. Rev. Biol. Trop. 54(2: 623-638. Epub 2006 Jun 01.Astroblepus ubidiai (Siluriformes, el único pez nativo de las alturas de Imbabura, en los Andes Ecuatorianos, era un recurso abundante en el pasado

  12. Coastal habitat mapping in the Aegean Sea using high resolution orthophoto maps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Topouzelis, Konstantinos; Papakonstantinou, Apostolos; Doukari, Michaela; Stamatis, Panagiotis; Makri, Despina; Katsanevakis, Stelios

    2017-09-01

    The significance of coastal habitat mapping lies in the need to prevent from anthropogenic interventions and other factors. Until 2015, Landsat-8 (30m) imagery were used as medium spatial resolution satellite imagery. So far, Sentinel-2 satellite imagery is very useful for more detailed regional scale mapping. However, the use of high resolution orthophoto maps, which are determined from UAV data, is expected to improve the mapping accuracy. This is due to small spatial resolution of the orthophoto maps (30 cm). This paper outlines the integration of UAS for data acquisition and Structure from Motion (SfM) pipeline for the visualization of selected coastal areas in the Aegean Sea. Additionally, the produced orthophoto maps analyzed through an object-based image analysis (OBIA) and nearest-neighbor classification for mapping the coastal habitats. Classification classes included the main general habitat types, i.e. seagrass, soft bottom, and hard bottom The developed methodology applied at the Koumbara beach (Ios Island - Greece). Results showed that UAS's data revealed the sub-bottom complexity in large shallow areas since they provide such information in the spatial resolution that permits the mapping of seagrass meadows with extreme detail. The produced habitat vectors are ideal as reference data for studies with satellite data of lower spatial resolution.

  13. Landscape Metrics to Assess Habitat Suitability for Conversation Bird Species in the Southeastern United States

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Dove, Linda

    2001-01-01

    .... The degree to which a given species is affected by habitat fragmentation is dependent on the complex interaction of the habitat requirements of the species and the shape, size, and makeup of the fragmented habitat...

  14. Terrestrial habitat mapping of the Oak Ridge Reservation: 1996 Summary

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Washington-Allen, R.A.; Ashwood, T.L.

    1996-09-01

    The US DOE is in the process of remediating historical contamination on the Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR). Two key components are ecological risk assessment and monitoring. In 1994 a strategy was developed and a specific program was initiated to implement the strategy for the terrestrial biota of the entire ORR. This document details results of the first task: development of a habitat map and habitat models for key species of interest. During the last 50 years ORR has been a relatively protected island of plant and animal habitats in a region of rapidly expanding urbanization. A preliminary biodiversity assessment of the ORR by the Nature Conservancy in 1995 noted 272 occurrences of significant plant and animal species and communities. Field surveys of threatened and endangered species show that the ORR contains 20 rare plant species, 4 of which are on the state list of endangered species. The rest are either on the state list of threatened species or listed as being of special concern. The ORR provides habitat for some 60 reptilian and amphibian species; more than 120 species of terrestrial birds; 32 species of waterfowl, wading birds, and shorebirds; and about 40 mammalian species. The ORR is both a refuge for rare species and a reservoir of recruitment for surrounding environments and wildlife management areas. Cedar barrens, river bluffs, and wetlands have been identified as the habitat for most rare vascular plant species on the ORR

  15. Ultra-Fine Scale Spatially-Integrated Mapping of Habitat and Occupancy Using Structure-From-Motion.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Philip McDowall

    Full Text Available Organisms respond to and often simultaneously modify their environment. While these interactions are apparent at the landscape extent, the driving mechanisms often occur at very fine spatial scales. Structure-from-Motion (SfM, a computer vision technique, allows the simultaneous mapping of organisms and fine scale habitat, and will greatly improve our understanding of habitat suitability, ecophysiology, and the bi-directional relationship between geomorphology and habitat use. SfM can be used to create high-resolution (centimeter-scale three-dimensional (3D habitat models at low cost. These models can capture the abiotic conditions formed by terrain and simultaneously record the position of individual organisms within that terrain. While coloniality is common in seabird species, we have a poor understanding of the extent to which dense breeding aggregations are driven by fine-scale active aggregation or limited suitable habitat. We demonstrate the use of SfM for fine-scale habitat suitability by reconstructing the locations of nests in a gentoo penguin colony and fitting models that explicitly account for conspecific attraction. The resulting digital elevation models (DEMs are used as covariates in an inhomogeneous hybrid point process model. We find that gentoo penguin nest site selection is a function of the topography of the landscape, but that nests are far more aggregated than would be expected based on terrain alone, suggesting a strong role of behavioral aggregation in driving coloniality in this species. This integrated mapping of organisms and fine scale habitat will greatly improve our understanding of fine-scale habitat suitability, ecophysiology, and the complex bi-directional relationship between geomorphology and habitat use.

  16. Habitat suitability criteria via parametric distributions: estimation, model selection and uncertainty

    Science.gov (United States)

    Som, Nicholas A.; Goodman, Damon H.; Perry, Russell W.; Hardy, Thomas B.

    2016-01-01

    Previous methods for constructing univariate habitat suitability criteria (HSC) curves have ranged from professional judgement to kernel-smoothed density functions or combinations thereof. We present a new method of generating HSC curves that applies probability density functions as the mathematical representation of the curves. Compared with previous approaches, benefits of our method include (1) estimation of probability density function parameters directly from raw data, (2) quantitative methods for selecting among several candidate probability density functions, and (3) concise methods for expressing estimation uncertainty in the HSC curves. We demonstrate our method with a thorough example using data collected on the depth of water used by juvenile Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tschawytscha) in the Klamath River of northern California and southern Oregon. All R code needed to implement our example is provided in the appendix. Published 2015. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

  17. Integrating Larval Dispersal, Permitting, and Logistical Factors Within a Validated Habitat Suitability Index for Oyster Restoration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brandon J. Puckett

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Habitat suitability index (HSI models are increasingly used to guide ecological restoration. Successful restoration is a byproduct of several factors, including physical and biological processes, as well as permitting and logistical considerations. Rarely are factors from all of these categories included in HSI models, despite their combined relevance to common restoration goals such as population persistence. We developed a Geographic Information System (GIS-based HSI for restoring persistent high-relief subtidal oyster (Crassostrea virginica reefs protected from harvest (i.e., sanctuaries in Pamlico Sound, North Carolina, USA. Expert stakeholder input identified 17 factors to include in the HSI. Factors primarily represented physical (e.g., salinity and biological (e.g., larval dispersal processes relevant to oyster restoration, but also included several relevant permitting (e.g., presence of seagrasses and logistical (e.g., distance to restoration material stockpile sites considerations. We validated the model with multiple years of oyster density data from existing sanctuaries, and compared HSI output with distributions of oyster reefs from the late 1800's. Of the 17 factors included in the model, stakeholders identified four factors—salinity, larval export from existing oyster sanctuaries, larval import to existing sanctuaries, and dissolved oxygen—most critical to oyster sanctuary site selection. The HSI model provided a quantitative scale over which a vast water body (~6,000 km2 was narrowed down by 95% to a much smaller suite of optimal (top 1% HSI and suitable (top 5% HSI locations for oyster restoration. Optimal and suitable restoration locations were clustered in northeast and southwest Pamlico Sound. Oyster density in existing sanctuaries, normalized for time since reef restoration, was a positive exponential function of HSI, providing validation for the model. Only a small portion (10–20% of historical reef locations

  18. Ningaloo Reef: Shallow Marine Habitats Mapped Using a Hyperspectral Sensor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kobryn, Halina T.; Wouters, Kristin; Beckley, Lynnath E.; Heege, Thomas

    2013-01-01

    Research, monitoring and management of large marine protected areas require detailed and up-to-date habitat maps. Ningaloo Marine Park (including the Muiron Islands) in north-western Australia (stretching across three degrees of latitude) was mapped to 20 m depth using HyMap airborne hyperspectral imagery (125 bands) at 3.5 m resolution across the 762 km2 of reef environment between the shoreline and reef slope. The imagery was corrected for atmospheric, air-water interface and water column influences to retrieve bottom reflectance and bathymetry using the physics-based Modular Inversion and Processing System. Using field-validated, image-derived spectra from a representative range of cover types, the classification combined a semi-automated, pixel-based approach with fuzzy logic and derivative techniques. Five thematic classification levels for benthic cover (with probability maps) were generated with varying degrees of detail, ranging from a basic one with three classes (biotic, abiotic and mixed) to the most detailed with 46 classes. The latter consisted of all abiotic and biotic seabed components and hard coral growth forms in dominant or mixed states. The overall accuracy of mapping for the most detailed maps was 70% for the highest classification level. Macro-algal communities formed most of the benthic cover, while hard and soft corals represented only about 7% of the mapped area (58.6 km2). Dense tabulate coral was the largest coral mosaic type (37% of all corals) and the rest of the corals were a mix of tabulate, digitate, massive and soft corals. Our results show that for this shallow, fringing reef environment situated in the arid tropics, hyperspectral remote sensing techniques can offer an efficient and cost-effective approach to mapping and monitoring reef habitats over large, remote and inaccessible areas. PMID:23922921

  19. Predicting spatial and temporal distribution of Indo-Pacific lionfish (Pterois volitans) in Biscayne Bay through habitat suitability modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernal, Nicholas A.; DeAngelis, Donald L.; Schofield, Pamela J.; Sullivan Sealey, Kathleen

    2014-01-01

    Invasive species may exhibit higher levels of growth and reproduction when environmental conditions are most suitable, and thus their effects on native fauna may be intensified. Understanding potential impacts of these species, especially in the nascent stages of a biological invasion, requires critical information concerning spatial and temporal distributions of habitat suitability. Using empirically supported environmental variables (e.g., temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen, rugosity, and benthic substrate), our models predicted habitat suitability for the invasive lionfish (Pterois volitans) in Biscayne Bay, Florida. The use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) as a platform for the modeling process allowed us to quantify correlations between temporal (seasonal) fluctuations in the above variables and the spatial distribution of five discrete habitat quality classes, whose ranges are supported by statistical deviations from the apparent best conditions described in prior studies. Analysis of the resulting models revealed little fluctuation in spatial extent of the five habitat classes on a monthly basis. Class 5, which represented the area with environmental variables closest to the best conditions for lionfish, occupied approximately one-third of Biscayne Bay, with subsequent habitats declining in area. A key finding from this study was that habitat suitability increased eastward from the coastline, where higher quality habitats were adjacent to the Atlantic Ocean and displayed marine levels of ambient water quality. Corroboration of the models with sightings from the USGS-NAS database appeared to support our findings by nesting 79 % of values within habitat class 5; however, field testing (i.e., lionfish surveys) is necessary to confirm the relationship between habitat classes and lionfish distribution.

  20. Assessing the suitable habitat for reintroduction of brown trout (Salmo trutta forma fario) in a lowland river: A modeling approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boets, Pieter; Gobeyn, Sacha; Dillen, Alain; Poelman, Eddy; Goethals, Peter L M

    2018-05-01

    Huge efforts have been made during the past decades to improve the water quality and to restore the physical habitat of rivers and streams in western Europe. This has led to an improvement in biological water quality and an increase in fish stocks in many countries. However, several rheophilic fish species such as brown trout are still categorized as vulnerable in lowland streams in Flanders (Belgium). In order to support cost-efficient restoration programs, habitat suitability modeling can be used. In this study, we developed an ensemble of habitat suitability models using metaheuristic algorithms to explore the importance of a large number of environmental variables, including chemical, physical, and hydromorphological characteristics to determine the suitable habitat for reintroduction of brown trout in the Zwalm River basin (Flanders, Belgium), which is included in the Habitats Directive. Mean stream velocity, water temperature, hiding opportunities, and presence of pools or riffles were identified as the most important variables determining the habitat suitability. Brown trout mainly preferred streams with a relatively high mean reach stream velocity (0.2-1 m/s), a low water temperature (7-15°C), and the presence of pools. The ensemble of models indicated that most of the tributaries and headwaters were suitable for the species. Synthesis and applications . Our results indicate that this modeling approach can be used to support river management, not only for brown trout but also for other species in similar geographical regions. Specifically for the Zwalm River basin, future restoration of the physical habitat, removal of the remaining migration barriers and the development of suitable spawning grounds could promote the successful restoration of brown trout.

  1. Mapping and modelling the habitat of giant pandas in Foping Nature Reserve, China

    OpenAIRE

    Liu, X.

    2001-01-01

    The fact that only about 1000 giant pandas and 29500 km2 of panda habitat are left in the west part of China makes it an urgent issue to save this endangered animal species and protect its habitat. For effective conservation of the giant panda and its habitat, a thorough evaluation of panda habitat and panda-habitat relationship based on each individual panda nature reserve is necessary and important. Mapping has been an effective approach for wildlife habitat evaluation and monitoring. There...

  2. A resource-based modelling framework to assess habitat suitability for steppe birds in semiarid Mediterranean agricultural systems.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura Cardador

    Full Text Available European agriculture is undergoing widespread changes that are likely to have profound impacts on farmland biodiversity. The development of tools that allow an assessment of the potential biodiversity effects of different land-use alternatives before changes occur is fundamental to guiding management decisions. In this study, we develop a resource-based model framework to estimate habitat suitability for target species, according to simple information on species' key resource requirements (diet, foraging habitat and nesting site, and examine whether it can be used to link land-use and local species' distribution. We take as a study case four steppe bird species in a lowland area of the north-eastern Iberian Peninsula. We also compare the performance of our resource-based approach to that obtained through habitat-based models relating species' occurrence and land-cover variables. Further, we use our resource-based approach to predict the effects that change in farming systems can have on farmland bird habitat suitability and compare these predictions with those obtained using the habitat-based models. Habitat suitability estimates generated by our resource-based models performed similarly (and better for one study species than habitat based-models when predicting current species distribution. Moderate prediction success was achieved for three out of four species considered by resource-based models and for two of four by habitat-based models. Although, there is potential for improving the performance of resource-based models, they provide a structure for using available knowledge of the functional links between agricultural practices, provision of key resources and the response of organisms to predict potential effects of changing land-uses in a variety of context or the impacts of changes such as altered management practices that are not easily incorporated into habitat-based models.

  3. Coral Reef Habitat Suitability in Future Climate Scenarios from NCAR CESM1 considering a Suite of Biogeochemical Variables

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freeman, L. A.; Kleypas, J. A.; Miller, A. J.

    2013-12-01

    A maximum entropy species distribution model (Maxent) is used to describe coral reef habitat in current climate conditions and to predict changes to that habitat during the 21st century. Two climate change scenarios (RCP4.5 and RCP8.5) from the National Center for Atmospheric Research's Community Earth System Model version 1 (CESM1) were used with Maxent to determine environmental suitability for the family of corals Scleractina in 1° by 1° cells. Input environmental variables most suitable for representing coral habitat limitation are isolated using a principal component analysis and include cumulative thermal stress, salinity, light availability, current speed, phosphate levels and aragonite saturation state. Considering a suite of environmental variables allows for a more synergistic view of future habitat suitability, although individual variables are found to be limiting in certain areas- for example, aragonite saturation state is limiting at higher latitudes. Climate-driven coral reef habitat changes depend strongly on the oceanic region of interest and the region of corals used to train the niche model. Increased global coral habitat loss occurred in both RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 climate projections as time progressed through the 21th century. Maximum suitable habitat loss was 82% by 2100 for RCP8.5. When only Caribbean/Atlantic coral reef environmental data is applied globally, 88% of global habitat was lost by 2100 for RCP8.5. The global runs utilizing only Pacific Ocean reefs' ability to survive showed the most significant worldwide loss, 90% by 2100 for RCP8.5. When Maxent was trained with Indian Ocean reefs, an increase in suitable habitat worldwide was estimated. Habitat suitability was found to increase by 38% in RCP4.5 by 2100 and 28% in RCP8.5 by 2050. This suggests that shallow tropical sites in the Indian Ocean basin experience conditions today that are most similar to future worldwide climate projections. Indian Ocean reefs may be ideal candidate

  4. Spatially explicit feedbacks between seagrass meadow structure, sediment and light: Habitat suitability for seagrass growth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carr, Joel; D'Odorico, Paul; McGlathery, Karen; Wiberg, Patricia L.

    2016-01-01

    In shallow coastal bays where nutrient loading and riverine inputs are low, turbidity, and the consequent light environment are controlled by resuspension of bed sediments due to wind-waves and tidal currents. High sediment resuspension and low light environments can limit benthic primary productivity; however, both currents and waves are affected by the presence of benthic plants such as seagrass. This feedback between the presence of benthic primary producers such as seagrass and the consequent light environment has been predicted to induce bistable dynamics locally. However, these vegetated areas influence a larger area than they footprint, including a barren adjacent downstream area which exhibits reduced shear stresses. Here we explore through modeling how the patchy structure of seagrass meadows on a landscape may affect sediment resuspension and the consequent light environment due to the presence of this sheltered region. Heterogeneous vegetation covers comprising a mosaic of randomly distributed patches were generated to investigate the effect of patch modified hydrodynamics. Actual cover of vegetation on the landscape was used to facilitate comparisons across landscape realizations. Hourly wave and current shear stresses on the landscape along with suspended sediment concentration and light attenuation characteristics were then calculated and spatially averaged to examine how actual cover and mean water depth affect the bulk sediment and light environment. The results indicate that an effective cover, which incorporates the sheltering area, has important controls on the distributions of shear stress, suspended sediment, light environment, and consequent seagrass habitat suitability. Interestingly, an optimal habitat occurs within a depth range where, if actual cover is reduced past some threshold, the bulk light environment would no longer favor seagrass growth.

  5. Impact of Alternative Environmental Flow Prescriptions on Hydropower Production and Fish Habitat Suitability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castellarin, A.; Ceola, S.; Pugliese, A.; Galeati, G. A.

    2015-12-01

    Anthropogenic activities along streams and rivers are increasingly recognized to be a major concern for fluvial ecosystems. The management of water resources, by means of e.g. flow diversions and dams, for industrial, agricultural, water-supply, hydropower production and flood protection purposes induces significant changes to the natural streamflow regime of a river. Indeed, the river flow regime is known to be a major abiotic factor influencing fluvial ecosystems. An established approach aimed at preserving the behaviour and distribution of fluvial species relies on the definition of minimum streamflow requirements (i.e., environmental flows) downstream of dams and diversion structures. Such environmental flows are normally identified through methodologies that have an empirical nature and may not be representative of local ecological and hydraulic conditions. While the effect of imposing a minimum discharge release is easily predictable in terms of e.g. loss of hydropower production, the advantages in terms of species preferences are often poorly understood and seldom assessed. To analyze the interactions between flow releases and the behaviour and distribution of fluvial species (i.e., from periphyton, to benthic invertebrate and fish), one may use a habitat suitability curve, which is a fundamental tool capable of describing species preferences influenced by any generic environmental variable. The outcomes of a real case study applied to several Italian rivers, located in the Marche administrative district in Central Italy (∽10000km2), in which we quantitatively assess the effects of alternative environmental flow scenarios on the existing hydropower network and on two fish species that are quite abundant in the study area (i.e., Leuciscus cephalus cabeda and Barbus barbus plebejus), will be presented and discussed. The proposed analysis, which can be easily adapted to different riparian habitats and hydrological contexts, is a useful tool to guide the

  6. Shaken but not stirred: Multiscale habitat suitability modeling of sympatric marten species (Martes martes and Martes foina) in the northern Iberian Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maria Vergara; Samuel A. Cushman; Fermin Urra; Aritz Ruiz-Gonzalez

    2016-01-01

    Multispecies and multiscale habitat suitability models (HSM) are important to identify the environmental variables and scales influencing habitat selection and facilitate the comparison of closely related species with different ecological requirements. Objectives This study explores the multiscale relationships of habitat suitability for the pine (Martes...

  7. Climate Change, Northern Birds of Conservation Concern and Matching the Hotspots of Habitat Suitability with the Reserve Network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Virkkala, Raimo; Heikkinen, Risto K.; Fronzek, Stefan; Leikola, Niko

    2013-01-01

    National reserve networks are one of the most important means of species conservation, but their efficiency may be diminished due to the projected climatic changes. Using bioclimatic envelope models and spatial data on habitats and conservation areas, we studied how efficient the reserve network will be in preserving 100 forest, mire, marshland, and alpine bird species of conservation concern in Finland in 2051–2080 under three different climate scenarios. The occurrences of the studied bird species were related to the amount of habitat preferred by each species in the different boreal zones. We employed a novel integrated habitat suitability index that takes into account both the species’ probability of occurrence from the bioclimatic models and the availability of suitable habitat. Using this suitability index, the distribution of the topmost 5% suitability squares (“hotspots”) in the four bird species groups in the period 1971–2000 and under the three scenarios were compared with the location of reserves with the highest amounts of the four habitats to study the efficiency of the network. In species of mires, marshlands, and Arctic mountains, a high proportion of protected habitat was included in the 5% hotspots in the scenarios in 2051–2080, showing that protected areas cover a high proportion of occurrences of bird species. In contrast, in forests in the southern and middle boreal zones, only a small proportion of the protected habitat was included in the 5% hotspots, indicating that the efficiency of the protected area network will be insufficient for forest birds in the future. In the northern boreal zone, the efficiency of the reserve network in forests was highly dependent on the strength of climate change varying between the scenarios. Overall, there is no single solution to preserving biodiversity in a changing climate, but several future pathways should be considered. PMID:23700420

  8. Diet, abundance and distribution as indices of turbot ( Psetta maxima L.) release habitat suitability

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sparrevohn, Claus Reedtz; Støttrup, Josianne

    2008-01-01

    , natural abundance, and depth distribution within the habitats. A marked difference was found among habitats in the timing of the diet change from the suboptimal exoskeleton carrying prey items such as crustaceans to fish. The habitat where the wild turbot had the lowest occurrence of fish in their diet...

  9. Environmental predictors of habitat suitability and biogeographical range of Franciscana dolphins (Pontoporia blainvillei

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonatan J. Gomez

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to use species distribution models to estimate the effects of environmental variables on the habitat suitability of river dolphins Pontoporia blainvillei (franciscanas along their overall biogeographical distribution. Based on the literature, we selected six environmental variables to be included in the models; four climatic factors (surface sea temperature, salinity, turbidity and productivity and two biotic factors (prey availability and fishing effort. We determined that the biographic range is under the following limits: temperature less than 19°C, a salinity of 36 psu and a minimal probability of the occurrence of fish C. guatucupa of 0.297. In the discussion, we postulate hypotheses on the behavioural and physiological mechanisms that cause these associations between environmental predictors and Franciscanas distribution. There was a good fit between the distribution predicted by the species distribution model and the one proposed by the experts of the International Union for Conservation of Nature; however, our analysis failed to highlight the fundamental role of bycatch as the main threat to this dolphin species.

  10. Modeling Habitat Suitability of Migratory Birds from Remote Sensing Images Using Convolutional Neural Networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Su, Jin-He; Piao, Ying-Chao; Luo, Ze; Yan, Bao-Ping

    2018-04-26

    With the application of various data acquisition devices, a large number of animal movement data can be used to label presence data in remote sensing images and predict species distribution. In this paper, a two-stage classification approach for combining movement data and moderate-resolution remote sensing images was proposed. First, we introduced a new density-based clustering method to identify stopovers from migratory birds’ movement data and generated classification samples based on the clustering result. We split the remote sensing images into 16 × 16 patches and labeled them as positive samples if they have overlap with stopovers. Second, a multi-convolution neural network model is proposed for extracting the features from temperature data and remote sensing images, respectively. Then a Support Vector Machines (SVM) model was used to combine the features together and predict classification results eventually. The experimental analysis was carried out on public Landsat 5 TM images and a GPS dataset was collected on 29 birds over three years. The results indicated that our proposed method outperforms the existing baseline methods and was able to achieve good performance in habitat suitability prediction.

  11. Modeling habitat suitability of the invasive clam Corbicula fluminea in a Neotropical shallow lagoon, southern Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. C. L. Silveira

    Full Text Available Abstract This study aimed to model the habitat suitability for an invasive clam Corbicula fluminea in a coastal shallow lagoon in the southern Neotropical region (–30.22, –50.55. The lagoon (19km2, maximum deep 2.5m was sampled with an Ekman dredge in an orthogonal matrix comprising 84 points. At each sampling point, were obtained environmental descriptors as depth, organic matter content (OMC, average granulometry (Avgran, and the percentage of sand (Pcsand. Prediction performance of Generalized Linear Models (GLM, Generalized Additive Models (GAM and Boosted Regression Tree (BRT were compared. Also, niche overlapping with other native clam species (Castalia martensi, Neocorbicula limosa and Anodontites trapesialis was examined. A BRT model with 1400 trees was selected as the best model, with cross-validated correlation of 0.82. The relative contributions of predictors were Pcsand-42.6%, OMC-35.8%, Avgran-10.9% and Depth-10.8%. Were identified that C. fluminea occur mainly in sandy sediments with few organic matter, in shallow areas nor by the shore. The PCA showed a wide niche overlap with the native clam species C. martensi, N. limosa and A. trapesialis.

  12. Benthic Habitat Maps for Rose Atoll Marine National Monument in American Samoa from 2004 to 2010

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Benthic habitat maps for Rose Atoll, American Samoa were derived from high resolution, multispectral satellite imagery for 2004, 2006, and 2010. The benthic habitat...

  13. Relative effects of road risk, habitat suitability, and connectivity on wildlife roadkills: the case of tawny owls (Strix aluco).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santos, Sara M; Lourenço, Rui; Mira, António; Beja, Pedro

    2013-01-01

    Despite its importance for reducing wildlife-vehicle collisions, there is still incomplete understanding of factors responsible for high road mortality. In particular, few empirical studies examined the idea that spatial variation in roadkills is influenced by a complex interplay between road-related factors, and species-specific habitat quality and landscape connectivity. In this study we addressed this issue, using a 7-year dataset of tawny owl (Strix aluco) roadkills recorded along 37 km of road in southern Portugal. We used a multi-species roadkill index as a surrogate of intrinsic road risk, and we used a Maxent distribution model to estimate habitat suitability. Landscape connectivity was estimated from least-cost paths between tawny owl territories, using habitat suitability as a resistance surface. We defined 10 alternative scenarios to compute connectivity, based on variation in potential movement patterns according to territory quality and dispersal distance thresholds. Hierarchical partitioning of a regression model indicated that independent variation in tawny owl roadkills was explained primarily by the roadkill index (70.5%) and, to a much lesser extent, by landscape connectivity (26.2%), while habitat suitability had minor effects (3.3%). Analysis of connectivity scenarios suggested that owl roadkills were primarily related to short range movements (habitat quality and landscape connectivity are globally high for the study species. Nevertheless, the study supported the view that functional connectivity should be incorporated whenever possible in roadkill models, as it may greatly increase their power to predict the location of roadkill hotspots.

  14. Habitat suitability modeling for the endangered Hawaiian petrel on Kauai and analysis of predicted habitat overlap with the Newell’s shearwater

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeff R. Troy

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available The endangered Hawaiian petrel (Pterodroma sandwichensis is endemic to the main Hawaiian Islands and has undergone a breeding range contraction since the arrival of humans. Using abiotic and biotic environmental variables, we developed a terrestrial habitat suitability model for the species on the island of Kauai based on contemporary sites where the species is known (or strongly suspected to nest, as well as a habitat/threat-isolation index that combined predictions from this suitability model with spatial information on two anthropogenic threats to the species. After accounting for large-scale relative spatial positioning of sites in modeling procedures, the habitat suitability model suggests that the probability that a location on Kauai could be suitable for Hawaiian petrel nesting activity increases with increasing mean annual wind speed, and may also increase somewhat with increasing slope and native vegetation cover. The habitat suitability model (which does not incorporate spatial information on anthropogenic threats to the species predicts approximately 74 km2 of Kauai, mostly in the interior of the island, as being potentially suitable with predicted probability > 0.7 for Hawaiian petrel terrestrial activity, and about 35 km2 with predicted probability > 0.9. Encouragingly, almost 50 km2 of land with predicted probability > 0.7 and almost 24 km2 with predicted probability > 0.9 is currently protected, being located on either government or private reserve land. Based on the habitat/threat-isolation index, most land predicted to be both suitable (based on environmental variables and as isolated from threats as a large number of the known contemporary Hawaiian petrel sites, is found in government and private reserves. Some degree of predicted habitat overlap between the Hawaiian petrel and Newell’s shearwater (Puffinus newelli, another Hawaiian seabird of conservation concern, suggests that some of the same larger tracts of land

  15. Using Risk Assessment and Habitat Suitability Models to Prioritise Invasive Species for Management in a Changing Climate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chai, Shauna-Lee; Zhang, Jian; Nixon, Amy; Nielsen, Scott

    2016-01-01

    Accounting for climate change in invasive species risk assessments improves our understanding of potential future impacts and enhances our preparedness for the arrival of new non-native species. We combined traditional risk assessment for invasive species with habitat suitability modeling to assess risk to biodiversity based on climate change. We demonstrate our method by assessing the risk for 15 potentially new invasive plant species to Alberta, Canada, an area where climate change is expected to facilitate the poleward expansion of invasive species ranges. Of the 15 species assessed, the three terrestrial invasive plant species that could pose the greatest threat to Alberta's biodiversity are giant knotweed (Fallopia sachalinensis), tamarisk (Tamarix chinensis), and alkali swainsonpea (Sphaerophysa salsula). We characterise giant knotweed as 'extremely invasive', with 21 times the suitable habitat between baseline and future projected climate. Tamarisk is 'extremely invasive' with a 64% increase in suitable habitat, and alkali swainsonpea is 'highly invasive' with a 21% increase in suitable habitat. Our methodology can be used to predict and prioritise potentially new invasive species for their impact on biodiversity in the context of climate change.

  16. Using Risk Assessment and Habitat Suitability Models to Prioritise Invasive Species for Management in a Changing Climate.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shauna-Lee Chai

    Full Text Available Accounting for climate change in invasive species risk assessments improves our understanding of potential future impacts and enhances our preparedness for the arrival of new non-native species. We combined traditional risk assessment for invasive species with habitat suitability modeling to assess risk to biodiversity based on climate change. We demonstrate our method by assessing the risk for 15 potentially new invasive plant species to Alberta, Canada, an area where climate change is expected to facilitate the poleward expansion of invasive species ranges. Of the 15 species assessed, the three terrestrial invasive plant species that could pose the greatest threat to Alberta's biodiversity are giant knotweed (Fallopia sachalinensis, tamarisk (Tamarix chinensis, and alkali swainsonpea (Sphaerophysa salsula. We characterise giant knotweed as 'extremely invasive', with 21 times the suitable habitat between baseline and future projected climate. Tamarisk is 'extremely invasive' with a 64% increase in suitable habitat, and alkali swainsonpea is 'highly invasive' with a 21% increase in suitable habitat. Our methodology can be used to predict and prioritise potentially new invasive species for their impact on biodiversity in the context of climate change.

  17. Predicting Potential Changes in Suitable Habitat and Distribution by 2100 for Tree Species of the Eastern United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Louis R Iverson; Anantha M. Prasad; Mark W. Schwartz; Mark W. Schwartz

    2005-01-01

    We predict current distribution and abundance for tree species present in eastern North America, and subsequently estimate potential suitable habitat for those species under a changed climate with 2 x CO2. We used a series of statistical models (i.e., Regression Tree Analysis (RTA), Multivariate Adaptive Regression Splines (MARS), Bagging Trees (...

  18. Using low-cost drones to map malaria vector habitats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hardy, Andy; Makame, Makame; Cross, Dónall; Majambere, Silas; Msellem, Mwinyi

    2017-01-14

    There is a growing awareness that if we are to achieve the ambitious goal of malaria elimination, we must compliment indoor-based vector control interventions (such as bednets and indoor spraying) with outdoor-based interventions such as larval source management (LSM). The effectiveness of LSM is limited by our capacity to identify and map mosquito aquatic habitats. This study provides a proof of concept for the use of a low-cost (drone (DJI Phantom) for mapping water bodies in seven sites across Zanzibar including natural water bodies, irrigated and non-irrigated rice paddies, peri-urban and urban locations. With flying times of less than 30 min for each site, high-resolution (7 cm) georeferenced images were successfully generated for each of the seven sites, covering areas up to 30 ha. Water bodies were readily identifiable in the imagery, as well as ancillary information for planning LSM activities (access routes to water bodies by road and foot) and public health management (e.g. identification of drinking water sources, mapping individual households and the nature of their construction). The drone-based surveys carried out in this study provide a low-cost and flexible solution to mapping water bodies for operational dissemination of LSM initiatives in mosquito vector-borne disease elimination campaigns. Generated orthomosaics can also be used to provide vital information for other public health planning activities.

  19. Mapping Suitable Sites for Setting up Wind Farms: A Case Study of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Mapping Suitable Sites for Setting up Wind Farms: A Case Study of Nyanga District. ... Ethiopian Journal of Environmental Studies and Management ... sources and continuous power shortages make wind energy a very attractive alternative to ...

  20. SPATIAL DATA MINING TOOLBOX FOR MAPPING SUITABILITY OF LANDFILL SITES USING NEURAL NETWORKS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. K. M. Abujayyab

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Mapping the suitability of landfill sites is a complex field and is involved with multidiscipline. The purpose of this research is to create an ArcGIS spatial data mining toolbox for mapping the suitability of landfill sites at a regional scale using neural networks. The toolbox is constructed from six sub-tools to prepare, train, and process data. The employment of the toolbox is straightforward. The multilayer perceptron (MLP neural networks structure with a backpropagation learning algorithm is used. The dataset is mined from the north states in Malaysia. A total of 14 criteria are utilized to build the training dataset. The toolbox provides a platform for decision makers to implement neural networks for mapping the suitability of landfill sites in the ArcGIS environment. The result shows the ability of the toolbox to produce suitability maps for landfill sites.

  1. Integrating animal movement with habitat suitability for estimating dynamic landscape connectivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Toor, Mariëlle L.; Kranstauber, Bart; Newman, Scott H.; Prosser, Diann J.; Takekawa, John Y.; Technitis, Georgios; Weibel, Robert; Wikelski, Martin; Safi, Kamran

    2018-01-01

    Context High-resolution animal movement data are becoming increasingly available, yet having a multitude of empirical trajectories alone does not allow us to easily predict animal movement. To answer ecological and evolutionary questions at a population level, quantitative estimates of a species’ potential to link patches or populations are of importance. Objectives We introduce an approach that combines movement-informed simulated trajectories with an environment-informed estimate of the trajectories’ plausibility to derive connectivity. Using the example of bar-headed geese we estimated migratory connectivity at a landscape level throughout the annual cycle in their native range. Methods We used tracking data of bar-headed geese to develop a multi-state movement model and to estimate temporally explicit habitat suitability within the species’ range. We simulated migratory movements between range fragments, and calculated a measure we called route viability. The results are compared to expectations derived from published literature. Results Simulated migrations matched empirical trajectories in key characteristics such as stopover duration. The viability of the simulated trajectories was similar to that of the empirical trajectories. We found that, overall, the migratory connectivity was higher within the breeding than in wintering areas, corroborating previous findings for this species. Conclusions We show how empirical tracking data and environmental information can be fused for meaningful predictions of animal movements throughout the year and even outside the spatial range of the available data. Beyond predicting migratory connectivity, our framework will prove useful for modelling ecological processes facilitated by animal movement, such as seed dispersal or disease ecology.

  2. Ecological Flow Assessment to Improve the Spawning Habitat for the Four Major Species of Carp of the Yangtze River: A Study on Habitat Suitability Based on Ultrasonic Telemetry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lixiong Yu

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Four major species of Chinese carp, namely black carp (Mylopharyngodon piceus, grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idellus, silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix and bighead carp (Hypophthalmichthys nobilis, are important economic freshwater fish varieties in China. They primarily inhabit and breed in the Yangtze River. Unfortunately, the construction and operation of the Gezhouba Dam and the Three Gorges Dam have dramatically changed the hydrodynamic conditions in the middle reaches of the Yangtze River, leading to a sharp decline in the reproduction rates of these carp. The egg abundance of the four species of carp downstream from the Three Gorges Dam reached 8.35 billion in 1965, but abundance during 2005–2012 was only 0.25 billion. One of the main reasons was that the hydrodynamic conditions of the spawning ground could not meet the four species’ breeding requirements. However, due to the limitations of traditional detection tools, the spawning characteristics of these four species of carp were still unclear. In this study, the ultrasonic telemetry and a three–dimensional hydrodynamic model were utilized to build the habitat suitability index (HSI curves for the four species of carp. The habitat suitability model was then built based on HSI curves to assess spawning habitat quantity under different flow conditions. Finally, the habitat suitability model in the Yidu spawning ground was validated using 32 groups of sampling data in 2015 and 2017. The statistical results showed that the most suitable velocity ranged from 0.78 m/s to 0.93 m/s. The most suitable water depth ranged from 14.56 m to 16.35 m, and the most suitable Froude number ranged from 0.049 to 0.129. The habitat suitability model simulation results indicated that when the discharge was between 15,000 m3/s and 21,300 m3/s, the weighted usable area (WUA values in both the Yidu and Zhicheng spawning grounds would remain at a high level. The validation results showed that most

  3. Spatial modelling of Lutzomyia (Nyssomyia whitmani s.l. (Antunes & Coutinho, 1939 (Diptera: Psychodidae: Phlebotominae habitat suitability in the state of Mato Grosso, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter Zeilhofer

    2008-11-01

    Full Text Available Lutzomyia (Nyssomyia whitmani s.l.is the main vector of cutaneous leishmaniasis in state of Mato Grosso, but little is known about environmental determinants of its spatial distribution on a regional scale. Entomologic surveys of this sand fly species, conducted between 1996 and 2001 in 41 state municipalities, were used to investigate the relationships between environmental factors and the presence of the species, and to develop a spatial model of habitat suitability. The relationship between averaged CDC light trap indexes and 15 environmental and socio-economic factors were tested by logistic regression (LR analysis. Spatial layers of deforestation tax and the Brazilian index of gross net production (IGNP were identified as significant explanatory variables for vector presence in the LR model, and these were then overlaid with habitat maps. The highest habitat suitability in 2001 was obtained for the heavily deforested areas in the Central-North, South, East, and Southwest of Mato Grosso, particularly in municipalities with lower IGNP values.

  4. Linking population viability, habitat suitability, and landscape simulation models for conservation planning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michael A. Larson; Frank R., III Thompson; Joshua J. Millspaugh; William D. Dijak; Stephen R. Shifley

    2004-01-01

    Methods for habitat modeling based on landscape simulations and population viability modeling based on habitat quality are well developed, but no published study of which we are aware has effectively joined them in a single, comprehensive analysis. We demonstrate the application of a population viability model for ovenbirds (Seiurus aurocapillus)...

  5. Using forest inventory data to assess fisher resting habitat suitability in California.

    Science.gov (United States)

    William J. Zielinski; Richard L. Truex; Jeffrey R. Dunk; Tom Gaman

    2006-01-01

    The fisher (Martes pennanti) is a forest-dwelling carnivore whose current distribution and association with late-seral forest conditions make it vulnerable to stand-altering human activities or natural disturbances. Fishers select a variety of structures for daily resting bouts. These habitat elements, together with foraging and reproductive (denning) habitat,...

  6. Climate and air pollution impacts on habitat suitability of Austrian forest ecosystems.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dirnböck, Thomas; Djukic, Ika; Kitzler, Barbara; Kobler, Johannes; Mol-Dijkstra, Janet P; Posch, Max; Reinds, Gert Jan; Schlutow, Angela; Starlinger, Franz; Wamelink, Wieger G W

    2017-01-01

    Climate change and excess deposition of airborne nitrogen (N) are among the main stressors to floristic biodiversity. One particular concern is the deterioration of valuable habitats such as those protected under the European Habitat Directive. In future, climate-driven shifts (and losses) in the

  7. Climate and air pollution impacts on habitat suitability of Austrian forest ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dirnböck, Thomas; Djukic, Ika; Kitzler, Barbara; Kobler, Johannes; Mol, Janet; Posch, Max; Reinds, Gert Jan; Schlutow, Angela; Starlinger, Franz; Wamelink, Wieger G.W.

    2017-01-01

    Climate change and excess deposition of airborne nitrogen (N) are among the main stressors to floristic biodiversity. One particular concern is the deterioration of valuable habitats such as those protected under the European Habitat Directive. In future, climate-driven shifts (and losses) in the

  8. Using population viability analysis, genomics, and habitat suitability to forecast future population patterns of Little Owl Athene noctua across Europe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andersen, Line Holm; Sunde, Peter; Pellegrino, Irene; Loeschcke, Volker; Pertoldi, Cino

    2017-12-01

    The agricultural scene has changed over the past decades, resulting in a declining population trend in many species. It is therefore important to determine the factors that the individual species depend on in order to understand their decline. The landscape changes have also resulted in habitat fragmentation, turning once continuous populations into metapopulations. It is thus increasingly important to estimate both the number of individuals it takes to create a genetically viable population and the population trend. Here, population viability analysis and habitat suitability modeling were used to estimate population viability and future prospects across Europe of the Little Owl Athene noctua , a widespread species associated with agricultural landscapes. The results show a high risk of population declines over the coming 100 years, especially toward the north of Europe, whereas populations toward the southeastern part of Europe have a greater probability of persistence. In order to be considered genetically viable, individual populations must count 1,000-30,000 individuals. As Little Owl populations of several countries count <30,000, and many isolated populations in northern Europe count <1,000 individuals, management actions resulting in exchange of individuals between populations or even countries are probably necessary to prevent losing <1% genetic diversity over a 100-year period. At a continental scale, a habitat suitability analysis suggested Little Owl to be affected positively by increasing temperatures and urban areas, whereas an increased tree cover, an increasing annual rainfall, grassland, and sparsely vegetated areas affect the presence of the owl negatively. However, the low predictive power of the habitat suitability model suggests that habitat suitability might be better explained at a smaller scale.

  9. Pan-Arctic sea ice-algal chl a biomass and suitable habitat are largely underestimated for multiyear ice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lange, Benjamin A; Flores, Hauke; Michel, Christine; Beckers, Justin F; Bublitz, Anne; Casey, John Alec; Castellani, Giulia; Hatam, Ido; Reppchen, Anke; Rudolph, Svenja A; Haas, Christian

    2017-11-01

    There is mounting evidence that multiyear ice (MYI) is a unique component of the Arctic Ocean and may play a more important ecological role than previously assumed. This study improves our understanding of the potential of MYI as a suitable habitat for sea ice algae on a pan-Arctic scale. We sampled sea ice cores from MYI and first-year sea ice (FYI) within the Lincoln Sea during four consecutive spring seasons. This included four MYI hummocks with a mean chl a biomass of 2.0 mg/m 2 , a value significantly higher than FYI and MYI refrozen ponds. Our results support the hypothesis that MYI hummocks can host substantial ice-algal biomass and represent a reliable ice-algal habitat due to the (quasi-) permanent low-snow surface of these features. We identified an ice-algal habitat threshold value for calculated light transmittance of 0.014%. Ice classes and coverage of suitable ice-algal habitat were determined from snow and ice surveys. These ice classes and associated coverage of suitable habitat were applied to pan-Arctic CryoSat-2 snow and ice thickness data products. This habitat classification accounted for the variability of the snow and ice properties and showed an areal coverage of suitable ice-algal habitat within the MYI-covered region of 0.54 million km 2 (8.5% of total ice area). This is 27 times greater than the areal coverage of 0.02 million km 2 (0.3% of total ice area) determined using the conventional block-model classification, which assigns single-parameter values to each grid cell and does not account for subgrid cell variability. This emphasizes the importance of accounting for variable snow and ice conditions in all sea ice studies. Furthermore, our results indicate the loss of MYI will also mean the loss of reliable ice-algal habitat during spring when food is sparse and many organisms depend on ice-algae. © 2017 The Authors. Global Change Biology Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  10. Prospects for population expansion of the exotic aoudad (Ammotragus lervia; Bovidae) in the Iberian Peninsula: clues from habitat suitability modelling

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cassinello, Jorge; Acevedo, Pelayo; Hortal, Joaquín

    2006-01-01

    We studied the geographical distribution and habitat suitability of an introduced ungulate, the aoudad (Ammotragus lervia), that is currently expanding its range in south-eastern Iberian Peninsula. We assessed the niche of the species using Ecological Niche Factor Analysis (ENFA) on (1......) environmental variables (climate and habitat type), and (2) potential aoudad landscape avoidance and human disturbance variables. We compared both niche descriptions to study the impact of human interference on niche selection of the species. ENFA models were calibrated using data on the population expanded...

  11. Suitability assessment and mapping of Oyo State, Nigeria, for rice cultivation using GIS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ayoade, Modupe Alake

    2017-08-01

    Rice is one of the most preferred food crops in Nigeria. However, local rice production has declined with the oil boom of the 1970s causing demand to outstrip supply. Rice production can be increased through the integration of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and crop-land suitability analysis and mapping. Based on the key predictor variables that determine rice yield mentioned in relevant literature, data on rainfall, temperature, relative humidity, slope, and soil of Oyo state were obtained. To develop rice suitability maps for the state, two MCE-GIS techniques, namely the Overlay approach and weighted linear combination (WLC), using fuzzy AHP were used and compared. A Boolean land use map derived from a landsat imagery was used in masking out areas currently unavailable for rice production. Both suitability maps were classified into four categories of very suitable, suitable, moderate, and fairly moderate. Although the maps differ slightly, the overlay and WLC (AHP) approach found most parts of Oyo state (51.79 and 82.9 % respectively) to be moderately suitable for rice production. However, in areas like Eruwa, Oyo, and Shaki, rainfall amount received needs to be supplemented by irrigation for increased rice yield.

  12. Mapping habitat for multiple species in the Desert Southwest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Inman, Richard D.; Nussear, Kenneth E.; Esque, Todd C.; Vandergast, Amy G.; Hathaway, Stacie A.; Wood, Dustin A.; Barr, Kelly R.; Fisher, Robert N.

    2014-01-01

    Many utility scale renewable energy projects are currently proposed across the Mojave Ecoregion. Agencies that manage biological resources throughout this region need to understand the potential impacts of these renewable energy projects and their associated infrastructure (for example, transmission corridors, substations, access roads, etc.) on species movement, genetic exchange among populations, and species’ abilities to adapt to changing environmental conditions. Understanding these factors will help managers’ select appropriate project sites and possibly mitigate for anticipated effects of management activities. We used species distribution models to map habitat for 15 species across the Mojave Ecoregion to aid regional land-use management planning. Models were developed using a common 1 × 1 kilometer resolution with maximum entropy and generalized additive models. Occurrence data were compiled from multiple sources, including VertNet (http://vertnet.org/), HerpNET (http://www.herpnet.org), and MaNIS (http://manisnet.org), as well as from internal U.S. Geological Survey databases and other biologists. Background data included 20 environmental covariates representing terrain, vegetation, and climate covariates. This report summarizes these environmental covariates and species distribution models used to predict habitat for the 15 species across the Mojave Ecoregion.

  13. Shifts in the suitable habitat available for brown trout (Salmo trutta L.) under short-term climate change scenarios.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz-Mas, R; Lopez-Nicolas, A; Martínez-Capel, F; Pulido-Velazquez, M

    2016-02-15

    The impact of climate change on the habitat suitability for large brown trout (Salmo trutta L.) was studied in a segment of the Cabriel River (Iberian Peninsula). The future flow and water temperature patterns were simulated at a daily time step with M5 models' trees (NSE of 0.78 and 0.97 respectively) for two short-term scenarios (2011-2040) under the representative concentration pathways (RCP 4.5 and 8.5). An ensemble of five strongly regularized machine learning techniques (generalized additive models, multilayer perceptron ensembles, random forests, support vector machines and fuzzy rule base systems) was used to model the microhabitat suitability (depth, velocity and substrate) during summertime and to evaluate several flows simulated with River2D©. The simulated flow rate and water temperature were combined with the microhabitat assessment to infer bivariate habitat duration curves (BHDCs) under historical conditions and climate change scenarios using either the weighted usable area (WUA) or the Boolean-based suitable area (SA). The forecasts for both scenarios jointly predicted a significant reduction in the flow rate and an increase in water temperature (mean rate of change of ca. -25% and +4% respectively). The five techniques converged on the modelled suitability and habitat preferences; large brown trout selected relatively high flow velocity, large depth and coarse substrate. However, the model developed with support vector machines presented a significantly trimmed output range (max.: 0.38), and thus its predictions were banned from the WUA-based analyses. The BHDCs based on the WUA and the SA broadly matched, indicating an increase in the number of days with less suitable habitat available (WUA and SA) and/or with higher water temperature (trout will endure impoverished environmental conditions ca. 82% of the days). Finally, our results suggested the potential extirpation of the species from the study site during short time spans. Copyright © 2015

  14. Bioclimatic predictions of habitat suitability for the biofuel switchgrass in North America under current and future climate scenarios

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Barney, Jacob N.; DiTomaso, Joseph M.

    2010-01-01

    Dedicated biofuel crops, while providing economic and other benefits, may adversely impact biodiversity directly via land use conversion, or indirectly via creation of novel invasive species. To mitigate negative impacts bioclimatic envelope models (BEM) can be used to estimate the potential distribution and suitable habitat based on the climate and distribution in the native range. We used CLIMEX to evaluate the regions of North America suitable for agronomic production, as well as regions potentially susceptible to an invasion of switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) under both current and future climate scenarios. Model results show that >8.7 million km 2 of North America has suitable to very favorable habitat, most of which occurs east of the Rocky Mountains. The non-native range of western North America is largely unsuitable to switchgrass as a crop or potential weed unless irrigation or permanent water is available. Under both the CGCM2 and HadCM3 climate models and A2 and B2 emissions scenarios, an overall increase in suitable habitat is predicted over the coming century, although the western US remains unsuitable. Our results suggest that much of North America is suitable for switchgrass cultivation, although this is likely to shift north in the coming century. Our results also agree with field collections of switchgrass outside its native range, which indicate that switchgrass is unlikely to establish unless it has access to water throughout the year (e.g., along a stream). Thus, it is the potential invasion of switchgrass into riparian habitats in the West that requires further investigation. (author)

  15. CRED Integrated Benthic Habitat Map for French Frigate Shoals, Northwestern Hawaiian Islands 2007

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This is an integrated benthic habitat map system which consists of a number of separate map layers including multibeam bathymetry, acoustic backscatter imagery,...

  16. CRED Integrated Benthic Habitat Map for Tutuila Island, American Samoa Year 2007

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This is an integrated benthic habitat map system which consists of a number of separate map layers including multibeam bathymetry, digital NOAA nautical charts,...

  17. Production of fiberglass/metal composite material suitable for building habitat and manufacturing facilities

    Science.gov (United States)

    1987-01-01

    The production of a fiberglass/metal composite material suitable for building habitats and manufacturing facilities was the project for Clemson. The concept and development of the knowledge necessary to produce glass fibers originated in the spring semester. During the summer, while at Johnson Space Center, fiberglass from a rock composition similar to ones found at the Apollo 16 site on the moon was successfully produced. The project this year was a continuation of last year's studies. We addressed the following problems which emerged as the work progressed: (1) Methods for coating the fibers with a metal were explored. We manufactured composites in two stages: Glass fibers without any coating on them; and fibers coated with metals as they were made. This proved to be a difficult process. Future activities include using a chemical vapor deposition process on fibers which have been made. (2) A glass furnace was developed which relies primarily on solar energy for melting the glass. The temperature of the melted glass is maintained by electrical means. The design is for 250 kg of glass per day. An electrical engineering student developed a scheme for controlling the melting and manufacturing process from the earth. This was done to minimize the human risk. Graphite refractories are relied on to contain the melt. (3) The glass composition chosen for the project is a relatively pure anorthite which is available in the highland regions of the lunar surface. A major problems with this material is that it melts at a comparatively high temperature. This problem will be solved by using graphite refractory materials for the furnace. The advantage of this glass composition is that it is very stable and does not tend to crystallize. (4) We have also refined the experimental furnace and fiber making machinery which we will be using at Johnson Space Center this summer. We believe that we will be able to draw and coat glass fibers in a vacuum for use in composites. We intend to

  18. Evaluating methods to establish habitat suitability criteria: A case study in the upper Delaware River Basin, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galbraith, Heather S.; Blakeslee, Carrie J.; Cole, Jeffrey C.; Talbert, Colin; Maloney, Kelly O.

    2016-01-01

    Defining habitat suitability criteria (HSC) of aquatic biota can be a key component to environmental flow science. HSC can be developed through numerous methods; however, few studies have evaluated the consistency of HSC developed by different methodologies. We directly compared HSC for depth and velocity developed by the Delphi method (expert opinion) and by two primary literature meta-analyses (literature-derived range and interquartile range) to assess whether these independent methods produce analogous criteria for multiple species (rainbow trout, brown trout, American shad, and shallow fast guild) and life stages. We further evaluated how these two independently developed HSC affect calculations of habitat availability under three alternative reservoir management scenarios in the upper Delaware River at a mesohabitat (main channel, stream margins, and flood plain), reach, and basin scale. In general, literature-derived HSC fell within the range of the Delphi HSC, with highest congruence for velocity habitat. Habitat area predicted using the Delphi HSC fell between the habitat area predicted using two literature-derived HSC, both at the basin and the site scale. Predicted habitat increased in shallow regions (stream margins and flood plain) using literature-derived HSC while Delphi-derived HSC predicted increased channel habitat. HSC generally favoured the same reservoir management scenario; however, no favoured reservoir management scenario was the most common outcome when applying the literature range HSC. The differences found in this study lend insight into how different methodologies can shape HSC and their consequences for predicted habitat and water management decisions. Published 2016. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

  19. The evolution of mapping habitat for northern spotted owls (Strix occidentalis caurina): A comparison of photo-interpreted, Landsat-based, and lidar-based habitat maps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ackers, Steven H.; Davis, Raymond J.; Olsen, K.; Dugger, Catherine

    2015-01-01

    Wildlife habitat mapping has evolved at a rapid pace over the last few decades. Beginning with simple, often subjective, hand-drawn maps, habitat mapping now involves complex species distribution models (SDMs) using mapped predictor variables derived from remotely sensed data. For species that inhabit large geographic areas, remote sensing technology is often essential for producing range wide maps. Habitat monitoring for northern spotted owls (Strix occidentalis caurina), whose geographic covers about 23 million ha, is based on SDMs that use Landsat Thematic Mapper imagery to create forest vegetation data layers using gradient nearest neighbor (GNN) methods. Vegetation data layers derived from GNN are modeled relationships between forest inventory plot data, climate and topographic data, and the spectral signatures acquired by the satellite. When used as predictor variables for SDMs, there is some transference of the GNN modeling error to the final habitat map.Recent increases in the use of light detection and ranging (lidar) data, coupled with the need to produce spatially accurate and detailed forest vegetation maps have spurred interest in its use for SDMs and habitat mapping. Instead of modeling predictor variables from remotely sensed spectral data, lidar provides direct measurements of vegetation height for use in SDMs. We expect a SDM habitat map produced from directly measured predictor variables to be more accurate than one produced from modeled predictors.We used maximum entropy (Maxent) SDM modeling software to compare predictive performance and estimates of habitat area between Landsat-based and lidar-based northern spotted owl SDMs and habitat maps. We explored the differences and similarities between these maps, and to a pre-existing aerial photo-interpreted habitat map produced by local wildlife biologists. The lidar-based map had the highest predictive performance based on 10 bootstrapped replicate models (AUC = 0.809 ± 0.011), but the

  20. Multiscale habitat suitability index models for priority landbirds in the Central Hardwoods and West Gulf Coastal Plain/Ouachitas Bird Conservation Regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    John M. Tirpak; D. Todd Jones-Farrand; Frank R., III Thompson; Daniel J. Twedt; William B., III Uihlein

    2009-01-01

    Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) models were developed to assess habitat quality for 40 priority bird species in the Central Hardwoods and West Gulf Coastal Plain/Ouachitas Bird Conservation Regions. The models incorporated both site and landscape environmental variables from one of six nationally consistent datasets. Potential habitat was first defined from unique...

  1. Re-establishing the pecking order: Niche models reliably predict suitable habitats for the reintroduction of red-billed oxpeckers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalle, Riddhika; Combrink, Leigh; Ramesh, Tharmalingam; Downs, Colleen T

    2017-03-01

    Distributions of avian mutualists are affected by changes in biotic interactions and environmental conditions driven directly/indirectly by human actions. The range contraction of red-billed oxpeckers ( Buphagus erythrorhynchus ) in South Africa is partly a result of the widespread use of acaracides (i.e., mainly cattle dips), toxic to both ticks and oxpeckers. We predicted the habitat suitability of red-billed oxpeckers in South Africa using ensemble models to assist the ongoing reintroduction efforts and to identify new reintroduction sites for population recovery. The distribution of red-billed oxpeckers was influenced by moderate to high tree cover, woodland habitats, and starling density (a proxy for cavity-nesting birds) with regard to nest-site characteristics. Consumable resources (host and tick density), bioclimate, surface water body density, and proximity to protected areas were other influential predictors. Our models estimated 42,576.88-98,506.98 km 2 of highly suitable habitat (0.5-1) covering the majority of Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North West, a substantial portion of northern KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) and the Gauteng Province. Niche models reliably predicted suitable habitat in 40%-61% of the reintroduction sites where breeding is currently successful. Ensemble, boosted regression trees and generalized additive models predicted few suitable areas in the Eastern Cape and south of KZN that are part of the historic range. A few southern areas in the Northern Cape, outside the historic range, also had suitable sites predicted. Our models are a promising decision support tool for guiding reintroduction programs at macroscales. Apart from active reintroductions, conservation programs should encourage farmers and/or landowners to use oxpecker-compatible agrochemicals and set up adequate nest boxes to facilitate the population recovery of the red-billed oxpecker, particularly in human-modified landscapes. To ensure long-term conservation success, we suggest that

  2. Modeling suitable habitat of invasive red lionfish Pterois volitans (Linnaeus, 1758) in North and South America’s coastal waters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evangelista, Paul H.; Young, Nicholas E.; Schofield, Pamela J.; Jarnevich, Catherine S.

    2016-01-01

    We used two common correlative species-distribution models to predict suitable habitat of invasive red lionfish Pterois volitans (Linnaeus, 1758) in the western Atlantic and eastern Pacific Oceans. The Generalized Linear Model (GLM) and the Maximum Entropy (Maxent) model were applied using the Software for Assisted Habitat Modeling. We compared models developed using native occurrences, using non-native occurrences, and using both native and non-native occurrences. Models were trained using occurrence data collected before 2010 and evaluated with occurrence data collected from the invaded range during or after 2010. We considered a total of 22 marine environmental variables. Models built with non-native only or both native and non-native occurrence data outperformed those that used only native occurrences. Evaluation metrics based on the independent test data were highest for models that used both native and non-native occurrences. Bathymetry was the strongest environmental predictor for all models and showed increasing suitability as ocean floor depth decreased, with salinity ranking the second strongest predictor for models that used native and both native and non-native occurrences, indicating low habitat suitability for salinities lionfish could continue to invade southern latitudes in the western Atlantic Ocean and may establish localized populations in the eastern Pacific Ocean. We reiterate the importance in the choice of the training data source (native, non-native, or native/non-native) used to develop correlative species distribution models for invasive species.

  3. Defining landscape resistance values in least-cost connectivity models for the invasive grey squirrel: a comparison of approaches using expert-opinion and habitat suitability modelling.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claire D Stevenson-Holt

    Full Text Available Least-cost models are widely used to study the functional connectivity of habitat within a varied landscape matrix. A critical step in the process is identifying resistance values for each land cover based upon the facilitating or impeding impact on species movement. Ideally resistance values would be parameterised with empirical data, but due to a shortage of such information, expert-opinion is often used. However, the use of expert-opinion is seen as subjective, human-centric and unreliable. This study derived resistance values from grey squirrel habitat suitability models (HSM in order to compare the utility and validity of this approach with more traditional, expert-led methods. Models were built and tested with MaxEnt, using squirrel presence records and a categorical land cover map for Cumbria, UK. Predictions on the likelihood of squirrel occurrence within each land cover type were inverted, providing resistance values which were used to parameterise a least-cost model. The resulting habitat networks were measured and compared to those derived from a least-cost model built with previously collated information from experts. The expert-derived and HSM-inferred least-cost networks differ in precision. The HSM-informed networks were smaller and more fragmented because of the higher resistance values attributed to most habitats. These results are discussed in relation to the applicability of both approaches for conservation and management objectives, providing guidance to researchers and practitioners attempting to apply and interpret a least-cost approach to mapping ecological networks.

  4. Defining landscape resistance values in least-cost connectivity models for the invasive grey squirrel: a comparison of approaches using expert-opinion and habitat suitability modelling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stevenson-Holt, Claire D; Watts, Kevin; Bellamy, Chloe C; Nevin, Owen T; Ramsey, Andrew D

    2014-01-01

    Least-cost models are widely used to study the functional connectivity of habitat within a varied landscape matrix. A critical step in the process is identifying resistance values for each land cover based upon the facilitating or impeding impact on species movement. Ideally resistance values would be parameterised with empirical data, but due to a shortage of such information, expert-opinion is often used. However, the use of expert-opinion is seen as subjective, human-centric and unreliable. This study derived resistance values from grey squirrel habitat suitability models (HSM) in order to compare the utility and validity of this approach with more traditional, expert-led methods. Models were built and tested with MaxEnt, using squirrel presence records and a categorical land cover map for Cumbria, UK. Predictions on the likelihood of squirrel occurrence within each land cover type were inverted, providing resistance values which were used to parameterise a least-cost model. The resulting habitat networks were measured and compared to those derived from a least-cost model built with previously collated information from experts. The expert-derived and HSM-inferred least-cost networks differ in precision. The HSM-informed networks were smaller and more fragmented because of the higher resistance values attributed to most habitats. These results are discussed in relation to the applicability of both approaches for conservation and management objectives, providing guidance to researchers and practitioners attempting to apply and interpret a least-cost approach to mapping ecological networks.

  5. The Invasive Species Forecasting System (ISFS): An iRODS-Based, Cloud-Enabled Decision Support System for Invasive Species Habitat Suitability Modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gill, Roger; Schnase, John L.

    2012-01-01

    The Invasive Species Forecasting System (ISFS) is an online decision support system that allows users to load point occurrence field sample data for a plant species of interest and quickly generate habitat suitability maps for geographic regions of interest, such as a national park, monument, forest, or refuge. Target customers for ISFS are natural resource managers and decision makers who have a need for scientifically valid, model- based predictions of the habitat suitability of plant species of management concern. In a joint project involving NASA and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, ISFS has been used to model the potential distribution of Wavyleaf Basketgrass in Maryland's Chesapeake Bay Watershed. Maximum entropy techniques are used to generate predictive maps using predictor datasets derived from remotely sensed data and climate simulation outputs. The workflow to run a model is implemented in an iRODS microservice using a custom ISFS file driver that clips and re-projects data to geographic regions of interest, then shells out to perform MaxEnt processing on the input data. When the model completes, all output files and maps from the model run are registered in iRODS and made accessible to the user. The ISFS user interface is a web browser that uses the iRODS PHP client to interact with the ISFS/iRODS- server. ISFS is designed to reside in a VMware virtual machine running SLES 11 and iRODS 3.0. The ISFS virtual machine is hosted in a VMware vSphere private cloud infrastructure to deliver the online service.

  6. Projected future suitable habitat and productivity of Douglas-fir in western North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aaron R. Weiskittel; Nicholas L. Crookston; Gerald E. Rehfeldt

    2012-01-01

    Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii [Mirb.] Franco) is one of the most common and commercially important species in western North America. The species can occupy a range of habitats, is long-lived (up to 500 years), and highly productive. However, the future of Douglas-fir in western North America is highly uncertain due to the expected changes in climate conditions....

  7. Asian elephants in China: estimating population size and evaluating habitat suitability.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li Zhang

    Full Text Available We monitored the last remaining Asian elephant populations in China over the past decade. Using DNA tools and repeat genotyping, we estimated the population sizes from 654 dung samples collected from various areas. Combined with morphological individual identifications from over 6,300 elephant photographs taken in the wild, we estimated that the total Asian elephant population size in China is between 221 and 245. Population genetic structure and diversity were examined using a 556-bp fragment of mitochondrial DNA, and 24 unique haplotypes were detected from DNA analysis of 178 individuals. A phylogenetic analysis revealed two highly divergent clades of Asian elephants, α and β, present in Chinese populations. Four populations (Mengla, Shangyong, Mengyang, and Pu'Er carried mtDNA from the α clade, and only one population (Nangunhe carried mtDNA belonging to the β clade. Moreover, high genetic divergence was observed between the Nangunhe population and the other four populations; however, genetic diversity among the five populations was low, possibly due to limited gene flow because of habitat fragmentation. The expansion of rubber plantations, crop cultivation, and villages along rivers and roads had caused extensive degradation of natural forest in these areas. This had resulted in the loss and fragmentation of elephant habitats and had formed artificial barriers that inhibited elephant migration. Using Geographic Information System, Global Positioning System, and Remote Sensing technology, we found that the area occupied by rubber plantations, tea farms, and urban settlements had dramatically increased over the past 40 years, resulting in the loss and fragmentation of elephant habitats and forming artificial barriers that inhibit elephant migration. The restoration of ecological corridors to facilitate gene exchange among isolated elephant populations and the establishment of cross-boundary protected areas between China and Laos to secure

  8. Habitat suitability models of mountain ungulates: identifying potential areas for conservation

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Paudel, Prakash K.; Hais, M.; Kindlmann, Pavel

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 54, apr (2015), s. 37 ISSN 1021-5506 R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) LO1415; GA MŠk LC06073; GA ČR GB14-36098G Institutional support: RVO:67179843 Keywords : capricornis thar * habitat model * Midhills * Muntiacus muntjak * Naemorhedus goral * Nepal Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 0.885, year: 2015

  9. Modelling and mapping the suitability of European forest formations at 1-km resolution

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Casalegno, Stefano; Amatulli, Giuseppe; Bastrup-Birk, Annemarie

    2011-01-01

    factors. Here, we used the bootstrap-aggregating machine-learning ensemble classifier Random Forest (RF) to derive a 1-km resolution European forest formation suitability map. The statistical model use as inputs more than 6,000 field data forest inventory plots and a large set of environmental variables...

  10. Selection of Non Mapping Sciences Journals Suitable for Publishing Mapping Sciences Topics

    OpenAIRE

    Frančula, Nedjeljko; Lapaine, Miljenko; Stojanovski, Jadranka

    2013-01-01

    In Croatia, for career advancement in technical sciences, including then field of mapping sciences (in Croatian geodezija), it is necessary to publish a number of papers in journals indexed in Science Citation Index Expanded or Current Contents databases, whereby a certain number of papers have to be published in journals with impact factor (JIF) higher than the median of the subject category in which they are listed in the Journal Citation Reports database. Since these databases index 17 map...

  11. Abundance and Distribution Patterns of Thunnus albacares in Isla del Coco National Park through Predictive Habitat Suitability Models.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cristina Gonzáles-Andrés

    Full Text Available Information on the distribution and habitat preferences of ecologically and commercially important species is essential for their management and protection. This is especially important as climate change, pollution, and overfishing change the structure and functioning of pelagic ecosystems. In this study, we used Bayesian hierarchical spatial-temporal models to map the Essential Fish Habitats of the Yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares in the waters around Isla del Coco National Park, Pacific Costa Rica, based on independent underwater observations from 1993 to 2013. We assessed if observed changes in the distribution and abundance of this species are related with habitat characteristics, fishing intensity or more extreme climatic events, including the El Niño Southern Oscillation, and changes on the average sea surface temperature. Yellowfin tuna showed a decreasing abundance trend in the sampled period, whereas higher abundances were found in shallow and warmer waters, with high concentration of chlorophyll-a, and in surrounding seamounts. In addition, El Niño Southern Oscillation events did not seem to affect Yellowfin tuna distribution and abundance. Understanding the habitat preferences of this species, using approaches as the one developed here, may help design integrated programs for more efficient management of vulnerable species.

  12. Marine habitat mapping, classification and monitoring in the coastal North Sea: Scientific vs. stakeholder interests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hass, H. Christian; Mielck, Finn; Papenmeier, Svenja; Fiorentino, Dario

    2016-04-01

    Producing detailed maps of the seafloor that include both, water depth and simple textural characteristics has always been a challenge to scientists. In this context, marine habitat maps are an essential tool to comprehend the complexity, the spatial distribution and the ecological status of different seafloor types. The increasing need for more detail demands additional information on the texture of the sediment, bedforms and information on benthic sessile life. For long time, taking samples and videos/photographs followed by interpolation over larger distances was the only feasible way to gain information about sedimentary features such as grain-size distribution and bedforms. While ground truthing is still necessary, swath systems such as multibeam echo sounders (MBES) and sidescan sonars (SSS), as well as single beam acoustic ground discrimination systems (AGDS) became available to map the seafloor area-wide (MBES, SSS), fast and in great detail. Where area-wide measurements are impossible or unavailable point measurements are interpolated, classified and modeled. To keep pace with environmental change in the highly dynamic coastal areas of the North Sea (here: German Bight) monitoring that utilizes all of the mentioned techniques is a necessity. Since monitoring of larger areas is quite expensive, concepts for monitoring strategies were developed in scientific projects such as "WIMO" ("Scientific monitoring concepts for the German Bight, SE North Sea"). While instrumentation becomes better and better and interdisciplinary methods are being developed, the gap between basic scientific interests and stakeholder needs often seem to move in opposite directions. There are two main tendencies: the need to better understand nature systems (for theoretical purposes) and the one to simplify nature (for applied purposes). Science trends to resolve the most detail in highest precision employing soft gradients and/or fuzzy borders instead of crisp demarcations and

  13. Present habitat suitability for Anopheles atroparvus (Diptera, Culicidae and its coincidence with former malaria areas in mainland Portugal

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    César Capinha

    2009-05-01

    Full Text Available Malaria was a major health problem in the first half of the 20th Century in mainland Portugal. Nowadays, although the disease is no longer endemic, there is still the risk of future endemic infections due to the continuous occurrence of imported cases and the possibility of transmission in the country by Anopheles atroparvus Van Thiel, 1927. Since vector abundance constitute one of the foremost factors in malaria transmission, we have created several habitat suitability models to describe this vector species’ current distribution. Three different correlative models; namely (i a multilayer perceptron artificial neural network (MLP-ANN; (ii binary logistic regression (BLR; and (iii Mahalanobis distance were used to combine the species records with a set of five environmental predictors. Kappa coefficient values from k-fold cross-validation records showed that binary logistic regression produced the best predictions, while the other two models also produced acceptable results. Therefore, in order to reduce uncertainty, the three suitability models were combined. The resulting model identified high suitability for An. atroparvus in the majority of the country with exception of the northern and central coastal areas. Malaria distribution during the last endemic period in the country was also compared with the combined suitability model, and a high degree of spatial agreement was obtained (kappa = 0.62. It was concluded that habitat suitability for malaria vectors can constitute valuable information on the assessment of several spatial attributes of the disease. In addition, the results suggest that the spatial distribution of An. atroparvus in the country remains very similar to the one known about seven decades ago.

  14. Quantitative workflow based on NN for weighting criteria in landfill suitability mapping

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abujayyab, Sohaib K. M.; Ahamad, Mohd Sanusi S.; Yahya, Ahmad Shukri; Ahmad, Siti Zubaidah; Alkhasawneh, Mutasem Sh.; Aziz, Hamidi Abdul

    2017-10-01

    Our study aims to introduce a new quantitative workflow that integrates neural networks (NNs) and multi criteria decision analysis (MCDA). Existing MCDA workflows reveal a number of drawbacks, because of the reliance on human knowledge in the weighting stage. Thus, new workflow presented to form suitability maps at the regional scale for solid waste planning based on NNs. A feed-forward neural network employed in the workflow. A total of 34 criteria were pre-processed to establish the input dataset for NN modelling. The final learned network used to acquire the weights of the criteria. Accuracies of 95.2% and 93.2% achieved for the training dataset and testing dataset, respectively. The workflow was found to be capable of reducing human interference to generate highly reliable maps. The proposed workflow reveals the applicability of NN in generating landfill suitability maps and the feasibility of integrating them with existing MCDA workflows.

  15. Habitat suitability of patch types: A case study of the Yosemite toad

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christina T. Liang; Thomas J. Stohlgren

    2011-01-01

    Understanding patch variability is crucial in understanding the spatial population structure of wildlife species, especially for rare or threatened species.We used a well-tested maximum entropy species distribution model (Maxent) to map the Yosemite toad (Anaxyrus (= Bufo) canorus) in the Sierra Nevada...

  16. Model output for deep-sea coral habitat suitability in the U.S. North and Mid-Atlantic from 2013 (NCEI Accession 0145923)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This dataset was created for potential use as an environmental predictor in spatial predictive models of deep-sea coral habitat suitability. Deep-sea corals are of...

  17. St. John Benthic Habitat Mapping - Moderate Depth Ground Validation Sites (Mean Locations)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Benthic habitats of the moderate-depth marine environment in and around the Virgin Islands Coral Reef National Monument were mapped using a combination of...

  18. Dominant Benthic Structure and Biological Cover Habitat Maps for West Maui and West Hawaii

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Benthic habitat maps depict dominant substrate type and biological cover in depths between 0 and ~150 m for two priority sites in the Main Hawaiian Islands; the NOAA...

  19. Ecotoxicological suitability of floodplain habitats in The Netherlands for the little owl (Athene noctua vidalli)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brink, N.W. van den; Groen, N.M.; Jonge, J. de; Bosveld, A.T.C.

    2003-01-01

    PCBs pose a risk to little owls from floodplain habitats. - This study describes the actual risks of exposure to contaminants, which little owls (Athene noctua vidalli) face in Dutch river floodplains. The results indicate that PCBs pose a risk: not only are levels in little owls from floodplains higher than levels found in little owls from a reference site but the PCB patterns in owls from the floodplains also indicate induction of hepatic cytochrome P450 enzymes by dioxin like compounds, possibly PCBs. Of the heavy metals, only cadmium is thought to pose a risk in certain conditions, for example, when little owls are feeding only on earthworms over a prolonged period of time. The results do not indicate any effects on the occurrence of prey items of the little owl like for instance earthworm, beetles and shrews. Hence, it is not expected that little owls will be affected by diminishing prey availability due to contamination

  20. Ecotoxicological suitability of floodplain habitats in The Netherlands for the little owl (Athene noctua vidalli)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brink, N.W. van den; Groen, N.M.; Jonge, J. de; Bosveld, A.T.C

    2003-03-01

    PCBs pose a risk to little owls from floodplain habitats. - This study describes the actual risks of exposure to contaminants, which little owls (Athene noctua vidalli) face in Dutch river floodplains. The results indicate that PCBs pose a risk: not only are levels in little owls from floodplains higher than levels found in little owls from a reference site but the PCB patterns in owls from the floodplains also indicate induction of hepatic cytochrome P450 enzymes by dioxin like compounds, possibly PCBs. Of the heavy metals, only cadmium is thought to pose a risk in certain conditions, for example, when little owls are feeding only on earthworms over a prolonged period of time. The results do not indicate any effects on the occurrence of prey items of the little owl like for instance earthworm, beetles and shrews. Hence, it is not expected that little owls will be affected by diminishing prey availability due to contamination.

  1. Assessing the Habitat Suitability of Dam Reservoirs: A Quantitative Model and Case Study of the Hantan River Dam, South Korea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hyeongsik Kang

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available The main objective of this study was to investigate ecologically healthy regions near a dam reservoir. This study developed a model for assessing habitat suitability as a proxy for the ecological value of reservoirs. Three main factors comprising nine assessment variables were selected and classified as having a habitat suitability (HS between 0 and 1: (1 geomorphic factors of altitude, slope steepness, and slope aspect; (2 vegetation factors of forest physiognomy, vegetation type, and tree age; and (3 ecological factors of land cover, ecological quality index, and environmental conservation value assessment. The spatial distribution of the nine HS indices was determined using geographic information systems and combined into one HS index value to determine ecologically healthy regions. The assessment model was applied to areas surrounding the Hantan River Dam, South Korea. To verify the model, wildlife location data from the national ecosystem survey of the Ministry of Environment were used. Areas with an HS index between 0.73 and 1 were found to contain 72% of observed wildlife locations. Ecologically healthy areas were identified by adding the indices of each variable. The methods shown here will be useful for establishing ecological restoration plans for dam reservoirs in South Korea.

  2. Deep-sea benthic megafaunal habitat suitability modelling: A global-scale maximum entropy model for xenophyophores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashford, Oliver S.; Davies, Andrew J.; Jones, Daniel O. B.

    2014-12-01

    Xenophyophores are a group of exclusively deep-sea agglutinating rhizarian protozoans, at least some of which are foraminifera. They are an important constituent of the deep-sea megafauna that are sometimes found in sufficient abundance to act as a significant source of habitat structure for meiofaunal and macrofaunal organisms. This study utilised maximum entropy modelling (Maxent) and a high-resolution environmental database to explore the environmental factors controlling the presence of Xenophyophorea and two frequently sampled xenophyophore species that are taxonomically stable: Syringammina fragilissima and Stannophyllum zonarium. These factors were also used to predict the global distribution of each taxon. Areas of high habitat suitability for xenophyophores were highlighted throughout the world's oceans, including in a large number of areas yet to be suitably sampled, but the Northeast and Southeast Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea, the Red Sea and deep-water regions of the Malay Archipelago represented particular hotspots. The two species investigated showed more specific habitat requirements when compared to the model encompassing all xenophyophore records, perhaps in part due to the smaller number and relatively more clustered nature of the presence records available for modelling at present. The environmental variables depth, oxygen parameters, nitrate concentration, carbon-chemistry parameters and temperature were of greatest importance in determining xenophyophore distributions, but, somewhat surprisingly, hydrodynamic parameters were consistently shown to have low importance, possibly due to the paucity of well-resolved global hydrodynamic datasets. The results of this study (and others of a similar type) have the potential to guide further sample collection, environmental policy, and spatial planning of marine protected areas and industrial activities that impact the seafloor, particularly those that overlap with aggregations of

  3. Marine habitat mapping of the Milford Haven Waterway, Wales, UK: Comparison of facies mapping and EUNIS classification for monitoring sediment habitats in an industrialized estuary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carey, Drew A.; Hayn, Melanie; Germano, Joseph D.; Little, David I.; Bullimore, Blaise

    2015-06-01

    A detailed map and dataset of sedimentary habitats of the Milford Haven Waterway (MHW) was compiled for the Milford Haven Waterway Environmental Surveillance Group (MHWESG) from seafloor images collected in May, 2012 using sediment-profile and plan-view imaging (SPI/PV) survey techniques. This is the most comprehensive synoptic assessment of sediment distribution and benthic habitat composition available for the MHW, with 559 stations covering over 40 km2 of subtidal habitats. In the context of the MHW, an interpretative framework was developed that classified each station within a 'facies' that included information on the location within the waterway and inferred sedimentary and biological processes. The facies approach provides critical information on landscape-scale habitats including relative location and inferred sediment transport processes and can be used to direct future monitoring activities within the MHW and to predict areas of greatest potential risk from contaminant transport. Intertidal sediment 'facies' maps have been compiled in the past for MHW; this approach was expanded to map the subtidal portions of the waterway. Because sediment facies can be projected over larger areas than individual samples (due to assumptions based on physiography, or landforms) they represent an observational model of the distribution of sediments in an estuary. This model can be tested over time and space through comparison with additional past or future sample results. This approach provides a means to evaluate stability or change in the physical and biological conditions of the estuarine system. Initial comparison with past results for intertidal facies mapping and grain size analysis from grab samples showed remarkable stability over time for the MHW. The results of the SPI/PV mapping effort were cross-walked to the European Nature Information System (EUNIS) classification to provide a comparison of locally derived habitat mapping with European-standard habitat

  4. A Synopsis of Global Mapping of Freshwater Habitats and Biodiversity: Implications for Conservation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    McManamay, Ryan A. [ORNL; Griffiths, Natalie A. [ORNL; DeRolph, Christopher R. [ORNL; Pracheil, Brenda M. [ORNL

    2018-01-01

    Accurately mapping freshwater habitats and biodiversity at high-resolutions across the globe is essential for assessing the vulnerability and threats to freshwater organisms and prioritizing conservation efforts. Since the 2000s, extensive efforts have been devoted to mapping global freshwater habitats (rivers, lakes, and wetlands), the spatial representation of which has changed dramatically over time with new geospatial data products and improved remote sensing technologies. Some of these mapping efforts, however, are still coarse representations of actual conditions. Likewise, the resolution and scope of global freshwater biodiversity compilation efforts have also increased, but are yet to mirror the spatial resolution and fidelity of mapped freshwater environments. In our synopsis, we find that efforts to map freshwater habitats have been conducted independently of those for freshwater biodiversity; subsequently, there is little congruence in the spatial representation and resolution of the two efforts. We suggest that global species distribution models are needed to fill this information gap; however, limiting data on habitat characteristics at scales that complement freshwater habitats has prohibited global high-resolution biogeography efforts. Emerging research trends, such as mapping habitat alteration in freshwater ecosystems and trait biogeography, show great promise in mechanistically linking global anthropogenic stressors to freshwater biodiversity decline and extinction risk.

  5. Plant species dispersed by Galapagos tortoises surf the wave of habitat suitability under anthropogenic climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellis-Soto, Diego; Blake, Stephen; Soultan, Alaaeldin; Guézou, Anne; Cabrera, Fredy; Lötters, Stefan

    2017-01-01

    Native biodiversity on the Galapagos Archipelago is severely threatened by invasive alien species. On Santa Cruz Island, the abundance of introduced plant species is low in the arid lowlands of the Galapagos National Park, but increases with elevation into unprotected humid highlands. Two common alien plant species, guava (Psidium guajava) and passion fruit (Passiflora edulis) occur at higher elevations yet their seeds are dispersed into the lowlands by migrating Galapagos tortoises (Chelonoidis spp.). Tortoises transport large quantities of seeds over long distances into environments in which they have little or no chance of germination and survival under current climate conditions. However, climate change is projected to modify environmental conditions on Galapagos with unknown consequences for the distribution of native and introduced biodiversity. We quantified seed dispersal of guava and passion fruit in tortoise dung piles and the distribution of adult plants along two elevation gradients on Santa Cruz to assess current levels of 'wasted' seed dispersal. We computed species distribution models for both taxa under current and predicted future climate conditions. Assuming that tortoise migratory behaviour continues, current levels of "wasted" seed dispersal in lowlands were projected to decline dramatically in the future for guava but not for passion fruit. Tortoises will facilitate rapid range expansion for guava into lowland areas within the Galapagos National Park where this species is currently absent. Coupled with putative reduction in arid habitat for native species caused by climate change, tortoise driven guava invasion will pose a serious threat to local plant communities.

  6. Plant species dispersed by Galapagos tortoises surf the wave of habitat suitability under anthropogenic climate change.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diego Ellis-Soto

    Full Text Available Native biodiversity on the Galapagos Archipelago is severely threatened by invasive alien species. On Santa Cruz Island, the abundance of introduced plant species is low in the arid lowlands of the Galapagos National Park, but increases with elevation into unprotected humid highlands. Two common alien plant species, guava (Psidium guajava and passion fruit (Passiflora edulis occur at higher elevations yet their seeds are dispersed into the lowlands by migrating Galapagos tortoises (Chelonoidis spp.. Tortoises transport large quantities of seeds over long distances into environments in which they have little or no chance of germination and survival under current climate conditions. However, climate change is projected to modify environmental conditions on Galapagos with unknown consequences for the distribution of native and introduced biodiversity. We quantified seed dispersal of guava and passion fruit in tortoise dung piles and the distribution of adult plants along two elevation gradients on Santa Cruz to assess current levels of 'wasted' seed dispersal. We computed species distribution models for both taxa under current and predicted future climate conditions. Assuming that tortoise migratory behaviour continues, current levels of "wasted" seed dispersal in lowlands were projected to decline dramatically in the future for guava but not for passion fruit. Tortoises will facilitate rapid range expansion for guava into lowland areas within the Galapagos National Park where this species is currently absent. Coupled with putative reduction in arid habitat for native species caused by climate change, tortoise driven guava invasion will pose a serious threat to local plant communities.

  7. Mapping marginal croplands suitable for cellulosic feedstock crops in the Great Plains, United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gu, Yingxin; Wylie, Bruce K.

    2016-01-01

    Growing cellulosic feedstock crops (e.g., switchgrass) for biofuel is more environmentally sustainable than corn-based ethanol. Specifically, this practice can reduce soil erosion and water quality impairment from pesticides and fertilizer, improve ecosystem services and sustainability (e.g., serve as carbon sinks), and minimize impacts on global food supplies. The main goal of this study was to identify high-risk marginal croplands that are potentially suitable for growing cellulosic feedstock crops (e.g., switchgrass) in the US Great Plains (GP). Satellite-derived growing season Normalized Difference Vegetation Index, a switchgrass biomass productivity map obtained from a previous study, US Geological Survey (USGS) irrigation and crop masks, and US Department of Agriculture (USDA) crop indemnity maps for the GP were used in this study. Our hypothesis was that croplands with relatively low crop yield but high productivity potential for switchgrass may be suitable for converting to switchgrass. Areas with relatively low crop indemnity (crop indemnity marginal croplands in the GP are potentially suitable for switchgrass development. The total estimated switchgrass biomass productivity gain from these suitable areas is about 5.9 million metric tons. Switchgrass can be cultivated in either lowland or upland regions in the GP depending on the local soil and environmental conditions. This study improves our understanding of ecosystem services and the sustainability of cropland systems in the GP. Results from this study provide useful information to land managers for making informed decisions regarding switchgrass development in the GP.

  8. Marine habitat mapping at Labuan Marine Park, Federal Territory of Labuan, Malaysia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mustajap, Fazliana; Saleh, Ejria; Madin, John; Hamid, Shahimah Abdul

    2015-06-01

    Marine habitat mapping has recently become essential in coastal marine science research. It is one of the efforts to understand marine ecosystems, and thus to protect them. Habitat mapping is integral to marine-related industries such as fisheries, aquaculture, forestry and tourism. An assessment of marine habitat mapping was conducted at Labuan Marine Park (LMP), a marine protected area in the Federal Territory of Labuan. It is surrounded by shallow water within its islands (Kuraman, Rusukan Kecil and Rusukan Besar) with an area of 39.7 km2. The objectives of the study are to identify the substrate and types of marine habitat present within the park. Side scan sonar (SSS) (Aquascan TM) was used to determine the substrates and habitat while ground truthings were done through field observation and SCUBA diving survey. Seabed classification and marine habitat was based on NOAA's biogeography program. Three substrate types (sand, rock, silt) were identified in this area. The major marine habitats identified are corals, macro algae and small patches of sea grass. The study area is an important refuge for spawning and juvenile fish and supports the livelihood of the coastal communities on Labuan Island. Therefore, proper management is crucial in order to better maintain the marine protected area. The findings are significant and provide detailed baseline information on marine habitat for conservation, protection and future management in LMP.

  9. Using catenas for GIS-based mapping of NW Mediterranean littoral habitats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mariani, Simone; Cefalì, Maria Elena; Terradas, Marc; Chappuis, Eglantine; Ballesteros, Enric

    2014-06-01

    Studies aimed at describing habitats and mapping their distributions are pivotal to implementing management plans and to effectively guide conservation measures. We developed a novel approach of data collection and entry (CAT-LIT) to establish a detailed cartography of the littoral habitats found along the Catalan coast (Spain). Field data were recorded using coded, two-digit hierarchical lists (e.g. Aa, Ab, etc.) of horizons found at each point along the coast, called catenas. The horizons were either dominated by species (on the rocky bottoms) or sediment types (on the beaches) and corresponded to LPRE, EUNIS and CORINE habitats. Catenas were transferred into a database and calculations about the extent of bottom types, habitats, and catenas themselves along the coast were carried out with GIS tools. In addition, habitat link richness was calculated and represented using network analysis programs. The application of CAT-LIT to the Catalan coast showed that the habitats dominated by the lichen Verrucaria amphibia and the flattened barnacle Euraphia depressa and those dominated by the barnacle Chthamalus spp. were almost ubiquitous. Those dominated by the red alga Corallina elongata, the mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis and the red alga Rissoella verruculosa were also common. Because of the frequency of their connections, those habitats formed a huge hub of links in the networks. By using catenas, the habitats can be viewed using GIS based programs keeping the catena as the main informational and ecological unit. The catenas allow maximum compactness when vertically distributed habitats are to be shown on a 2D map. The complete cartography and dataset on the spatial distribution of the littoral habitats from Catalonia is valuable for coastal management and conservation to study changes in the habitat distribution and relate such changes to anthropogenic pressures. Furthermore, the CAT-LIT can be easily adapted to shores of other seas and oceans to obtain accurate

  10. Coupling habitat suitability and ecosystem health with AEHRA to estimate E-flows under intensive human activities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, C. S.; Yang, S. T.; Zhang, H. T.; Liu, C. M.; Sun, Y.; Yang, Z. Y.; Zhang, Y.; Dong, B. E.; Lim, R. P.

    2017-08-01

    Sustaining adequate environmental flows (e-flows) is a key principle for maintaining river biodiversity and ecosystem health, and for supporting sustainable water resource management in basins under intensive human activities. But few methods could correctly relate river health to e-flows assessment at the catchment scale when they are applied to rivers highly impacted by human activities. An effective method is presented in this study to closely link river health to e-flows assessment for rivers at the catchment scale. Key fish species, as indicators of ecosystem health, were selected by using the foodweb model. A multi-species-based habitat suitability model (MHSI) was improved, and coupled with dominance of the key fish species as well as the Index of Biological Integrity (IBI) to enhance its accuracy in determining the fish-preferred key hydrologic habitat variables related to ecosystem health. Taking 5964 fish samples and concurrent hydrological habitat variables as the basis, the combination of key variables of flow-velocity and water-depth were determined and used to drive the Adapted Ecological Hydraulic Radius Approach (AEHRA) to study e-flows in a Chinese urban river impacted by intensive human activities. Results showed that upstream urbanization resulted in abnormal river-course geomorphology and consequently abnormal e-flows under intensive human activities. Selection of key species based on the foodweb and trophic levels of aquatic ecosystems can reflect a comprehensive requirement on e-flows of the whole aquatic ecosystem, which greatly increases its potential to be used as a guidance tool for rehabilitation of degraded ecosystems at large spatial scales. These findings have significant ramifications for catchment e-flows assessment under intensive human activities and for river ecohealth restoration in such rivers globally.

  11. Using maximum entropy to predict suitable habitat for the endangered dwarf wedgemussel in the Maryland Coastal Plain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, Cara; Hilderbrand, Robert H.

    2017-01-01

    Species distribution modelling can be useful for the conservation of rare and endangered species. Freshwater mussel declines have thinned species ranges producing spatially fragmented distributions across large areas. Spatial fragmentation in combination with a complex life history and heterogeneous environment makes predictive modelling difficult.A machine learning approach (maximum entropy) was used to model occurrences and suitable habitat for the federally endangered dwarf wedgemussel, Alasmidonta heterodon, in Maryland's Coastal Plain catchments. Landscape-scale predictors (e.g. land cover, land use, soil characteristics, geology, flow characteristics, and climate) were used to predict the suitability of individual stream segments for A. heterodon.The best model contained variables at three scales: minimum elevation (segment scale), percentage Tertiary deposits, low intensity development, and woody wetlands (sub-catchment), and percentage low intensity development, pasture/hay agriculture, and average depth to the water table (catchment). Despite a very small sample size owing to the rarity of A. heterodon, cross-validated prediction accuracy was 91%.Most predicted suitable segments occur in catchments not known to contain A. heterodon, which provides opportunities for new discoveries or population restoration. These model predictions can guide surveys toward the streams with the best chance of containing the species or, alternatively, away from those streams with little chance of containing A. heterodon.Developed reaches had low predicted suitability for A. heterodon in the Coastal Plain. Urban and exurban sprawl continues to modify stream ecosystems in the region, underscoring the need to preserve existing populations and to discover and protect new populations.

  12. Habitat suitability of patch types: a case study of the Yosemite toad

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liang, Christina T.; Stohlgren, Thomas J.

    2011-01-01

    Understanding patch variability is crucial in understanding the spatial population structure of wildlife species, especially for rare or threatened species. We used a well-tested maximum entropy species distribution model (Maxent) to map the Yosemite toad (Anaxyrus (= Bufo) canorus) in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California. Twenty-six environmental variables were included in the model representing climate, topography, land cover type, and disturbance factors (e.g., distances to agricultural lands, fire perimeters, and timber harvest areas) throughout the historic range of the toad. We then took a novel approach to the study of spatially structured populations by applying the species-environmental matching model separately for 49 consistently occupied sites of the Yosemite toad compared to 27 intermittently occupied sites. We found that the distribution of the entire population was highly predictable (AUC = 0.95±0.03 SD), and associated with low slopes, specific vegetation types (wet meadow, alpine-dwarf shrub, montane chaparral, red fir, and subalpine conifer), and warm temperatures. The consistently occupied sites were also associated with these same factors, and they were also highly predictable (AUC = 0.95±0.05 SD). However, the intermittently occupied sites were associated with distance to fire perimeter, a slightly different response to vegetation types, distance to timber harvests, and a much broader set of aspect classes (AUC = 0.90±0.11 SD). We conclude that many studies of species distributions may benefit by modeling spatially structured populations separately. Modeling and monitoring consistently-occupied sites may provide a realistic snapshot of current species-environment relationships, important climatic and topographic patterns associated with species persistence patterns, and an understanding of the plasticity of the species to respond to varying climate regimes across its range. Meanwhile, modeling and monitoring of widely dispersing

  13. Limitations to mapping habitat-use areas in changing landscapes using the Mahalanobis distance statistic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knick, Steven T.; Rotenberry, J.T.

    1998-01-01

    We tested the potential of a GIS mapping technique, using a resource selection model developed for black-tailed jackrabbits (Lepus californicus) and based on the Mahalanobis distance statistic, to track changes in shrubsteppe habitats in southwestern Idaho. If successful, the technique could be used to predict animal use areas, or those undergoing change, in different regions from the same selection function and variables without additional sampling. We determined the multivariate mean vector of 7 GIS variables that described habitats used by jackrabbits. We then ranked the similarity of all cells in the GIS coverage from their Mahalanobis distance to the mean habitat vector. The resulting map accurately depicted areas where we sighted jackrabbits on verification surveys. We then simulated an increase in shrublands (which are important habitats). Contrary to expectation, the new configurations were classified as lower similarity relative to the original mean habitat vector. Because the selection function is based on a unimodal mean, any deviation, even if biologically positive, creates larger Malanobis distances and lower similarity values. We recommend the Mahalanobis distance technique for mapping animal use areas when animals are distributed optimally, the landscape is well-sampled to determine the mean habitat vector, and distributions of the habitat variables does not change.

  14. Monitoring and mapping selected riparian habitat along the lower Snake River

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Downs, J. L; Tiller, B. L [Pacific Northwest Lab., Richland, WA (United States); Witter, M. [Shannon and Wilson, Inc., Seattle, WA (United States). Geotechnical and Environmental Consultants, Seattle, Washington (United States); Mazaika, R. [Corps of Engineers, Portland, OR (United States)

    1996-01-01

    Studies in this document were initiated to establish baseline information on riparian and wetland habitat conditions at the areas studied under the current reservoir operations on the lower Snake River. Two approaches were used to assess habitat at 28 study sites selected on the four pools on the lower Snake River. These areas all contribute significant riparian habitat along the river, and several of these areas are designated habitat management units. At 14 of the 28 sites, we monitored riparian habitat on three dates during the growing season to quantify vegetation abundance and composition along three transects: soil nutrients, moisture, and pH and water level and pH. A second approach involved identifying any differences in the extent and amount of riparian/wetland habitat currently found at the study areas from that previously documented. We used both ground and boat surveys to map and classify the changes in vegetative cover along the shoreline at the 14 monitoring sites and at 14 additional sites along the lower Snake selected to represent various riparian/wetland habitat conditions. Results of these mapping efforts are compared with maps of cover types previously generated using aerial photography taken in 1987.

  15. Deep-sea benthic habitats modeling and mapping in a NE Atlantic seamount (Galicia Bank)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Serrano, A.; González-Irusta, J. M.; Punzón, A.; García-Alegre, A.; Lourido, A.; Ríos, P.; Blanco, M.; Gómez-Ballesteros, M.; Druet, M.; Cristobo, J.; Cartes, J. E.

    2017-08-01

    This study presents the results of seafloor habitat identification and mapping of a NE Atlantic deep seamount. An ;assemble first, predict later; approach has been followed to identify and map the benthic habitats of the Galicia Bank (NW Iberian). Biotic patterns inferred from the survey data have been used to drive the definition of benthic assemblages using multivariate tools. Eight assemblages, four hard substrates and four sedimentary ones, have been described from a matrix of structural species. Distribution of these assemblages was correlated with environmental factors (multibeam and backscatter data) using binomial GAMs. Finally, the distribution model of each assemblage was applied to produce continuous maps and pooled in a final map with the distribution of the main benthic habitats. Depth and substrate type are key factors when determining soft bottom communities, whereas rocky habitat distribution is mainly explained by rock slope and orientation. Enrichment by northern water masses (LSW) arriving to GB and possible zooplankton biomass increase at vertical-steep walls by ;bottom trapping; can explain the higher diversity of habitat providing filter-feeders at slope rocky breaks. These results concerning vulnerable species and habitats, such as Lophelia and Madrepora communities and black and bamboo coral aggregations were the basis of the Spanish proposal of inclusion within the Natura 2000 network. The aim of the present study was to establish the scientific criteria needed for managing and protecting those environmental values.

  16. Using EUNIS habitat classification for benthic mapping in European seas: present concerns and future needs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galparsoro, Ibon; Connor, David W; Borja, Angel; Aish, Annabelle; Amorim, Patricia; Bajjouk, Touria; Chambers, Caroline; Coggan, Roger; Dirberg, Guillaume; Ellwood, Helen; Evans, Douglas; Goodin, Kathleen L; Grehan, Anthony; Haldin, Jannica; Howell, Kerry; Jenkins, Chris; Michez, Noëmie; Mo, Giulia; Buhl-Mortensen, Pål; Pearce, Bryony; Populus, Jacques; Salomidi, Maria; Sánchez, Francisco; Serrano, Alberto; Shumchenia, Emily; Tempera, Fernando; Vasquez, Mickaël

    2012-12-01

    The EUNIS (European Union Nature Information System) habitat classification system aims to provide a common European reference set of habitat types within a hierarchical classification, and to cover all terrestrial, freshwater and marine habitats of Europe. The classification facilitates reporting of habitat data in a comparable manner, for use in nature conservation (e.g. inventories, monitoring and assessments), habitat mapping and environmental management. For the marine environment the importance of a univocal habitat classification system is confirmed by the fact that many European initiatives, aimed at marine mapping, assessment and reporting, are increasingly using EUNIS habitat categories and respective codes. For this reason substantial efforts have been made to include information on marine benthic habitats from different regions, aiming to provide a comprehensive geographical coverage of European seas. However, there still remain many concerns on its applicability as only a small fraction of Europe's seas are fully mapped and increasing knowledge and application raise further issues to be resolved. This paper presents an overview of the main discussion and conclusions of a workshop, organised by the MeshAtlantic project, focusing upon the experience in using the EUNIS habitats classification across different countries and seas, together with case studies. The aims of the meeting were to: (i) bring together scientists with experience in the use of the EUNIS marine classification and representatives from the European Environment Agency (EEA); (ii) agree on enhancements to EUNIS that ensure an improved representation of the European marine habitats; and (iii) establish practices that make marine habitat maps produced by scientists more consistent with the needs of managers and decision-makers. During the workshop challenges for the future development of EUNIS were identified, which have been classified into five categories: (1) structure and hierarchy; (2

  17. Mapping ecosystem services provided by benthic habitats in the European North Atlantic Ocean

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ibon eGalparsoro

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Mapping and assessing the ecosystem services provided by benthic habitats are a highly valuable source of information for understanding their current and potential benefits to society. The main objective of this investigation is to assess and map the ecosystem services provided by benthic habitats of the European North Atlantic Ocean, in the context of Mapping and Assessment of Ecosystems and their Services (MAES programme, the European Biodiversity Strategy and the implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive. In total, 62 habitats have been analysed in relation to 12 ecosystem services over 1.7 million km2. Results indicated that more than 90% of the mapped area provides biodiversity maintenance and food provision services; meanwhile grounds providing reproduction and nursery services are limited to half of the mapped area. Benthic habitats generally provide more services closer to shore than offshore and in shallower waters. This gradient is likely to be explained by difficult access (i.e. distance and depth and lack of scientific knowledge for most of the services provided by distant benthic habitats. This research has provided a first assessment of the benthic ecosystem services at Atlantic European scale, with the provision of ecosystem services maps and their general spatial distribution patterns. Related to the objectives of this research, the conclusions are: (i benthic habitats provide a diverse set of ecosystem services, being the food provision and biodiversity maintenance services the ones that are more extensively represented. In addition, other regulating and cultural services are provided in a more limited area; and (ii the ecosystem services assessment categories are significantly related to the distance to the coast and with depth (higher near the coast and in shallow waters.

  18. Wildlife Habitats Suitability Modelling using Fuzzy Inference System: A Case Study of Persian Leopard (Panthera pardus saxicolor in Shimbar Protected Area

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Z. Obeidavi

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Several modelling techniques have been developed for habitat suitability modelling. In the meantime, the Fuzzy Inference System (FIS with ability to model uncertainty of input variables is an effective method to model wildlife species habitat suitability. So, Persian Leopard habitat suitability was predicted in Shimbar Protected Area using FIS. Therefore, the effective environmental variables were determined. We also defined and determined the linguistic variables, linguistic values, and range of them. Then, we designed the membership functions of the fuzzy sets of the input and output variables. Also, the definition of the fuzzy rules in the system was performed. Finally, the defuzzification of output was carried out. The accuracy of the predictive model was tested using AUC. Also, 11 FISs were developed to determine sensitivity of the models and important variables in modelling. The results showed that the predictive model was more efficient than the random model (AUC=0.960. In addition, the ‘distance to capra’ was the most important predictor. According to the success of FIS in Persian Leopard habitat suitability modelling, we suggest this method to improve and complete the existing spatial information of wildlife habitats in Iran, especially about regions and species that have been less studied.

  19. Operational Prediction of the Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) Distribution for Neon Flying Squid in Central North Pacific by Using FORA Dataset and a New Data Assimilation System SKUIDS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Igarashi, H.; Ishikawa, Y.; Wakamatsu, T.; Tanaka, Y.; Nishikawa, S.; Nishikawa, H.; Kamachi, M.; Kuragano, T.; Takatsuki, Y.; Fujii, Y.; Usui, N.; Toyoda, T.; Hirose, N.; Sakai, M.; Saitoh, S. I.; Imamura, Y.

    2016-02-01

    The neon flying squid (Ommastrephes bartramii) has a wide-spread distribution in subtropical and temperate waters in the North Pacific, which plays an important role in the pelagic ecosystem and is one of the major targets in Japanese squid fisheries. The main fishing areas for Japanese commercial vessels are located in the central North Pacific (35-45N, around the date line) in summer. In this study, we have developed several kinds of habitat suitability index (HSI) models of the neon flying squid for investigating the relationship between its potential habitat and the ocean state variations in the target area. For developing HSI models, we have used a new ocean reanalysis dataset FORA (4-dimensional variational Ocean Re-Analysis) produced by JAMSTEC/CEIST and MRI-JMA. The horizontal resolution is 0.1*0.1 degree of latitude and longitude with 54 vertical levels, which can provide realistic fields of 3-dimensional ocean circulation and environmental structures including meso-scale eddies. In addition, we have developed a new 4D-VAR (4-dimensional variational) ocean data assimilation system for predicting ocean environmental changes in the main fishing grounds. We call this system "SKUIDS" (Scalable Kit of Under-sea Information Delivery System). By using these prediction fields of temperature, salinity, sea surface height, horizontal current velocity, we produced daily HSI maps of the neon flying squid, and provided them to the Japanese commercial vessels in operation. Squid fishermen can access the web site for delivering the information of ocean environments in the fishing ground by using Inmarsat satellite communication on board, and show the predicted fields of subsurface temperatures and HSI. Here, we present the details of SKUIDS and the web-delivery system for squid fishery, and some preliminary results of the operational prediction.

  20. High resolution critical habitat mapping and classification of tidal freshwater wetlands in the ACE Basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strickland, Melissa Anne

    In collaboration with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources ACE Basin National Estuarine Research Reserve (ACE Basin NERR), the tidal freshwater ecosystems along the South Edisto River in the ACE Basin are being accurately mapped and classified using a LIDAR-Remote Sensing Fusion technique that integrates LAS LIDAR data into texture images and then merges the elevation textures and multispectral imagery for very high resolution mapping. This project discusses the development and refinement of an ArcGIS Toolbox capable of automating protocols and procedures for marsh delineation and microhabitat identification. The result is a high resolution habitat and land use map used for the identification of threatened habitat. Tidal freshwater wetlands are also a critical habitat for colonial wading birds and an accurate assessment of community diversity and acreage of this habitat type in the ACE Basin will support SCDNR's conservation and protection efforts. The maps developed by this study will be used to better monitor the freshwater/saltwater interface and establish a baseline for an ACE NERR monitoring program to track the rates and extent of alterations due to projected environmental stressors. Preliminary ground-truthing in the field will provide information about the accuracy of the mapping tool.

  1. Shallow Water Habitat Mapping in Cape Cod National Seashore: A Post-Hurricane Sandy Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borrelli, M.; Smith, T.; Legare, B.; Mittermayr, A.

    2017-12-01

    Hurricane Sandy had a dramatic impact along coastal areas in proximity to landfall in late October 2012, and those impacts have been well-documented in terrestrial coastal settings. However, due to the lack of data on submerged marine habitats, similar subtidal impact studies have been limited. This study, one of four contemporaneous studies commissioned by the US National Park Service, developed maps of submerged shallow water marine habitats in and around Cape Cod National Seashore, Massachusetts. All four studies used similar methods of data collection, processing and analysis for the production of habitat maps. One of the motivations for the larger study conducted in the four coastal parks was to provide park managers with a baseline inventory of submerged marine habitats, against which to measure change after future storm events and other natural and anthropogenic phenomena. In this study data from a phase-measuring sidescan sonar, bottom grab samples, seismic reflection profiling, and sediment coring were all used to develop submerged marine habitat maps using the Coastal and Marine Ecological Classification Standard (CMECS). Vessel-based acoustic surveys (n = 76) were conducted in extreme shallow water across four embayments from 2014-2016. Sidescan sonar imagery covering 83.37 km2 was collected, and within that area, 49.53 km2 of co-located bathymetric data were collected with a mean depth of 4.00 m. Bottom grab samples (n = 476) to sample macroinvertebrates and sediments (along with other water column and habitat data) were collected, and these data were used along with the geophysical and coring data to develop final habitat maps using the CMECS framework.

  2. Southern Salish Sea Habitat Map Series: Admiralty Inlet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cochrane, Guy R.; Dethier, Megan N.; Hodson, Timothy O.; Kull, Kristine K.; Golden, Nadine E.; Ritchie, Andrew C.; Moegling, Crescent; Pacunski, Robert E.; Cochrane, Guy R.

    2015-01-01

    In 2010 the Environmental Protection Agency, Region 10 initiated the Puget Sound Scientific Studies and Technical Investigations Assistance Program, designed to support research in support of implementing the Puget Sound Action Agenda. The Action Agenda was created in response to Puget Sound having been designated as one of 28 estuaries of national significance under section 320 of the U.S. Clean Water Act, and its overall goal is to restore the Puget Sound Estuary's environment by 2020. The Southern Salish Sea Mapping Project was funded by the Assistance Program request for proposals process, which also supports a large number of coastal-zone- and ocean-management issues. The issues include the recommendations of the Marine Protected Areas Work Group to the Washington State Legislature (Van Cleve and others, 2009), which endorses a Puget Sound and coast-wide marine conservation needs assessment, gap analysis of existing Marine Protected Areas (MPA) and recommendations for action. This publication is the first of four U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigation Maps that make up the Southern Salish Sea Mapping Project. The remaining three map blocks to be published in the future, located south of Admiralty Inlet, are shown in figure 1.

  3. High-resolution assessment of land use impacts on biodiversity in life cycle assessment using species habitat suitability models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Baan, Laura; Curran, Michael; Rondinini, Carlo; Visconti, Piero; Hellweg, Stefanie; Koellner, Thomas

    2015-02-17

    Agricultural land use is a main driver of global biodiversity loss. The assessment of land use impacts in decision-support tools such as life cycle assessment (LCA) requires spatially explicit models, but existing approaches are either not spatially differentiated or modeled at very coarse scales (e.g., biomes or ecoregions). In this paper, we develop a high-resolution (900 m) assessment method for land use impacts on biodiversity based on habitat suitability models (HSM) of mammal species. This method considers potential land use effects on individual species, and impacts are weighted by the species' conservation status and global rarity. We illustrate the method using a case study of crop production in East Africa, but the underlying HSMs developed by the Global Mammals Assessment are available globally. We calculate impacts of three major export crops and compare the results to two previously developed methods (focusing on local and regional impacts, respectively) to assess the relevance of the methodological innovations proposed in this paper. The results highlight hotspots of product-related biodiversity impacts that help characterize the links among agricultural production, consumption, and biodiversity loss.

  4. Habitat suitability of Anopheles vector species and association with human malaria in the Atlantic Forest in south-eastern Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laporta, Gabriel Zorello; Ramos, Daniel Garkauskas; Ribeiro, Milton Cezar; Sallum, Maria Anice Mureb

    2011-08-01

    Every year, autochthonous cases of Plasmodium vivax malaria occur in low-endemicity areas of Vale do Ribeira in the south-eastern part of the Atlantic Forest, state of São Paulo, where Anopheles cruzii and Anopheles bellator are considered the primary vectors. However, other species in the subgenus Nyssorhynchus of Anopheles (e.g., Anopheles marajoara) are abundant and may participate in the dynamics of malarial transmission in that region. The objectives of the present study were to assess the spatial distribution of An. cruzii, An. bellator and An. marajoara and to associate the presence of these species with malaria cases in the municipalities of the Vale do Ribeira. Potential habitat suitability modelling was applied to determine both the spatial distribution of An. cruzii, An. bellator and An. marajoara and to establish the density of each species. Poisson regression was utilized to associate malaria cases with estimated vector densities. As a result, An. cruzii was correlated with the forested slopes of the Serra do Mar, An. bellator with the coastal plain and An. marajoara with the deforested areas. Moreover, both An. marajoara and An. cruzii were positively associated with malaria cases. Considering that An. marajoara was demonstrated to be a primary vector of human Plasmodium in the rural areas of the state of Amapá, more attention should be given to the species in the deforested areas of the Atlantic Forest, where it might be a secondary vector.

  5. Hydro-power production and fish habitat suitability: Assessing impact and effectiveness of ecological flows at regional scale

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ceola, Serena; Pugliese, Alessio; Ventura, Matteo; Galeati, Giorgio; Montanari, Alberto; Castellarin, Attilio

    2018-06-01

    Anthropogenic activities along streams and rivers may be of major concern for fluvial ecosystems, e.g. abstraction and impoundment of surface water resources may profoundly alter natural streamflow regimes. An established approach aimed at preserving the behavior and distribution of fluvial species relies on the definition of ecological flows (e-flows) downstream of dams and diversion structures. E-flow prescriptions are usually set by basin authorities at regional scale, often without a proper assessment of their impact and effectiveness. On the contrary, we argue that e-flows should be identified on the basis of (i) regional and (ii) quantitative assessments. We focus on central Italy and evaluate the effects on habitat suitability of two near-threatened fish species (i.e. Barbel and Chub) and an existing hydro-power network when shifting from the current time-invariant e-flow policy to a tighter and seasonally-varying soon-to-be-enforced one. Our example clearly shows that: (a) quantitative regional scale assessments are viable even when streamflow observations are entirely missing at study sites; (b) aprioristic e-flows policies may impose releases that exceed natural streamflows for significantly long time intervals (weeks, or months); (c) unduly tightening e-flow policies may heavily impact regional hydro-power productivity (15% and 42% losses on annual and seasonal basis, respectively), yet resulting in either marginal or negligible improvements of fluvial ecosystem.

  6. A habitat map of the Kalahari Gemsbok National Park

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Du P. Bothma

    1973-07-01

    Full Text Available The Kalahari Gemsbok National Park exhibits some six major habitats. Away from the river beds the tree savanna is limited to the northern corner of the park, consisting of Acacia girajfae woodland and scattered dunes. The Nossob and Auobriverbeds and adjacent areas also harbour A. girqffae except in the south where A. haematoxylon becomes dominant, and where the Karoo flora increases. The dunes covered with trees and shrubs usually support Boscia albitrunca, A. mellifera and an occasional A. girqffae. Where the dunes are superficially without shrub vegetation, Stipagrostis amabilis is dominant, although low, shrub-like A. haematoxylon also occurs. The plains also contain low A. haematoxylon shrub and several dominant grasses. Pans are abundantand their vegetation is usually characterized by stands of Rhigozum trichotomum and Monechma incanum.

  7. Shallow-water Benthic Habitats of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands from Aggregated Habitat Cover Maps Derived from High Resolution IKONOS Satellite Imagery (Draft)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Shallow-water, aggregated cover maps were produced by combining as many as four or more detailed habitat types into general cover categories. The original detailed...

  8. Aggregated Habitat Cover Maps Depicting the Shallow-water Benthic Habitats of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Derived from High Resolution IKONOS Satellite Imagery

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Shallow-water, aggregated cover maps were produced by combining as many as four or more detailed habitat types into general cover categories. The original detailed...

  9. Global Seabed Materials and Habitats Mapped: The Computational Methods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jenkins, C. J.

    2016-02-01

    What the seabed is made of has proven difficult to map on the scale of whole ocean-basins. Direct sampling and observation can be augmented with proxy-parameter methods such as acoustics. Both avenues are essential to obtain enough detail and coverage, and also to validate the mapping methods. We focus on the direct observations such as samplings, photo and video, probes, diver and sub reports, and surveyed features. These are often in word-descriptive form: over 85% of the records for site materials are in this form, whether as sample/view descriptions or classifications, or described parameters such as consolidation, color, odor, structures and components. Descriptions are absolutely necessary for unusual materials and for processes - in other words, for research. This project dbSEABED not only has the largest collection of seafloor materials data worldwide, but it uses advanced computing math to obtain the best possible coverages and detail. Included in those techniques are linguistic text analysis (e.g., Natural Language Processing, NLP), fuzzy set theory (FST), and machine learning (ML, e.g., Random Forest). These techniques allow efficient and accurate import of huge datasets, thereby optimizing the data that exists. They merge quantitative and qualitative types of data for rich parameter sets, and extrapolate where the data are sparse for best map production. The dbSEABED data resources are now very widely used worldwide in oceanographic research, environmental management, the geosciences, engineering and survey.

  10. Variability of Suitable Habitat of Western Winter-Spring Cohort for Neon Flying Squid in the Northwest Pacific under Anomalous Environments.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wei Yu

    Full Text Available We developed a habitat suitability index (HSI model to evaluate the variability of suitable habitat for neon flying squid (Ommastrephes bartramii under anomalous environments in the Northwest Pacific Ocean. Commercial fisheries data from the Chinese squid-jigging vessels on the traditional fishing ground bounded by 35°-45°N and 150°-175°E from July to November during 1998-2009 were used for analyses, as well as the environmental variables including sea surface temperature (SST, chlorophyll-a (Chl-a concentration, sea surface height anomaly (SSHA and sea surface salinity (SSS. Two empirical HSI models (arithmetic mean model, AMM; geometric mean model, GMM were established according to the frequency distribution of fishing efforts. The AMM model was found to perform better than the GMM model. The AMM-based HSI model was further validated by the fishery and environmental data in 2010. The predicted HSI values in 1998 (high catch, 2008 (average catch and 2009 (low catch indicated that the squid habitat quality was strongly associated with the ENSO-induced variability in the oceanic conditions on the fishing ground. The La Niña events in 1998 tended to yield warm SST and favorable range of Chl-a concentration and SSHA, resulting in high-quality habitats for O. bartramii. While the fishing ground in the El Niño year of 2009 experienced anomalous cool waters and unfavorable range of Chl-a concentration and SSHA, leading to relatively low-quality squid habitats. Our findings suggest that the La Niña event in 1998 tended to result in more favorable habitats for O. bartramii in the Northwest Pacific with the gravity centers of fishing efforts falling within the defined suitable habitat and yielding high squid catch; whereas the El Niño event in 2009 yielded less favorable habitat areas with the fishing effort distribution mismatching the suitable habitat and a dramatic decline of the catch of O. bartramii. This study might provide some potentially

  11. Silvicolous on a small scale: possibilities and limitations of habitat suitability models for small, elusive mammals in conservation management and landscape planning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becker, Nina I; Encarnação, Jorge A

    2015-01-01

    Species distribution and endangerment can be assessed by habitat-suitability modelling. This study addresses methodical aspects of habitat suitability modelling and includes an application example in actual species conservation and landscape planning. Models using species presence-absence data are preferable to presence-only models. In contrast to species presence data, absences are rarely recorded. Therefore, many studies generate pseudo-absence data for modelling. However, in this study model quality was higher with null samples collected in the field. Next to species data the choice of landscape data is crucial for suitability modelling. Landscape data with high resolution and ecological relevance for the study species improve model reliability and quality for small elusive mammals like Muscardinus avellanarius. For large scale assessment of species distribution, models with low-detailed data are sufficient. For regional site-specific conservation issues like a conflict-free site for new wind turbines, high-detailed regional models are needed. Even though the overlap with optimally suitable habitat for M. avellanarius was low, the installation of wind plants can pose a threat due to habitat loss and fragmentation. To conclude, modellers should clearly state the purpose of their models and choose the according level of detail for species and environmental data.

  12. Experiences from using Autonomous Underwater Vehicles and Synthetic Aperture Sonar for Sediment and Habitat Mapping

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thorsnes, T.; Bjarnadóttir, L. R.

    2017-12-01

    Emerging platforms and tools like autonomous underwater vehicles and synthetic aperture sonars provide interesting opportunities for making seabed mapping more efficient and precise. Sediment grain-size maps are an important product in their own right and a key input for habitat and biotope maps. National and regional mapping programmes are tasked with mapping large areas, and survey efficiency, data quality, and resulting map confidence are important considerations when selecting the mapping strategy. Since 2005, c. 175,000 square kilometres of the Norwegian continental shelf and continental slope has been mapped with respect to sediments, habitats and biodiversity, and pollution under the MAREANO programme (www.mareano.no). At present the sediment mapping is based on a combination of ship-borne multibeam bathymetry and backscatter, visual documentation using a towed video platform, and grab sampling. We have now tested a new approach, using an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) as the survey platform for the collection of acoustic data (Synthetic Aperture Sonar (SAS), EM2040 bathymetry and backscatter) and visual data (still images using a TFish colour photo system). This pilot project was conducted together the Norwegian Hydrographic Service, the Institute of Marine Research (biology observations) and the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (operation of ship and AUV). The test site reported here is the Vesterdjupet area, offshore Lofoten, northern Norway. The water depth is between 170 and 300 metres, with sediments ranging from gravel, cobbles and boulders to sandy mud. A cold-water coral reef, associated with bioclastic sediments was also present in the study area. The presentation will give an overview of the main findings and experiences gained from this pilot project with a focus on geological mapping and will also discuss the relevance of AUV-based mapping to large-area mapping programmes like MAREANO.

  13. High-resolution mapping of European fishing pressure on the benthic habitats

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Eigaard, Ole Ritzau; Bastardie, Francois; Hintzen, Niels T.

    effort. Consequently, most logbook information is not well suited for quantitative estimation of seafloor impact (swept area and impact severity) of the different gears and trips. We present a method to overcome this information deficiency of official statistics and develop high-resolution large......) and gear width estimates were assigned to individual interpolated vessel tracks based on VMS data. The outcome was European wide highresolution fishing intensity maps (total yearly swept area within grid cells of 1*1 minutes longitude and latitude) for 2010, 2011 and 2012. Finally the high-resolution...... fishing pressure maps were overlaid with existing marine habitat maps to identify areas of potential ecosystem service conflicts...

  14. Assessment and mapping of tradeoffs land uses in the Orangutan habitat: A case Pongo pygmeus pygmeus habitat of West Kalimantan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siregar, P. G.; Supriatna, J.; Koestoer, R. H.; Harmantyo, D.

    2017-07-01

    This study aims to analyse trade-offs among 6 (six) types of dominant land uses to consider Orangutan livelihood and landscape sustainability. The results of this study assists landscape's planners and policy makers for selecting development scenarios as well as policy within the landscape, especially to reduce human and wildlife conflict as impact of development. This study was conducted in Orangutan sub species Pongo pygmeus pygmeus habitat in West Kalimantan, Indonesia. Net present value analysis was applied to identify economic profit of land uses and also perspective of expert judgment was applied to identify suitability of the land uses to Orangutan livelihood. The study shows that palm oil plantation was the dominant land use type in non-forest area category and natural forest is in forest area category within the site. Palm oil contributed highest economic profit (average IDR 11 Million per year) compared to other land use types, and thus the worst land use type for supporting Orangutan conservation; index suitability for Orangutan achieved only 21.8. The development of agroforestry which planted more than 3 valuable economic commodities is used as an alternative in forest buffer area development that can provide better gain for economic and Orangutan conservation with index suitability for Orangutan was 43.5. In achieving sustainability at the landscape level, it needs to consider the sustainability of the umbrella species, such as Orangutan. The existence of the umbrella species would also protect other biodiversity, forest and its environmental services.

  15. Ellenberg's indicator values support prediction of suitable habitat for pre-diapause larvae of endangered butterfly Euphydryas aurinia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Remigiusz Pielech

    Full Text Available In spite of the great popularity of Ellenberg's Indicator Values (EIVs in plant ecology, animal ecologists seldom use EIVs to address ecological questions. In this study we used EIVs to test their potential usefulness for the prediction of suitable habitat for pre-diapause larvae of the endangered butterfly species Euphydryas aurinia. Nine transects crossing grasslands in SW Poland with abundant populations of E. aurinia were designed. We sampled 76 vegetation plots along the transects. In addition, the presence of the larval webs of E. aurinia in sampled plots was also recorded. We then calculated the mean community EIVs of light, nitrogen, soil reaction, moisture and temperature for each sample plots. Generalized linear mixed-effects models (GLMMs were used to assess which factors determine the local occurrence of larval webs of E. aurinia. We found the larval webs only in 12 plots, while the host plant was present in 39 of the examined plots. The presence of the host plant was the most important predictor in both models including all plots or including only plots with host plants. The other significant predictor was the mean EIV of light, and its importance increased in models considering all plots. We attributed the importance of the EIV of light to the site openness and density of the vegetation layer. A positive relationship between this predictor and the presence of larval webs indicates that sites with looser vegetation, a lower contribution of shrubs and tall herbs and better penetration of photosynthetically active radiation to lower vegetation layers are preferred by E. aurinia for oviposition. Moreover, the significance of EIV of light may be linked with management practices. Many light-demanding species decline after cessation of mowing as a result of litter accumulation and the dominance of tall herbs. An absence of light-demanding species decreases the community's mean EIV of light and thus indicates the influence of meadow

  16. Southern Salish Sea Habitat Map Series data catalog

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cochrane, Guy R.

    2015-01-01

    In 2010, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 10 initiated the Puget Sound Scientific Studies and Technical Investigations Assistance Program, which was designed to support research for implementing the Puget Sound Action Agenda. The Action Agenda was created because Puget Sound was designated as one of 28 estuaries of National Significance under section 320 of the Clean Water Act, and its overall goal is to restore the environment of the Puget Sound Estuary by 2020. The Southern Salish Sea Mapping Project was funded through the Assistance Program request for proposal process which also supports a large number of coastal-zone- and ocean-management issues, and includes the recommendations of the Marine Protected Areas Work Group to the Washington State Legislature. These recommendations include a Puget Sound and coast-wide marine conservation needs assessment, gap analysis of existing Marine Protected Areas and recommendations for action.

  17. Coastal Bend Texas Benthic Habitat Mapping Patchy Shapefile Map - Lower Laguna Madre

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The NOAA Office for Coastal Management (OCM) requested the creation of benthic habitat data along the southern Texas coast to support the Texas Seagrass Monitoring...

  18. Habitat Mapping and Classification of the Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve using AISA Hyperspectral Imagery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rose, K.

    2012-12-01

    Habitat mapping and classification provides essential information for land use planning and ecosystem research, monitoring and management. At the Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (GRDNERR), Mississippi, habitat characterization of the Grand Bay watershed will also be used to develop a decision-support tool for the NERR's managers and state and local partners. Grand Bay NERR habitat units were identified using a combination of remotely sensed imagery, aerial photography and elevation data. Airborne Imaging Spectrometer for Applications (AISA) hyperspectral data, acquired 5 and 6 May 2010, was analyzed and classified using ENVI v4.8 and v5.0 software. The AISA system was configured to return 63 bands of digital imagery data with a spectral range of 400 to 970 nm (VNIR), spectral resolution (bandwidth) at 8.76 nm, and 1 m spatial resolution. Minimum Noise Fraction (MNF) and Inverse Minimum Noise Fraction were applied to the data prior to using Spectral Angle Mapper ([SAM] supervised) and ISODATA (unsupervised) classification techniques. The resulting class image was exported to ArcGIS 10.0 and visually inspected and compared with the original imagery as well as auxiliary datasets to assist in the attribution of habitat characteristics to the spectral classes, including: National Agricultural Imagery Program (NAIP) aerial photography, Jackson County, MS, 2010; USFWS National Wetlands Inventory, 2007; an existing GRDNERR habitat map (2004), SAV (2009) and salt panne (2002-2003) GIS produced by GRDNERR; and USACE lidar topo-bathymetry, 2005. A field survey to validate the map's accuracy will take place during the 2012 summer season. ENVI's Random Sample generator was used to generate GIS points for a ground-truth survey. The broad range of coastal estuarine habitats and geomorphological features- many of which are transitional and vulnerable to environmental stressors- that have been identified within the GRDNERR point to the value of the Reserve for

  19. Hudson Canyon benthic habitats characterization and mapping by integrated analysis of multidisciplinary data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pierdomenico, Martina; Guida, Vincent G.; Rona, Peter A.; Macelloni, Leonardo; Scranton, Mary I.; Asper, Vernon; Diercks, Arne

    2013-04-01

    Hudson Canyon, about 180 km SE of New York City, is the largest eastern U.S. submarine canyon and is under consideration for HAPC (Habitat Area of Particular Concern) status, representing a fisheries and biodiversity hot spot. Interest in the area, within the perspective of ecosystem based management, marine spatial planning, habitat and species conservation, led to a joint project between NOAA Northeast Fisheries, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Mississippi Mineral Research Institute (MMRI), National Institute for Undersea Science and Technology (NIUST), Stony Brook and Rutgers Universities for the study of benthic habitats, that includes the assembly of existing data with newly collected ones: acoustic mapping, visual ground-truthing, hydrographic, sedimentological, and trawl data collections. Acoustic mapping, performed using AUV-mounted multibeam sonar, provided ultra-high resolution bathymetric and backscatter imagery (3m and 1m respectively) at all water depths for identification of geomorphological features and for the characterization of surficial sediments along the two thirds of the shelf portion of the canyon. Identification of benthic and demersal communities was accomplished by visual ground thruthing with underwater vehicle video and still cameras, and from trawl catch data. A CTD-rosette sampler provided water column salinity-temperature profiles and water samples for dissolved methane analysis in the vicinity of suspected bottom sources. Analysis of data revealed a complex of topographic structures and hydrological patterns that provide a wide range of physical habitats in a relatively small area. A mosaic of sandy and muddy substrates, gravel beds, rock outcrops, and semilithified clay outcrops host rich and varied faunal assemblages, including deepwater corals and sponge communities. Pockmark fields, occurring below 300 m depth, suggest that methane-based chemosynthetic carbonate deposition contributes to creation of specific hard bottom habitats

  20. Digital soil mapping in assessment of land suitability for organic farming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghambashidze, Giorgi; Kentchiashvili, Naira; Tarkhnishvili, Maia; Jolokhava, Tamar; Meskhi, Tea

    2017-04-01

    Digital soil mapping (DSM) is a fast-developing sub discipline of soil science which gets more importance along with increased availability of spatial data. DSM is based on three main components: the input in the form of field and laboratory observational methods, the process used in terms of spatial and non-spatial soil inference systems, and the output in the form of spatial soil information systems, which includes outputs in the form of rasters of prediction along with the uncertainty of prediction. Georgia is one of the countries who are under the way of spatial data infrastructure development, which includes soil related spatial data also. Therefore, it is important to demonstrate the capacity of DSM technics for planning and decision making process, in which assessment of land suitability is a major interest for those willing to grow agricultural crops. In that term land suitability assessment for establishing organic farms is in high demand as market for organically produced commodities is still increasing. It is the first attempt in Georgia to use DSM to predict areas with potential for organic farming development. Current approach is based on risk assessment of soil pollution with toxic elements (As, Hg, Pb, Cd, Cr) and prediction of bio-availability of those elements to plants on example of the region of Western Georgia, where detailed soil survey was conducted and spatial database of soil was created. The results of the study show the advantages of DSM at early stage assessment and depending on availability and quality of the input data, it can achieve acceptable accuracy.

  1. Predicting Effects of Climate Change on Habitat Suitability of Red Spruce (Picea rubens Sarg. in the Southern Appalachian Mountains of the USA: Understanding Complex Systems Mechanisms through Modeling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kyung Ah Koo

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Alpine, subalpine and boreal tree species, of low genetic diversity and adapted to low optimal temperatures, are vulnerable to the warming effects of global climate change. The accurate prediction of these species’ distributions in response to climate change is critical for effective planning and management. The goal of this research is to predict climate change effects on the distribution of red spruce (Picea rubens Sarg. in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP, eastern USA. Climate change is, however, conflated with other environmental factors, making its assessment a complex systems problem in which indirect effects are significant in causality. Predictions were made by linking a tree growth simulation model, red spruce growth model (ARIM.SIM, to a GIS spatial model, red spruce habitat model (ARIM.HAB. ARIM.SIM quantifies direct and indirect interactions between red spruce and its growth factors, revealing the latter to be dominant. ARIM.HAB spatially distributes the ARIM.SIM simulations under the assumption that greater growth reflects higher probabilities of presence. ARIM.HAB predicts the future habitat suitability of red spruce based on growth predictions of ARIM.SIM under climate change and three air pollution scenarios: 10% increase, no change and 10% decrease. Results show that suitable habitats shrink most when air pollution increases. Higher temperatures cause losses of most low-elevation habitats. Increased precipitation and air pollution produce acid rain, which causes loss of both low- and high-elevation habitats. The general prediction is that climate change will cause contraction of red spruce habitats at both lower and higher elevations in GSMNP, and the effects will be exacerbated by increased air pollution. These predictions provide valuable information for understanding potential impacts of global climate change on the spatiotemporal distribution of red spruce habitats in GSMNP.

  2. Climate change and tree-line ecosystems in the Sierra Nevada: Habitat suitability modelling to inform high-elevation forest dynamics monitoring

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Peggy E.; Alvarez, Otto; McKinney, Shawn T.; Li, Wenkai; Brooks, Matthew L.; Guo, Qinghua

    2017-01-01

    Whitebark pine and foxtail pine serve foundational roles in the subalpine zone of the Sierra Nevada. They provide the dominant structure in tree-line forests and regulate key ecosystem processes and community dynamics. Climate change models suggest that there will be changes in temperature regimes and in the timing and magnitude of precipitation within the current distribution of these species, and these changes may alter the species’ distributional limits. Other stressors include the non-native pathogen white pine blister rust and mountain pine beetle, which have played a role in the decline of whitebark pine throughout much of its range. The National Park Service is monitoring status and trends of these species. This report provides complementary information in the form of habitat suitability models to predict climate change impacts on the future distribution of these species within Sierra Nevada national parks.We used maximum entropy modeling to build habitat suitability models by relating species occurrence to environmental variables. Species occurrence was available from 328 locations for whitebark pine and 244 for foxtail pine across the species’ distributions within the parks. We constructed current climate surfaces for modeling by interpolating data from weather stations. Climate surfaces included mean, minimum, and maximum temperature and total precipitation for January, April, July, and October. We downscaled five general circulation models for the 2050s and the 2090s from ~125 km2 to 1 km2 under both an optimistic and an extreme climate scenario to bracket potential climatic change and its influence on projected suitable habitat. To describe anticipated changes in the distribution of suitable habitat, we compared, for each species, climate scenario, and time period, the current models with future models in terms of proportional change in habitat size, elevation distribution, model center points, and where habitat is predicted to expand or contract

  3. Shelf spawning habitat of Emmelichthys nitidus in south-eastern Australia - Implications and suitability for egg-based biomass estimation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neira, Francisco J.; Lyle, Jeremy M.; Keane, John P.

    2009-03-01

    The spawning habitat of Emmelichthys nitidus (Emmelichthyidae) in south-eastern Australia is described from vertical ichthyoplankton samples collected along the shelf region off eastern through to south-western Tasmania during peak spawning in October 2005-06. Surveys covered eastern waters in 2005 (38.8-43.5°S), and both eastern and southern waters in 2006 (40.5°S around to 43.5°S off the south-west). Eggs ( n = 10,393) and larvae ( n = 378) occurred along eastern Tasmania in both years but were rare along southern waters south and westwards of 43.5°S in 2006. Peak egg abundances (1950-2640 per m -2) were obtained off north-eastern Tasmania (40.5-41.5°S) between the shelf break and 2.5 nm inshore from the break. Eggs were up to 5-days old, while nearly 95% of larvae were at the early preflexion stage, i.e. close to newly emerged. Average abundances of aged eggs pooled across each survey declined steadily from day-1 to day-5 eggs both in 2005 (97-18) and 2006 (175-34). Moreover, day-1 egg abundances were significantly greater 2.5 nm at either side of the break, including at the break, than in waters ≥5 nm both inshore and offshore from the break. These results, complemented with egg and larval data obtained in shelf waters off New South Wales (NSW; 35.0-37.7°S) in October 2002-03, indicate that the main spawning area of E. nitidus in south-eastern Australia lies between 35.5°S off southern NSW and 43.5°S off south-eastern Tasmania, and that spawning activity declines abruptly south and westwards of 43.5°S around to the south-west coast. In addition, quotient analyses of day-1 egg abundances point to a preferred spawning habitat contained predominantly within a 5 nm corridor along the shelf break, where waters are 125-325 m deep and median temperatures 13.5-14.0 °C. Spawning off eastern Tasmania is timed with the productivity outburst typical of the region during the austral spring, and the temperature increase from the mixing between the southwards

  4. Combining dispersal, landscape connectivity and habitat suitability to assess climate-induced changes in the distribution of Cunningham's skink, Egernia cunninghami.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ofori, Benjamin Y; Stow, Adam J; Baumgartner, John B; Beaumont, Linda J

    2017-01-01

    The ability of species to track their climate niche is dependent on their dispersal potential and the connectivity of the landscape matrix linking current and future suitable habitat. However, studies modeling climate-driven range shifts rarely address the movement of species across landscapes realistically, often assuming "unlimited" or "no" dispersal. Here, we incorporate dispersal rate and landscape connectivity with a species distribution model (Maxent) to assess the extent to which the Cunningham's skink (Egernia cunninghami) may be capable of tracking spatial shifts in suitable habitat as climate changes. Our model was projected onto four contrasting, but equally plausible, scenarios describing futures that are (relative to now) hot/wet, warm/dry, hot/with similar precipitation and warm/wet, at six time horizons with decadal intervals (2020-2070) and at two spatial resolutions: 1 km and 250 m. The size of suitable habitat was projected to decline 23-63% at 1 km and 26-64% at 250 m, by 2070. Combining Maxent output with the dispersal rate of the species and connectivity of the intervening landscape matrix showed that most current populations in regions projected to become unsuitable in the medium to long term, will be unable to shift the distance necessary to reach suitable habitat. In particular, numerous populations currently inhabiting the trailing edge of the species' range are highly unlikely to be able to disperse fast enough to track climate change. Unless these populations are capable of adaptation they are likely to be extirpated. We note, however, that the core of the species distribution remains suitable across the broad spectrum of climate scenarios considered. Our findings highlight challenges faced by philopatric species and the importance of adaptation for the persistence of peripheral populations under climate change.

  5. Combining dispersal, landscape connectivity and habitat suitability to assess climate-induced changes in the distribution of Cunningham's skink, Egernia cunninghami.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benjamin Y Ofori

    Full Text Available The ability of species to track their climate niche is dependent on their dispersal potential and the connectivity of the landscape matrix linking current and future suitable habitat. However, studies modeling climate-driven range shifts rarely address the movement of species across landscapes realistically, often assuming "unlimited" or "no" dispersal. Here, we incorporate dispersal rate and landscape connectivity with a species distribution model (Maxent to assess the extent to which the Cunningham's skink (Egernia cunninghami may be capable of tracking spatial shifts in suitable habitat as climate changes. Our model was projected onto four contrasting, but equally plausible, scenarios describing futures that are (relative to now hot/wet, warm/dry, hot/with similar precipitation and warm/wet, at six time horizons with decadal intervals (2020-2070 and at two spatial resolutions: 1 km and 250 m. The size of suitable habitat was projected to decline 23-63% at 1 km and 26-64% at 250 m, by 2070. Combining Maxent output with the dispersal rate of the species and connectivity of the intervening landscape matrix showed that most current populations in regions projected to become unsuitable in the medium to long term, will be unable to shift the distance necessary to reach suitable habitat. In particular, numerous populations currently inhabiting the trailing edge of the species' range are highly unlikely to be able to disperse fast enough to track climate change. Unless these populations are capable of adaptation they are likely to be extirpated. We note, however, that the core of the species distribution remains suitable across the broad spectrum of climate scenarios considered. Our findings highlight challenges faced by philopatric species and the importance of adaptation for the persistence of peripheral populations under climate change.

  6. Combining dispersal, landscape connectivity and habitat suitability to assess climate-induced changes in the distribution of Cunningham’s skink, Egernia cunninghami

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stow, Adam J.; Baumgartner, John B.; Beaumont, Linda J.

    2017-01-01

    The ability of species to track their climate niche is dependent on their dispersal potential and the connectivity of the landscape matrix linking current and future suitable habitat. However, studies modeling climate-driven range shifts rarely address the movement of species across landscapes realistically, often assuming “unlimited” or “no” dispersal. Here, we incorporate dispersal rate and landscape connectivity with a species distribution model (Maxent) to assess the extent to which the Cunningham’s skink (Egernia cunninghami) may be capable of tracking spatial shifts in suitable habitat as climate changes. Our model was projected onto four contrasting, but equally plausible, scenarios describing futures that are (relative to now) hot/wet, warm/dry, hot/with similar precipitation and warm/wet, at six time horizons with decadal intervals (2020–2070) and at two spatial resolutions: 1 km and 250 m. The size of suitable habitat was projected to decline 23–63% at 1 km and 26–64% at 250 m, by 2070. Combining Maxent output with the dispersal rate of the species and connectivity of the intervening landscape matrix showed that most current populations in regions projected to become unsuitable in the medium to long term, will be unable to shift the distance necessary to reach suitable habitat. In particular, numerous populations currently inhabiting the trailing edge of the species’ range are highly unlikely to be able to disperse fast enough to track climate change. Unless these populations are capable of adaptation they are likely to be extirpated. We note, however, that the core of the species distribution remains suitable across the broad spectrum of climate scenarios considered. Our findings highlight challenges faced by philopatric species and the importance of adaptation for the persistence of peripheral populations under climate change. PMID:28873398

  7. A global map of suitability for coastal Vibrio cholerae under current and future climate conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Escobar, Luis E; Ryan, Sadie J; Stewart-Ibarra, Anna M; Finkelstein, Julia L; King, Christine A; Qiao, Huijie; Polhemus, Mark E

    2015-09-01

    Vibrio cholerae is a globally distributed water-borne pathogen that causes severe diarrheal disease and mortality, with current outbreaks as part of the seventh pandemic. Further understanding of the role of environmental factors in potential pathogen distribution and corresponding V. cholerae disease transmission over time and space is urgently needed to target surveillance of cholera and other climate and water-sensitive diseases. We used an ecological niche model (ENM) to identify environmental variables associated with V. cholerae presence in marine environments, to project a global model of V. cholerae distribution in ocean waters under current and future climate scenarios. We generated an ENM using published reports of V. cholerae in seawater and freely available remotely sensed imagery. Models indicated that factors associated with V. cholerae presence included chlorophyll-a, pH, and sea surface temperature (SST), with chlorophyll-a demonstrating the greatest explanatory power from variables selected for model calibration. We identified specific geographic areas for potential V. cholerae distribution. Coastal Bangladesh, where cholera is endemic, was found to be environmentally similar to coastal areas in Latin America. In a conservative climate change scenario, we observed a predicted increase in areas with environmental conditions suitable for V. cholerae. Findings highlight the potential for vulnerability maps to inform cholera surveillance, early warning systems, and disease prevention and control. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. What makes segmentation good? A case study in boreal forest habitat mapping

    OpenAIRE

    Räsänen, Aleksi; Rusanen, Antti; Kuitunen, Markku; Lensu, Anssi

    2013-01-01

    Segmentation goodness evaluation is a set of approaches meant for deciding which segmentation is good. In this study, we tested different supervised segmentation evaluation measures and visual interpretation in the case of boreal forest habitat mapping in Southern Finland. The data used were WorldView-2 satellite imagery, a lidar digital elevation model (DEM), and a canopy height model (CHM) in 2 m resolution. The segmentation methods tested were the fractal net evolution approach (FNEA) and ...

  9. Invasion establishment and habitat suitability of Chromolaena odorata (L. King and Robinson over time and space in the western Himalayan forests of India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gautam Mandal

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Habitat suitability assessment of the invasive species Chromolaena odorata (L. King and Robinson from Himalayan forests reveals some interesting findings and conclusions. At different study sites, 29 of 72 species were exotic and invasive and comprised 21 genera and eight families. Indigenous species accounted for 59% of the total species and comprised 26 genera and 11 families. Perennials outnumbered the annuals in all study sites. Chromolaena odorata and Lantana camara L. were the only invasive species that were common to all sites with high importance value index values. The present work reveals that sites with high biotic pressure, maximum temperature variation, open forest canopy, and free from herbivory are the most suitable habitat for the growth of C. odorata. An elevated level of phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, soil organic matter, and nitrogen and acidic soil in all invaded sites are possible reasons for further invasion of C. odorata.

  10. A comparison of top-down and bottom-up approaches to benthic habitat mapping to inform offshore wind energy development

    Science.gov (United States)

    LaFrance, Monique; King, John W.; Oakley, Bryan A.; Pratt, Sheldon

    2014-07-01

    full-coverage data to create full-coverage habitat classes. Such classes could only be developed when sediment data was excluded, since this point-sample dataset could not be interpolated due to high spatial heterogeneity of the study areas. Given a higher density of bottom samples, this issue could be rectified. While the top-down approach was more appropriate for this study, both approaches were found to be suitable for mapping and classifying benthic habitats. In the United States, objectives for mapping and classification for renewable energy development have not been well established. Therefore, at this time, the best-suited approach primarily depends on mapping objectives, resource availability, data quality and coverage, and geographical location, as these factors impact the types of data included, the analyses and modeling that can be performed, and the biotic-abiotic relationships identified.

  11. Modelling the spatial and seasonal distribution of suitable habitats of schistosomiasis intermediate host snails using Maxent in Ndumo area, KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tawanda Manyangadze

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Schistosomiasis is a snail-borne disease endemic in sub-Saharan Africa transmitted by freshwater snails. The distribution of schistosomiasis coincides with that of the intermediate hosts as determined by climatic and environmental factors. The aim of this paper was to model the spatial and seasonal distribution of suitable habitats for Bulinus globosus and Biomphalaria pfeifferi snail species (intermediate hosts for Schistosoma haematobium and Schistosoma mansoni, respectively in the Ndumo area of uMkhanyakude district, South Africa. Methods Maximum Entropy (Maxent modelling technique was used to predict the distribution of suitable habitats for B. globosus and B. pfeifferi using presence-only datasets with ≥ 5 and ≤ 12 sampling points in different seasons. Precipitation, maximum and minimum temperatures, Normalised Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI, Normalised Difference Water Index (NDWI, pH, slope and Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI were the background variables in the Maxent models. The models were validated using the area under the curve (AUC and omission rate. Results The predicted suitable habitats for intermediate snail hosts varied with seasons. The AUC for models in all seasons ranged from 0.71 to 1 and the prediction rates were between 0.8 and 0.9. Although B. globosus was found at more localities in the Ndumo area, there was also evidence of cohabiting with B. pfiefferi at some of the locations. NDWI had significant contribution to the models in all seasons. Conclusion The Maxent model is robust in snail habitat suitability modelling even with small dataset of presence-only sampling sites. Application of the methods and design used in this study may be useful in developing a control and management programme for schistosomiasis in the Ndumo area.

  12. Predicted effects of future climate warming on thermal habitat suitability for Lake Sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens, Rafinesque, 1817) in rivers in Wisconsin, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyons, John D.; Stewart, Jana S.

    2015-01-01

    The Lake Sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens, Rafinesque, 1817) may be threatened by future climate warming. The purpose of this study was to identify river reaches in Wisconsin, USA, where they might be vulnerable to warming water temperatures. In Wisconsin, A. fulvescens is known from 2291 km of large-river habitat that has been fragmented into 48 discrete river-lake networks isolated by impassable dams. Although the exact temperature tolerances are uncertain, water temperatures above 28–30°C are potentially less suitable for this coolwater species. Predictions from 13 downscaled global climate models were input to a lotic water temperature model to estimate amounts of potential thermally less-suitable habitat at present and for 2046–2065. Currently, 341 km (14.9%) of the known habitat are estimated to regularly exceed 28°C for an entire day, but only 6 km (0.3%) to exceed 30°C. In 2046–2065, 685–2164 km (29.9–94.5%) are projected to exceed 28°C and 33–1056 km (1.4–46.1%) to exceed 30°C. Most river-lake networks have cooler segments, large tributaries, or lakes that might provide temporary escape from potentially less suitable temperatures, but 12 short networks in the Lower Fox and Middle Wisconsin rivers totaling 93.6 km are projected to have no potential thermal refugia. One possible adaptation to climate change could be to provide fish passage or translocation so that riverine Lake Sturgeon might have access to more thermally suitable habitats.

  13. Present and Future Projections of Habitat Suitability of the Asian Tiger Mosquito, a Vector of Viral Pathogens, from Global Climate Simulations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Proestos, Y.; Christophides, G.; Erguler, K.; Tanarhte, M.; Waldock, J.; Lelieveld, J.

    2014-12-01

    Climate change can influence the transmission of vector borne diseases (VBDs) through altering the habitat suitability of insect vectors. Here we present global climate model simulations and evaluate the associated uncertainties in view of the main meteorological factors that may affect the distribution of the Asian Tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus), which can transmit pathogens that cause Chikungunya, Dengue fever, yellow fever and various encephalitides. Using a general circulation model (GCM) at 50 km horizontal resolution to simulate mosquito survival variables including temperature, precipitation and relative humidity, we present both global and regional projections of the habitat suitability up to the middle of the 21st century. The model resolution of 50 km allows evaluation against previous projections for Europe and provides a basis for comparative analyses with other regions. Model uncertainties and performance are addressed in light of the recent CMIP5 ensemble climate model simulations for the RCP8.5 concentration pathway and using meteorological re-analysis data (ERA-Interim/ECMWF) for the recent past. Uncertainty ranges associated with the thresholds of meteorological variables that may affect the distribution of Ae. albopictus are diagnosed using fuzzy-logic methodology, notably to assess the influence of selected meteorological criteria and combinations of criteria that influence mosquito habitat suitability. From the climate projections for 2050, and adopting a habitat suitability index larger than 70%, we estimate that about 2.4 billion individuals in a land area of nearly 20 million square kilometres will potentially be exposed to Ae. albopictus. The synthesis of fuzzy-logic based on mosquito biology and climate change analysis provides new insights into the regional and global spreading of VBDs to support disease control and policy making.

  14. Effect of spatial and temporal scales on habitat suitability modeling: A case study of Ommastrephes bartramii in the northwest pacific ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gong, Caixia; Chen, Xinjun; Gao, Feng; Tian, Siquan

    2014-12-01

    Temporal and spatial scales play important roles in fishery ecology, and an inappropriate spatio-temporal scale may result in large errors in modeling fish distribution. The objective of this study is to evaluate the roles of spatio-temporal scales in habitat suitability modeling, with the western stock of winter-spring cohort of neon flying squid ( Ommastrephes bartramii) in the northwest Pacific Ocean as an example. In this study, the fishery-dependent data from the Chinese Mainland Squid Jigging Technical Group and sea surface temperature (SST) from remote sensing during August to October of 2003-2008 were used. We evaluated the differences in a habitat suitability index model resulting from aggregating data with 36 different spatial scales with a combination of three latitude scales (0.5°, 1° and 2°), four longitude scales (0.5°, 1°, 2° and 4°), and three temporal scales (week, fortnight, and month). The coefficients of variation (CV) of the weekly, biweekly and monthly suitability index (SI) were compared to determine which temporal and spatial scales of SI model are more precise. This study shows that the optimal temporal and spatial scales with the lowest CV are month, and 0.5° latitude and 0.5° longitude for O. bartramii in the northwest Pacific Ocean. This suitability index model developed with an optimal scale can be cost-effective in improving forecasting fishing ground and requires no excessive sampling efforts. We suggest that the uncertainty associated with spatial and temporal scales used in data aggregations needs to be considered in habitat suitability modeling.

  15. Benthic Habitat Type Maps of Lanai 2000 - Prepared by Visual Interpretation from Remote Sensing Imagery Collected by NOAA

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — FIve habitat and zone maps. This project is a cooperative effort between the National Ocean Service, National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, Center for Coastal...

  16. Benthic Habitat Type Maps of the Maui Island 2000 - Prepared by Visual Interpretation from Remote Sensing Imagery Collected by NOAA

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Thirteen habitat and zone maps. This project is a cooperative effort between the National Ocean Service, National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, Center for...

  17. Benthic Habitat Type Maps of Kauai Island 2000 - Prepared by Visual Interpretation from Remote Sensing Imagery Collected by NOAA

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Eleven habitat and zone maps. This project is a cooperative effort between the National Ocean Service, National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, Center for Coastal...

  18. Benthic Habitat Type Maps of Hawaii Island 2000 - Prepared by Visual Interpretation from Remote Sensing Imagery Collected by NOAA

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Twenty-one Habitat and Zome Maps. This project is a cooperative effort between the National Ocean Service, National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, Center for...

  19. NCCOS Assessment: Benthic habitat maps of Saipan Lagoon, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (NCEI Accession 0162517)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Highly detailed maps of benthic habitats within the lagoon along the western shore of Saipan were created by NOAA NCCOS. This data collection includes the...

  20. 2005 IKONOS Image of St. John Utilized to derive Benthic Habitat Maps (IK_191555_0000000.img)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Benthic habitat maps of the nearshore marine environment of St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands were created by visual interpretation of remotely sensed imagery. The...

  1. 2005 IKONOS Image of St. John Utilized to derive Benthic Habitat Maps (IK_191556_0000000.img)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Benthic habitat maps of the nearshore marine environment of St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands were created by visual interpretation of remotely sensed imagery. The...

  2. 2000 IKONOS Image of St. John Utilized to derive Benthic Habitat Maps (IK_304713_0000000.img)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Benthic habitat maps of the nearshore marine environment of St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands were created by visual interpretation of remotely sensed imagery. The...

  3. Modeling amphibian energetics, habitat suitability, and movements of western toads, Anaxyrus (=Bufo) boreas, across present and future landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartelt, Paul E.; Klaver, Robert W.; Porter, Warren P.

    2010-01-01

    Effective conservation of amphibian populations requires the prediction of how amphibians use and move through a landscape. Amphibians are closely coupled to their physical environment. Thus an approach that uses the physiological attributes of amphibians, together with knowledge of their natural history, should be helpful. We used Niche Mapper™ to model the known movements and habitat use patterns of a population of Western toads (Anaxyrus (=Bufo) boreas) occupying forested habitats in southeastern Idaho. Niche Mapper uses first principles of environmental biophysics to combine features of topography, climate, land cover, and animal features to model microclimates and animal physiology and behavior across landscapes. Niche Mapper reproduced core body temperatures (Tc) and evaporation rates of live toads with average errors of 1.6 ± 0.4 °C and 0.8 ± 0.2 g/h, respectively. For four different habitat types, it reproduced similar mid-summer daily temperature patterns as those measured in the field and calculated evaporation rates (g/h) with an average error rate of 7.2 ± 5.5%. Sensitivity analyses indicate these errors do not significantly affect estimates of food consumption or activity. Using Niche Mapper we predicted the daily habitats used by free-ranging toads; our accuracy for female toads was greater than for male toads (74.2 ± 6.8% and 53.6 ± 15.8%, respectively), reflecting the stronger patterns of habitat selection among females. Using these changing to construct a cost surface, we also reconstructed movement paths that were consistent with field observations. The effect of climate warming on toads depends on the interaction of temperature and atmospheric moisture. If climate change occurs as predicted, results from Niche Mapper suggests that climate warming will increase the physiological cost of landscapes thereby limiting the activity for toads in different habitats.

  4. Nesting Habitat Suitability for Olive Ridley Turtles (Lepidochelys Olivacea at the Gahirmatha Rookery, Odisha Coast of India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Satyaranjan BEHERA

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available The changes in the beach dynamics at Gahirmatha sea turtle rookery along Odisha coast of India have forced the olive ridley turtles to nests in a non-conducive environment. In the recent past, non-availability of nesting beach due to erosion was hypothesized to be one of the major reasons for non-occurrence of arribada at Gahirmatha. This paper reviews the current status of nesting habitat for olive ridley turtles at Gahirmatha and suggests onshore and offshore developmental activities close to Gahirmatha rookery should be monitored efficiently so that future arribada at this rookery should not be troubled due to habitat destruction.

  5. Skipjack Tuna Availability for Purse Seine Fisheries Is Driven by Suitable Feeding Habitat Dynamics in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jean-Noël Druon

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available An Ecological Niche model was developed for skipjack tuna (Katsuwonus pelamis, SKJ in the Eastern Central Atlantic Ocean (AO and Western Indian Ocean (IO using an extensive set of presence data collected by the European purse seine fleet (1998–2014. Chlorophyll-a fronts were used as proxy for food availability while mixed layer depth, sea surface temperature, dissolved oxygen, salinity, current intensity, and height anomaly variables were selected to describe SKJ's abiotic environmental preferences. The resultant ecological niche included both mesoscale eddy-type productive features that displayed latitudinal range in the IO to large scale upwelling systems that shrink and swell seasonally in the AO. Overall, 83% of all free swimming school sets (FSC and 75% of drifting fish aggregating device sets (dFAD that contained SKJ occurred within 25 km of favorable feeding habitat. In the AO, 34% of dFAD sets were made more than 100 km away from this habitat, mostly in the surface chlorophyll-a poor environment of the Guinea Current. These distant sets represent 10% of dFAD sets in the IO and 8% of all FSC sets. Our results suggest that the Mozambique Channel in the IO, with its simultaneously favorable feeding and spawning conditions, may seasonally offer a better SKJ nursery habitat than the Guinea Current which shows a substantially poorer feeding capacity. With the exception of this latter area, our results also suggest that fishing accessibility will be higher in months where the size of the favorable feeding habitats are reduced, likely because this reduction drives a geographical contraction in SKJ populations. The observed relationship between the annual size of favorable feeding habitat and both annual catch rates and total catches in the IO is consistent with the near-full exploitation of this stock that has occurred since the 2000s. Moreover, it suggests that annual habitat size could be used as an indicator of growth capacity for this

  6. Chapter 13 Application of landscape and habitat suitability models to conservation: the Hoosier National Forest land-management plan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chadwick D. Rittenhouse; Stephen R. Shifley; William D. Dijak; Zhaofei Fan; Frank R., III Thompson; Joshua J. Millspaugh; Judith A. Perez; Cynthia M. Sandeno

    2011-01-01

    We demonstrate an approach to integrated land-management planning and quantify differences in vegetation and avian habitat conditions among 5 management alternatives as part of the Hoosier National Forest planning process. The alternatives differed in terms of the type, extent, magnitude, frequency, and location of management activities. We modeled ecological processes...

  7. Barrier island habitat map and vegetation survey—Dauphin Island, Alabama, 2015

    Science.gov (United States)

    Enwright, Nicholas M.; Borchert, Sinéad M.; Day, Richard H.; Feher, Laura C.; Osland, Michael J.; Wang, Lei; Wang, Hongqing

    2017-08-04

    Barrier islands are dynamic environments due to their position at the land-sea interface. Storms, waves, tides, currents, and relative sea-level rise are powerful forces that shape barrier island geomorphology and habitats (for example, beach, dune, marsh, and forest). Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the Deep Water Horizon oil spill in 2010 are two major events that have affected habitats and natural resources on Dauphin Island, Alabama. The latter event prompted a collaborative effort between the U.S. Geological Survey, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the State of Alabama funded by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to investigate viable, sustainable restoration options that protect and restore the natural resources of Dauphin Island, Alabama.In order to understand the feasibility and sustainability of various restoration scenarios, it is important to understand current conditions on Dauphin Island. To further this understanding, a detailed 19-class habitat map for Dauphin Island was produced from 1-foot aerial infrared photography collected on December 4, 2015, and lidar data collected in January 2015. We also conducted a ground survey of habitat types, vegetation community structure, and elevations in November and December 2015. These products provide baseline data regarding the ecological and general geomorphological attributes of the area, which can be compared with observations from other dates for tracking changes over time.

  8. Habitat mapping using hyperspectral images in the vicinity of Hekla volcano in Iceland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vilmundardóttir, Olga K.; Sigurmundsson, Friðþór S.; Pedersen, Gro B. M.; Falco, Nicola; Rustowicz, Rose; Gísladóttir, Guðrún; Benediktsson, Jón A.

    2016-04-01

    Hekla, one of the most active volcanoes in Iceland, has created a diverse volcanic landscape with lava flows, hyaloclastite and tephra fields. The variety of geological formations and different times of formation create diverse vegetation within Hekla's vicinity. The region is subjected to extensive loss of vegetation cover and soil erosion due to human utilization of woodlands and ongoing sheep grazing. The eolian activity and frequent tephra deposition has created vast areas of sparse vegetation cover. Over the 20th century, many activities have centered on preventing further loss of vegetated land and restoring ecosystems. The benefit of these activities is now noticeable in the increased vegetation and woodland cover although erosion is still active within the area. For mapping and monitoring this highly dynamic environment remote sensing techniques are extremely useful. One of the principal goals of the project 'Environmental Mapping and Monitoring of Iceland with Remote Sensing' (EMMIRS) is to use hyperspectral images and LiDAR data to classify and map the vegetation within the Hekla area. The data was collected in an aerial survey in summer 2015 by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), UK. The habitat type classification, currently being developed at the Icelandic Institute of Natural History and follows the structure of the EUNIS classification system, will be used for classifying the vegetation. The habitat map created by this new technique's outcome will be compared to the existent vegetation maps made by the conventional vegetation mapping method and the multispectral image classification techniques. In the field, vegetation cover, soil properties and spectral reflectance were measured within different habitat types. Special emphasis was on collecting data on vegetation and soil in the historical lavas from Hekla for assessing habitats forming over the millennia. A lava-chronosequence was established by measuring vegetation and soil in lavas

  9. Water-quality models to assess algal community dynamics, water quality, and fish habitat suitability for two agricultural land-use dominated lakes in Minnesota, 2014

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Erik A.; Kiesling, Richard L.; Ziegeweid, Jeffrey R.

    2017-07-20

    Fish habitat can degrade in many lakes due to summer blue-green algal blooms. Predictive models are needed to better manage and mitigate loss of fish habitat due to these changes. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, developed predictive water-quality models for two agricultural land-use dominated lakes in Minnesota—Madison Lake and Pearl Lake, which are part of Minnesota’s sentinel lakes monitoring program—to assess algal community dynamics, water quality, and fish habitat suitability of these two lakes under recent (2014) meteorological conditions. The interaction of basin processes to these two lakes, through the delivery of nutrient loads, were simulated using CE-QUAL-W2, a carbon-based, laterally averaged, two-dimensional water-quality model that predicts distribution of temperature and oxygen from interactions between nutrient cycling, primary production, and trophic dynamics.The CE-QUAL-W2 models successfully predicted water temperature and dissolved oxygen on the basis of the two metrics of mean absolute error and root mean square error. For Madison Lake, the mean absolute error and root mean square error were 0.53 and 0.68 degree Celsius, respectively, for the vertical temperature profile comparisons; for Pearl Lake, the mean absolute error and root mean square error were 0.71 and 0.95 degree Celsius, respectively, for the vertical temperature profile comparisons. Temperature and dissolved oxygen were key metrics for calibration targets. These calibrated lake models also simulated algal community dynamics and water quality. The model simulations presented potential explanations for persistently large total phosphorus concentrations in Madison Lake, key differences in nutrient concentrations between these lakes, and summer blue-green algal bloom persistence.Fish habitat suitability simulations for cool-water and warm-water fish indicated that, in general, both lakes contained a large

  10. Ecological Mapping for the Preventive Conservation of Prehistoric Mural Paintings in Rock Habitats: the Site of Filiano (Basilicata, Italy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giulia Caneva

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Biodeterioration phenomena are of great relevance in rock settlements, due to favourable environmental conditions, such as the infiltration of rainwaters, condensation phenomena and abundance of salts and organic nutrients. Rinaldi’s rock shelter in Filiano, which is located in a natural forest of mixed oaks is of great value due to the important traces of prehistoric paintings. It is an emblematic case of the delicate balance, achieved throughout the centuries, between the environment and artwork. During the plurimillenarian history of the site, a portion of the ceiling that covered the shelter collapsed, leaving signs that are still visible today, together with traces of blackening left by the fires of ancient settlements. Several of the biodeteriogens typical of rocky habitats have already been detected and include algae, cyanobacteria, mosses, lichens, vascular plants and fungi, which form macroscopic communities.Each community has an ecological preference and the mapping of their distribution is a suitable tool for understanding variations in the environmental factors that most affect them. Relating ecological data to the taxonomical characterization of the species and to the spatial distribution of each community, a site map of the humidity and of the nutrients was obtained. Among the various communities, microcolonial fungi (MCF, which appear as little black spots, here, represent the most critical risk factor, due to their low water needs. An evaluation of the biological risk for the possible future attack of such a biological community was made, suggesting indirect mitigation measures, through modification of the microclimatic and local ventilation conditions.

  11. Estimating population size of a nocturnal burrow-nesting seabird using acoustic monitoring and habitat mapping

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steffen Oppel

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Population size assessments for nocturnal burrow-nesting seabirds are logistically challenging because these species are active in colonies only during darkness and often nest on remote islands where manual inspections of breeding burrows are not feasible. Many seabird species are highly vocal, and recent technological innovations now make it possible to record and quantify vocal activity in seabird colonies. Here we test the hypothesis that remotely recorded vocal activity in Cory’s shearwater (Calonectris borealis breeding colonies in the North Atlantic increases with nest density, and combined this relationship with cliff habitat mapping to estimate the population size of Cory’s shearwaters on the island of Corvo (Azores. We deployed acoustic recording devices in 9 Cory’s shearwater colonies of known size to establish a relationship between vocal activity and local nest density (slope = 1.07, R2 = 0.86, p < 0.001. We used this relationship to predict the nest density in various cliff habitat types and produced a habitat map of breeding cliffs to extrapolate nest density around the island of Corvo. The mean predicted nest density on Corvo ranged from 6.6 (2.1–16.2 to 27.8 (19.5–36.4 nests/ha. Extrapolation of habitat-specific nest densities across the cliff area of Corvo resulted in an estimate of 6326 Cory’s shearwater nests (95% confidence interval: 3735–10,524. This population size estimate is similar to previous assessments, but is too imprecise to detect moderate changes in population size over time. While estimating absolute population size from acoustic recordings may not be sufficiently precise, the strong positive relationship that we found between local nest density and recorded calling rate indicates that passive acoustic monitoring may be useful to document relative changes in seabird populations over time.

  12. Nesting Habitat Suitability for Olive Ridley Turtles (Lepidochelys Olivacea) at the Gahirmatha Rookery, Odisha Coast of India

    OpenAIRE

    Satyaranjan BEHERA; Basudev TRIPATHY; Kupuswamy SIVAKUMAR; Binod Chandra CHOUDHURY; Chandrasekhar KAR

    2013-01-01

    The changes in the beach dynamics at Gahirmatha sea turtle rookery along Odisha coast of India have forced the olive ridley turtles to nests in a non-conducive environment. In the recent past, non-availability of nesting beach due to erosion was hypothesized to be one of the major reasons for non-occurrence of arribada at Gahirmatha. This paper reviews the current status of nesting habitat for olive ridley turtles at Gahirmatha and suggests onshore and offshore developmental activities close ...

  13. A presence-only model of suitable roosting habitat for the endangered Indiana bat in the southern Appalachians

    Science.gov (United States)

    K.R. Hammond; J.M. O’Keefe; S.P. Aldrich; Susan Loeb

    2016-01-01

    We know little about how forest bats, which are cryptic and mobile, use roosts on a landscape scale. For widely distributed species like the endangered Indiana bat Myotis sodalis, identifying landscape-scale roost habitat associations will be important for managing the species in different regions where it occurs. For example, in the southern Appalachian Mountains, USA...

  14. Testing Cort-Fitness and Cort-Adaptation hypotheses in a habitat suitability gradient for roe deer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Escribano-Avila, Gema; Pettorelli, Nathalie; Virgós, Emilio; Lara-Romero, Carlos; Lozano, Jorge; Barja, Isabel; Cuadra, Felipe S.; Puerta, Marisa

    2013-11-01

    According to the Cort-Fitness Hypothesis, higher stress levels (glucocorticoids) in vertebrates are correlated to lower fitness. However, recent studies have failed to validate this hypothesis. A proposed wider framework suggests that reproduction can be perceived as an overload adds up to other environmental challenges that individuals must adjust to. In this case, elevated glucocorticoids could help individuals to allocate resources to reproduction without comprising other functions, leading to the expectation of a positive cort-fitness relationship. This has been proposed as the Cort-Adaptation Hypothesis. Stress levels result from a complex interaction between the environment and the neuroendocrine system of animals. Accounting for physiological functions involved in how animals cope with their environment would help to clarify the relationship between glucocorticoids and animal performance. We used roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) inhabiting diverse habitats in the Iberian Peninsula to: i) test the Cort-Fitness and Cort-Adaptation hypotheses by indexing fitness using a comprehensive physiological approach which takes into account fundamental physiological functions and their trade-offs; and ii) evaluate the link between primary productivity and individuals' condition in a seasonal environment. We evaluated spatial and temporal variation in stress levels, reproductive hormone levels, nutritional status and immune function from fecal samples collected in 2010. Lower stress levels were related to better condition in non-reproductive seasons but not to higher primary productivity. In contrast, stress levels were always positively related to reproductive condition, which was better in most productive habitats. Summer and winter were the less productive seasons and the more challenging for the species in the habitat gradient studied. In winter, reproductive condition traded off against immune function being biased toward immune function in less productive habitats. In

  15. Geophysical mapping of oyster habitats in a shallow estuary; Apalachicola Bay, Florida

    Science.gov (United States)

    Twichell, David C.; Andrews, Brian D.; Edmiston, H. Lee; Stevenson, William R.

    2007-01-01

    This report presents high-resolution geophysical data, interpretive maps, and a preliminary discussion about the oyster habitat and estuary-floor geology within Apalachicola Bay, Florida (fig. 1). During two research cruises, conducted in 2005 and 2006, approximately 230 km² of the bay floor were surveyed using interferometric-bathymetry, sidescan-sonar, and chirp seismic-reflection techniques. The research was conducted as part of a cooperative program between the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Coastal Services Center (CSC), and the Apalachicola Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. The Apalachicola Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve was established in 1979 to provide opportunities for long-term monitoring and research to provide a basis for more informed coastal management decisions for this estuary. Apalachicola Bay is the largest oyster fishery in Florida (Whitfield and Beaumariage, 1977), and the primary objective of this program is to develop a suite of maps that define oyster habitat distribution and estuary-floor geology within the bay. The resulting maps will assist in effective management of oyster resources and provide a reference geologic framework for future scientific and applied research.

  16. Mapping polar bear maternal denning habitat in the National Petroleum Reserve -- Alaska with an IfSAR digital terrain model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durner, George M.; Simac, Kristin S.; Amstrup, Steven C.

    2013-01-01

    The National Petroleum Reserve–Alaska (NPR-A) in northeastern Alaska provides winter maternal denning habitat for polar bears (Ursus maritimus) and also has high potential for recoverable hydrocarbons. Denning polar bears exposed to human activities may abandon their dens before their young are able to survive the severity of Arctic winter weather. To ensure that wintertime petroleum activities do not threaten polar bears, managers need to know the distribution of landscape features in which maternal dens are likely to occur. Here, we present a map of potential denning habitat within the NPR-A. We used a fine-grain digital elevation model derived from Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (IfSAR) to generate a map of putative denning habitat. We then tested the map’s ability to identify polar bear denning habitat on the landscape. Our final map correctly identified 82% of denning habitat estimated to be within the NPR-A. Mapped denning habitat comprised 19.7 km2 (0.1% of the study area) and was widely dispersed. Though mapping denning habitat with IfSAR data was as effective as mapping with the photogrammetric methods used for other regions of the Alaskan Arctic coastal plain, the use of GIS to analyze IfSAR data allowed greater objectivity and flexibility with less manual labor. Analytical advantages and performance equivalent to that of manual cartographic methods suggest that the use of IfSAR data to identify polar bear maternal denning habitat is a better management tool in the NPR-A and wherever such data may be available.

  17. Field Validation of Habitat Suitability Models for Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems in the South Pacific Ocean: Implications for the use of Broad-scale Models in Fisheries Management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, O. F.; Guinotte, J. M.; Clark, M. R.; Rowden, A. A.; Mormede, S.; Davies, A. J.; Bowden, D.

    2016-02-01

    Spatial management of vulnerable marine ecosystems requires accurate knowledge of their distribution. Predictive habitat suitability modelling, using species presence data and a suite of environmental predictor variables, has emerged as a useful tool for inferring distributions outside of known areas. However, validation of model predictions is typically performed with non-independent data. In this study, we describe the results of habitat suitability models constructed for four deep-sea reef-forming coral species across a large region of the South Pacific Ocean using MaxEnt and Boosted Regression Tree modelling approaches. In order to validate model predictions we conducted a photographic survey on a set of seamounts in an un-sampled area east of New Zealand. The likelihood of habitat suitable for reef forming corals on these seamounts was predicted to be variable, but very high in some regions, particularly where levels of aragonite saturation, dissolved oxygen, and particulate organic carbon were optimal. However, the observed frequency of coral occurrence in analyses of survey photographic data was much lower than expected, and patterns of observed versus predicted coral distribution were not highly correlated. The poor performance of these broad-scale models is attributed to lack of recorded species absences to inform the models, low precision of global bathymetry models, and lack of data on the geomorphology and substrate of the seamounts at scales appropriate to the modelled taxa. This demonstrates the need to use caution when interpreting and applying broad-scale, presence-only model results for fisheries management and conservation planning in data poor areas of the deep sea. Future improvements in the predictive performance of broad-scale models will rely on the continued advancement in modelling of environmental predictor variables, refinements in modelling approaches to deal with missing or biased inputs, and incorporation of true absence data.

  18. The integration of bioclimatic indices in an objective probabilistic model for establishing and mapping viticulture suitability in a region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moral García, Francisco J.; Rebollo, Francisco J.; Paniagua, Luis L.; García, Abelardo

    2014-05-01

    Different bioclimatic indices have been proposed to determine the wine suitability in a region. Some of them are related to the air temperature, but the hydric component of climate should also be considered which, in turn, is influenced by the precipitation during the different stages of the grapevine growing and ripening periods. In this work we propose using the information obtained from 10 bioclimatic indices and variables (heliothermal index, HI, cool night index, CI, dryness index, DI, growing season temperature, GST, the Winkler index, WI, September mean thermal amplitude, MTA, annual precipitation, AP, precipitation during flowering, PDF, precipitation before flowering, PBF, and summer precipitation, SP) as inputs in an objective and probabilistic model, the Rasch model, with the aim of integrating the individual effects of them, obtaining the climate data that summarize all main bioclimatic indices which could influence on wine suitability, and utilize the Rasch measures to generate homogeneous climatic zones. The use of the Rasch model to estimate viticultural suitability constitutes a new application of great practical importance, enabling to rationally determine locations in a region where high viticultural potential exists and establishing a ranking of the bioclimatic indices or variables which exerts an important influence on wine suitability in a region. Furthermore, from the measures of viticultural suitability at some locations, estimates can be computed using a geostatistical algorithm, and these estimates can be utilized to map viticultural suitability potential in a region. To illustrate the process, an application to Extremadura, southewestern Spain, is shown. Keywords: Rasch model, bioclimatic indices, GIS.

  19. Mapping, classification, and spatial variation of hardbottom habitats in the northeastern Gulf of Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kingon, Kelly

    This dissertation starts by evaluating the applicability of using a commercially available, cost-effective, sidescan sonar system to detect benthic habitats, in particular hardbottom habitats, in the nearshore northeastern Gulf of Mexico. To illustrate the capability of low-cost devices in mapping benthic habitats, I tested the Humminbird 997c SI unit marketed to fishermen at a cost of approximately 2,000. Methodological approaches to effectively capture and process the Humminbird sidescan imagery were developed. Humminbird sidescan data from three sites were compared to overlapping sidescan imagery acquired by the National Marine Fisheries Service using a standard, much more expensive (˜20,000) Marine Sonic system. This analysis verified that the classification results of sand and hardbottom habitats based on data collected using the Humminbird sidescan system were similar to those produced using the traditional and more expensive Marine Sonic sidescan equipment. Thirty-three sites in total were then mapped with the Humminbird system and sampled using dive surveys. Seascape pattern metrics were calculated from the classified Humminbird sidescan maps. The dive survey data included measurements of the geomorphology, physical attributes of the water column (e.g. temperature, depth, and visibility), and coverage and heights of the benthic biota. The coverage and heights of the biota were compared to the geomorphology, seascape, and water column variables to identify patterns in the distribution and community composition of the sessile organisms. Within the study area, visibility was found to vary with longitude. Sites in the east showed higher visibility than sites in the west and this may be driving the community patterns that were identified. Relationships were identified between the four most abundant taxa (sponges, hard corals, brown algae, and red algae) and the geomorphology, physical, and seascape variables. However, the relationships were often complicated

  20. Developing and testing a landscape habitat suitability model for fisher (Martes pennanti) in forests of interior northern California

    Science.gov (United States)

    W.J. Zielinski; J. R. Dunk; J. S. Yaeger; D. W. LaPlante

    2010-01-01

    The fisher is warranted for protection under the Endangered Species Act in the western United States and, as such, it is especially important that conservation and management actions are based on sound scientific information. We developed a landscape-scale suitability model for interior northern California to predict the probability of detecting fishers and to identify...

  1. Habitat Mapping and Change Assessment of Coastal Environments: An Examination of WorldView-2, QuickBird, and IKONOS Satellite Imagery and Airborne LiDAR for Mapping Barrier Island Habitats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew J. McCarthy

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Habitat mapping can be accomplished using many techniques and types of data. There are pros and cons for each technique and dataset, therefore, the goal of this project was to investigate the capabilities of new satellite sensor technology and to assess map accuracy for a variety of image classification techniques based on hundreds of field-work sites. The study area was Masonboro Island, an undeveloped area in coastal North Carolina, USA. Using the best map results, a habitat change assessment was conducted between 2002 and 2010. WorldView-2, QuickBird, and IKONOS satellite sensors were tested using unsupervised and supervised methods using a variety of spectral band combinations. Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR elevation and texture data pan-sharpening, and spatial filtering were also tested. In total, 200 maps were generated and results indicated that WorldView-2 was consistently more accurate than QuickBird and IKONOS. Supervised maps were more accurate than unsupervised in 80% of the maps. Pan-sharpening the images did not consistently improve map accuracy but using a majority filter generally increased map accuracy. During the relatively short eight-year period, 20% of the coastal study area changed with intertidal marsh experiencing the most change. Smaller habitat classes changed substantially as well. For example, 84% of upland scrub-shrub experienced change. These results document the dynamic nature of coastal habitats, validate the use of the relatively new Worldview-2 sensor, and may be used to guide future coastal habitat mapping.

  2. Land-use change reduces habitat suitability for supporting managed honey bee colonies in the Northern Great Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Otto, Clint R.; Roth, Cali; Carlson, Benjamin; Smart, Matthew

    2016-01-01

    Human reliance on insect pollination services continues to increase even as pollinator populations exhibit global declines. Increased commodity crop prices and federal subsidies for biofuel crops, such as corn and soybeans, have contributed to rapid land-use change in the US Northern Great Plains (NGP), changes that may jeopardize habitat for honey bees in a part of the country that supports >40% of the US colony stock. We investigated changes in biofuel crop production and grassland land covers surrounding ∼18,000 registered commercial apiaries in North and South Dakota from 2006 to 2014. We then developed habitat selection models to identify remotely sensed land-cover and land-use features that influence apiary site selection by Dakota beekeepers. Our study demonstrates a continual increase in biofuel crops, totaling 1.2 Mha, around registered apiary locations in North and South Dakota. Such crops were avoided by commercial beekeepers when selecting apiary sites in this region. Furthermore, our analysis reveals how grasslands that beekeepers target when selecting commercial apiary locations are becoming less common in eastern North and South Dakota, changes that may have lasting impact on pollinator conservation efforts. Our study highlights how land-use change in the NGP is altering the landscape in ways that are seemingly less conducive to beekeeping. Our models can be used to guide future conservation efforts highlighted in the US national pollinator health strategy by identifying areas that support high densities of commercial apiaries and that have exhibited significant land-use changes.

  3. Development of suitability maps for ground-coupled heat pump systems using groundwater and heat transport models

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fujii, Hikari; Itoi, Ryuichi [Department of Earth Resources Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Kyushu University, Motooka 744, Nishi-ku, Fukuoka 819-0395 (Japan); Inatomi, Tadasuke [YBM Co. Ltd., Kishiyama 589-10 Kitahata, Karatsu 847-1211 (Japan); Uchida, Youhei [Geological Survey of Japan, AIST Tsukuba Central 7, Tsukuba 305-8567 (Japan)

    2007-10-15

    The thermophysical properties of subsurface materials (soils, sediments and rocks) and groundwater flow strongly affect the heat exchange rates of ground heat exchangers (GHEs). These rates can be maximized and the installation costs of the ground-coupled heat pump (GCHP) systems reduced by developing suitability maps based on local geological and hydrological information. Such maps were generated for the Chikushi Plain (western Japan) using field-survey data and a numerical modeling study. First, a field-wide groundwater model was developed for the area and the results matched against measured groundwater levels and vertical temperature profiles. Single GHE models were then constructed to simulate the heat exchange performance at different locations in the plain. Finally, suitability maps for GCHP systems were prepared using the results from the single GHE models. Variations in the heat exchange rates of over 40% revealed by the map were ascribed to differences in the GHE locations, confirming how important it is to use appropriate thermophysical data when designing GCHP systems. (author)

  4. Mapping the seabed and habitats in National Marine Sanctuaries - Examples from the East, Gulf and West Coasts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valentine, Page C.; Cochrane, Guy R.; Scanlon, Kathryn M.

    2003-01-01

    The National Marine Sanctuary System requires seabed and habitat maps to serve as a basis for managing sanctuary resources and for conducting research. NOAA, the agency that manages the sanctuaries, and the USGS have conducted mapping projects in three sanctuaries (Stellwagen Bank NMS, Flower Garden Banks NMS, and Channel Islands NMS) with an emphasis on collaboration of geologists and biologists from the two agencies and from academic institutions. Mapping of seabed habitats is a developing field that requires the integration of geologic and biologic studies and the use of swath imaging techniques such as multibeam and sidescan sonar. Major products of swath mapping are shaded-relief topographic imagery which shows seabed features in great detail, and backscatter imagery which provides an indication of the types of materials that constitute the seabed. Sea floor images provide an excellent basis for conducting the groundtruthing studies (using video, photo, and sampling techniques) that are required to collect the data necessary for making meaningful interpretative maps of the seabed. The compilation of interpretive maps showing seabed environments and habitats also requires the development of a sea floor classification system that will be a basis for comparing, managing, and researching characteristic areas of the seabed. Seabed maps of the sanctuaries are proving useful for management and research decisions that address commercial and recreational fishing, habitat disturbance, engineering projects, tourism, and cultural resources.

  5. A Method to Analyze the Potential of Optical Remote Sensing for Benthic Habitat Mapping

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rodrigo A. Garcia

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Quantifying the number and type of benthic classes that are able to be spectrally identified in shallow water remote sensing is important in understanding its potential for habitat mapping. Factors that impact the effectiveness of shallow water habitat mapping include water column turbidity, depth, sensor and environmental noise, spectral resolution of the sensor and spectral variability of the benthic classes. In this paper, we present a simple hierarchical clustering method coupled with a shallow water forward model to generate water-column specific spectral libraries. This technique requires no prior decision on the number of classes to output: the resultant classes are optically separable above the spectral noise introduced by the sensor, image based radiometric corrections, the benthos’ natural spectral variability and the attenuating properties of a variable water column at depth. The modeling reveals the effect reducing the spectral resolution has on the number and type of classes that are optically distinct. We illustrate the potential of this clustering algorithm in an analysis of the conditions, including clustering accuracy, sensor spectral resolution and water column optical properties and depth that enabled the spectral distinction of the seagrass Amphibolis antartica from benthic algae.

  6. Development of habitat suitability criteria for Neotropical stream fishes and an assessment of their transferability to streams with different conservation status

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fabrício Barreto Teresa

    Full Text Available We assessed the preference of 10 fish species for depth and velocity conditions in forested streams from southeastern Brazil using habitat suitability criteria (HSC curves. We also tested whether preference patterns observed in forested streams can be transferred to deforested streams. We used data from fish sampled in 62 five-meter sites in three forested streams to construct preference curves. Astyanax altiparanae, A. fasciatus, Knodus moenkhausii, and Piabina argentea showed a preference for deep slow habitats, whereas Aspidoras fuscoguttatus, Characidium zebra, Cetopsorhamdia iheringi, Pseudopimelodus pulcher, and Hypostomus nigromaculatus showed an opposite pattern: preference for shallow fast habitats. Hypostomus ancistroides showed a multimodal pattern of preference for depth and velocity. To evaluate whether patterns observed in forested streams may be transferred to deforested streams, we sampled 64 five-meters sites in three deforested streams using the same methodology. The preference for velocity was more consistent than for depth, as success in the transferability criterion was 86% and 29% of species, respectively. This indicates that velocity is a good predictor of species abundance in streams, regardless of their condition

  7. Change of niche in guanaco (Lama guanicoe): the effects of climate change on habitat suitability and lineage conservatism in Chile.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castillo, Andrea G; Alò, Dominique; González, Benito A; Samaniego, Horacio

    2018-01-01

    The main goal of this contribution was to define the ecological niche of the guanaco ( Lama guanicoe ), to describe potential distributional changes, and to assess the relative importance of niche conservatism and divergence processes between the two lineages described for the species ( L.g. cacsilensis and L.g. guanicoe ). We used maximum entropy to model lineage's climate niche from 3,321 locations throughout continental Chile, and developed future niche models under climate change for two extreme greenhouse gas emission scenarios (RCP2.6 and RCP8.5). We evaluated changes of the environmental niche and future distribution of the largest mammal in the Southern Cone of South America. Evaluation of niche conservatism and divergence were based on identity and background similarity tests. We show that: (a) the current geographic distribution of lineages is associated with different climatic requirements that are related to the geographic areas where these lineages are located; (b) future distribution models predict a decrease in the distribution surface under both scenarios; (c) a 3% decrease of areal protection is expected if the current distribution of protected areas is maintained, and this is expected to occur at the expense of a large reduction of high quality habitats under the best scenario; (d) current and future distribution ranges of guanaco mostly adhere to phylogenetic niche divergence hypotheses between lineages. Associating environmental variables with species ecological niche seems to be an important aspect of unveiling the particularities of, both evolutionary patterns and ecological features that species face in a changing environment. We report specific descriptions of how these patterns may play out under the most extreme climate change predictions and provide a grim outlook of the future potential distribution of guanaco in Chile. From an ecological perspective, while a slightly smaller distribution area is expected, this may come with an important

  8. Use of radar remote sensing (RADARSAT) to map winter wetland habitat for shorebirds in an agricultural landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taft, Oriane W; Haig, Susan M; Kiilsgaard, Chris

    2004-05-01

    Many of today's agricultural landscapes once held vast amounts of wetland habitat for waterbirds and other wildlife. Successful restoration of these landscapes relies on access to accurate maps of the wetlands that remain. We used C-band (5.6-cm-wavelength), HH-polarized radar remote sensing (RADARSAT) at a 38 degrees incidence angle (8-m resolution) to map the distribution of winter shorebird (Charadriiformes) habitat on agricultural lands in the Willamette Valley of western Oregon. We acquired imagery on three dates (10 December 1999, 27 January 2000, and 15 March 2000) and simultaneously collected ground reference data to classify radar signatures and evaluate map accuracy of four habitat classes: (1) wet with 50% vegetation, (3) dry with 50% vegetation. Overall accuracy varied from 45 to 60% among the three images, but the accuracy of focal class 1 was greater, ranging from 72 to 80%. Class 4 coverage was stable and dominated maps (40% of mapped study area) for all three dates, while coverage of class 3 decreased slightly throughout the study period. Among wet classes, class 1 was most abundant (about 30% coverage) in December and January, decreasing in March to approximately 15%. Conversely, class 2 increased dramatically from January to March, likely due to transition from class 1 as vegetation grew. This approach was successful in detecting optimal habitat for shorebirds on agricultural lands. For modest classification schemes, radar remote sensing is a valuable option for wetland mapping in areas where cloud cover is persistent.

  9. Change of niche in guanaco (Lama guanicoe: the effects of climate change on habitat suitability and lineage conservatism in Chile

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea G. Castillo

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Background The main goal of this contribution was to define the ecological niche of the guanaco (Lama guanicoe, to describe potential distributional changes, and to assess the relative importance of niche conservatism and divergence processes between the two lineages described for the species (L.g. cacsilensis and L.g. guanicoe. Methods We used maximum entropy to model lineage’s climate niche from 3,321 locations throughout continental Chile, and developed future niche models under climate change for two extreme greenhouse gas emission scenarios (RCP2.6 and RCP8.5. We evaluated changes of the environmental niche and future distribution of the largest mammal in the Southern Cone of South America. Evaluation of niche conservatism and divergence were based on identity and background similarity tests. Results We show that: (a the current geographic distribution of lineages is associated with different climatic requirements that are related to the geographic areas where these lineages are located; (b future distribution models predict a decrease in the distribution surface under both scenarios; (c a 3% decrease of areal protection is expected if the current distribution of protected areas is maintained, and this is expected to occur at the expense of a large reduction of high quality habitats under the best scenario; (d current and future distribution ranges of guanaco mostly adhere to phylogenetic niche divergence hypotheses between lineages. Discussion Associating environmental variables with species ecological niche seems to be an important aspect of unveiling the particularities of, both evolutionary patterns and ecological features that species face in a changing environment. We report specific descriptions of how these patterns may play out under the most extreme climate change predictions and provide a grim outlook of the future potential distribution of guanaco in Chile. From an ecological perspective, while a slightly smaller distribution

  10. Assessment of Habitat Suitability Is Affected by Plant-Soil Feedback: Comparison of Field and Garden Experiment.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lucie Hemrová

    Full Text Available Field translocation experiments (i.e., the introduction of seeds or seedlings of different species into different localities are commonly used to study habitat associations of species, as well as factors limiting species distributions and local abundances. Species planted or sown in sites where they naturally occur are expected to perform better or equally well compared to sites at which they do not occur or are rare. This, however, contrasts with the predictions of the Janzen-Connell hypothesis and commonly reported intraspecific negative plant-soil feedback. The few previous studies indicating poorer performance of plants at sites where they naturally occur did not explore the mechanisms behind this pattern.In this study, we used field translocation experiments established using both seeds and seedlings to study the determinants of local abundance of four dominant species in grasslands. To explore the possible effects of intraspecific negative plant-soil feedback on our results, we tested the effect of local species abundance on the performance of the plants in the field experiment. In addition, we set up a garden experiment to explore the intensity of intraspecific as well as interspecific feedback between the dominants used in the experiment.In some cases, the distribution and local abundances of the species were partly driven by habitat conditions at the sites, and species performed better at their own sites. However, the prevailing pattern was that the local dominants performed worse at sites where they naturally occur than at any other sites. Moreover, the success of plants in the field experiment was lower in the case of higher intraspecific abundance prior to experimental setup. In the garden feedback experiment, two of the species performed significantly worse in soils conditioned by their species than in soils conditioned by the other species. In addition, the performance of the plants was significantly correlated between the two

  11. Mapping suitability of rice production systems for mitigation: Strategic approach for prioritizing improved irrigation management across scales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wassmann, Reiner; Sander, Bjoern Ole

    2016-04-01

    After the successful conclusion of the COP21 in Paris, many developing countries are now embracing the task of reducing emissions with much vigor than previously. In many countries of South and South-East Asia, the agriculture sector constitutes a vast share of the national GHG budget which can mainly be attributed to methane emissions from flooded rice production. Thus, rice growing countries are now looking for tangible and easily accessible information as to how to reduce emissions from rice production in an efficient manner. Given present and future food demand, mitigation options will have to comply with aim of increasing productivity. At the same time, limited financial resources demand for strategic planning of potential mitigation projects based on cost-benefit ratios. At this point, the most promising approach for mitigating methane emissions from rice is an irrigation technique called Alternate Wetting and Drying (AWD). AWD was initially developed for saving water and subsequently, represents an adaptation strategy in its own right by coping with less rainfall. Moreover, AWD also reduces methane emissions in a range from 30-70%. However, AWD is not universally suitable. It is attractive to farmers who have to pump water and may save fuel under AWD, but renders limited incentives in situations where there is no real pressing water scarcity. Thus, planning for AWD adoption at larger scale, e.g. for country-wide programs, should be based on a systematic prioritization of target environments. This presentation encompasses a new methodology for mapping suitability of water-saving in rice production - as a means for planning adaptation and mitigation programs - alongside with preliminary results. The latter comprises three new GIS maps on climate-driven suitability of AWD in major rice growing countries (Philippines, Vietnam, Bangladesh). These maps have been derived from high-resolution data of the areal and temporal extent of rice production that are now

  12. Artificial dam lakes as suitable habitats for exotic invertebrates: Ostracoda ecology and distribution in reservoirs of the Eastern Iberian Peninsula

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Escrivà A.

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Reservoirs are the most common deep lakes in Spain, as a consequence of water needs and dry climate. Although these aquatic systems can play an important ecological role in such an area with few large natural lakes, they can also provide new habitats for exotic species, which can colonize ecosystems that native species have not explored yet. Here we present our results for a biannual survey of the ostracod fauna from 24 reservoirs in Xúquer River basin. We check which variables affect ostracod presence, test for differences between winter and summer assemblages, and compare our data with previous available ostracod records from the same river drainage network. Our results reveal that ostracod presence is positively related to high diversity of the invertebrate community and reservoir volume, and negatively with phosphorus concentration. Among the 22 species found, it is noteworthy the first Iberian record of Ilyocypris getica and the second European record of Candonocypris novaezelandiae. Ostracod assemblages significantly vary between summer and winter, and strong differences are found between ostracod communities of reservoirs and those from their connected rivers. Remarkably higher frequency of exotic species in the reservoirs confirms previous findings about the facilitation that artificial ecosystems confer to aquatic invasions.

  13. Development of habitat suitability criteria for Neotropical stream fishes and an assessment of their transferability to streams with different conservation status

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fabrício Barreto Teresa

    Full Text Available We assessed the preference of 10 fish species for depth and velocity conditions in forested streams from southeastern Brazil using habitat suitability criteria (HSC curves. We also tested whether preference patterns observed in forested streams can be transferred to deforested streams. We used data from fish sampled in 62 five-meter sites in three forested streams to construct preference curves. Astyanax altiparanae, A. fasciatus, Knodus moenkhausii, and Piabina argentea showed a preference for deep slow habitats, whereas Aspidoras fuscoguttatus, Characidium zebra, Cetopsorhamdia iheringi, Pseudopimelodus pulcher, and Hypostomus nigromaculatus showed an opposite pattern: preference for shallow fast habitats. Hypostomus ancistroides showed a multimodal pattern of preference for depth and velocity. To evaluate whether patterns observed in forested streams may be transferred to deforested streams, we sampled 64 five-meters sites in three deforested streams using the same methodology. The preference for velocity was more consistent than for depth, as success in the transferability criterion was 86% and 29% of species, respectively. This indicates that velocity is a good predictor of species abundance in streams, regardless of their conditionNeste estudo avaliamos a preferência de 10 espécies de peixes por condições de profundidade e fluxo em riachos florestados do sudeste do Brasil por meio do critério de adequabilidade de habitat (habitat suitability criteria - curvas HSC. Testamos também se os padrões de preferência observados nos riachos florestados podem ser transferidos para riachos desmatados. Foram realizadas amostragens da ictiofauna em 62 trechos de cinco metros de extensão em três riachos florestados para a construção das curvas de preferência. Astyanax altiparanae, A. fasciatus, Knodus moenkhausii e Piabina argentea apresentaram preferência por habitats lentos e profundos, enquanto Aspidoras fuscoguttatus, Characidium zebra

  14. Assessing the Suitability of Future Multi- and Hyperspectral Satellite Systems for Mapping the Spatial Distribution of Norway Spruce Timber Volume

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sascha Nink

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available The availability of accurate and timely information on timber volume is important for supporting operational forest management. One option is to combine statistical concepts (e.g., small area estimates with specifically designed terrestrial sampling strategies to provide estimations also on the level of administrative units such as forest districts. This may suffice for economic assessments, but still fails to provide spatially explicit information on the distribution of timber volume within these management units. This type of information, however, is needed for decision-makers to design and implement appropriate management operations. The German federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate is currently implementing an object-oriented database that will also allow the direct integration of Earth observation data products. This work analyzes the suitability of forthcoming multi- and hyperspectral satellite imaging systems for producing local distribution maps for timber volume of Norway spruce, one of the most economically important tree species. In combination with site-specific inventory data, fully processed hyperspectral data sets (HyMap were used to simulate datasets of the forthcoming EnMAP and Sentinel-2 systems to establish adequate models for estimating timber volume maps. The analysis included PLS regression and the k-NN method. Root Mean Square Errors between 21.6% and 26.5% were obtained, where k-NN performed slightly better than PLSR. It was concluded that the datasets of both simulated sensor systems fulfill accuracy requirements to support local forest management operations and could be used in synergy. Sentinel-2 can provide meaningful volume distribution maps in higher geometric resolution, while EnMAP, due to its hyperspectral coverage, can contribute complementary information, e.g., on biophysical conditions.

  15. Mapping and modelling the habitat of giant pandas in Foping Nature Reserve, China

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Liu, X.

    2001-01-01

    The fact that only about 1000 giant pandas and 29500 km2 of panda habitat are left in the west part of China makes it an urgent issue to save this endangered animal species and protect its habitat. For effective conservation of the giant panda and its habitat, a thorough evaluation of panda habitat

  16. Development of computational fluid dynamics--habitat suitability (CFD-HSI) models to identify potential passage--Challenge zones for migratory fishes in the Penobscot River

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haro, Alexander J.; Dudley, Robert W.; Chelminski, Michael

    2012-01-01

    A two-dimensional computational fluid dynamics-habitat suitability (CFD–HSI) model was developed to identify potential zones of shallow depth and high water velocity that may present passage challenges for five anadromous fish species in the Penobscot River, Maine, upstream from two existing dams and as a result of the proposed future removal of the dams. Potential depth-challenge zones were predicted for larger species at the lowest flow modeled in the dam-removal scenario. Increasing flows under both scenarios increased the number and size of potential velocity-challenge zones, especially for smaller species. This application of the two-dimensional CFD–HSI model demonstrated its capabilities to estimate the potential effects of flow and hydraulic alteration on the passage of migratory fish.

  17. Mapping grasslands suitable for cellulosic biofuels in the Greater Platte River Basin, United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wylie, Bruce K.; Gu, Yingxin

    2012-01-01

    Biofuels are an important component in the development of alternative energy supplies, which is needed to achieve national energy independence and security in the United States. The most common biofuel product today in the United States is corn-based ethanol; however, its development is limited because of concerns about global food shortages, livestock and food price increases, and water demand increases for irrigation and ethanol production. Corn-based ethanol also potentially contributes to soil erosion, and pesticides and fertilizers affect water quality. Studies indicate that future potential production of cellulosic ethanol is likely to be much greater than grain- or starch-based ethanol. As a result, economics and policy incentives could, in the near future, encourage expansion of cellulosic biofuels production from grasses, forest woody biomass, and agricultural and municipal wastes. If production expands, cultivation of cellulosic feedstock crops, such as switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) and miscanthus (Miscanthus species), is expected to increase dramatically. The main objective of this study is to identify grasslands in the Great Plains that are potentially suitable for cellulosic feedstock (such as switchgrass) production. Producing ethanol from noncropland holdings (such as grassland) will minimize the effects of biofuel developments on global food supplies. Our pilot study area is the Greater Platte River Basin, which includes a broad range of plant productivity from semiarid grasslands in the west to the fertile corn belt in the east. The Greater Platte River Basin was the subject of related U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) integrated research projects.

  18. Mosquito larval habitat mapping using remote sensing and GIS: Implications of coalbed methane development and West Nile virus

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zou, L.; Miller, S.N.; Schmidtmann, E.T. [University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY (United States). Dept. of Renewable Resources

    2006-09-15

    Potential larval habitats of the mosquito Culex tarsalis (Coquillett), implicated as a primary vector of West Nile virus in Wyoming, were identified using integrated remote sensing and geographic information system (GIS) analyses. The study area is in the Powder River Basin of north central Wyoming, an area that has been undergoing a significant increase in coalbed methane gas extractions since the late 1990s. Large volumes of water are discharged, impounded, and released during the extraction of methane gas, creating aquatic habitats that have the potential to support immature mosquito development. Landsat TM and ETM + data were initially classified into spectrally distinct water and vegetation classes, which were in turn used to identify suitable larval habitat sites. This initial habitat classification was refined using knowledge-based GIS techniques requiring spatial data layers for topography, streams, and soils to reduce the potential for overestimation of habitat. Accuracy assessment was carried out using field data and high-resolution aerial photography commensurate with one of the Landsat images. The classifier can identify likely habitat for ponds larger than 0.8 ha (2 acres) with generally satisfactory results (72.1%) with a lower detection limit of approximate to 0.4 ha (1 acre). Results show a 75% increase in potential larval habitats from 1999 to 2004 in the study area, primarily because of the large increase in small coalbed methane water discharge ponds. These results may facilitate mosquito abatement programs in the Powder River Basin with the potential for application throughout the state and region.

  19. Benthic Habitat Mapping Using Multispectral High-Resolution Imagery: Evaluation of Shallow Water Atmospheric Correction Techniques

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francisco Eugenio

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Remote multispectral data can provide valuable information for monitoring coastal water ecosystems. Specifically, high-resolution satellite-based imaging systems, as WorldView-2 (WV-2, can generate information at spatial scales needed to implement conservation actions for protected littoral zones. However, coastal water-leaving radiance arriving at the space-based sensor is often small as compared to reflected radiance. In this work, complex approaches, which usually use an accurate radiative transfer code to correct the atmospheric effects, such as FLAASH, ATCOR and 6S, have been implemented for high-resolution imagery. They have been assessed in real scenarios using field spectroradiometer data. In this context, the three approaches have achieved excellent results and a slightly superior performance of 6S model-based algorithm has been observed. Finally, for the mapping of benthic habitats in shallow-waters marine protected environments, a relevant application of the proposed atmospheric correction combined with an automatic deglinting procedure is presented. This approach is based on the integration of a linear mixing model of benthic classes within the radiative transfer model of the water. The complete methodology has been applied to selected ecosystems in the Canary Islands (Spain but the obtained results allow the robust mapping of the spatial distribution and density of seagrass in coastal waters and the analysis of multitemporal variations related to the human activity and climate change in littoral zones.

  20. Effects of shipping on marine acoustic habitats in Canadian Arctic estimated via probabilistic modeling and mapping.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aulanier, Florian; Simard, Yvan; Roy, Nathalie; Gervaise, Cédric; Bandet, Marion

    2017-12-15

    Canadian Arctic and Subarctic regions experience a rapid decrease of sea ice accompanied with increasing shipping traffic. The resulting time-space changes in shipping noise are studied for four key regions of this pristine environment, for 2013 traffic conditions and a hypothetical tenfold traffic increase. A probabilistic modeling and mapping framework, called Ramdam, which integrates the intrinsic variability and uncertainties of shipping noise and its effects on marine habitats, is developed and applied. A substantial transformation of soundscapes is observed in areas where shipping noise changes from present occasional-transient contributor to a dominant noise source. Examination of impacts on low-frequency mammals within ecologically and biologically significant areas reveals that shipping noise has the potential to trigger behavioral responses and masking in the future, although no risk of temporary or permanent hearing threshold shifts is noted. Such probabilistic modeling and mapping is strategic in marine spatial planning of this emerging noise issues. Crown Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Suitability aero-geophysical methods for generating conceptual soil maps and their use in the modeling of process-related susceptibility maps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tilch, Nils; Römer, Alexander; Jochum, Birgit; Schattauer, Ingrid

    2014-05-01

    In the past years, several times large-scale disasters occurred in Austria, which were characterized not only by flooding, but also by numerous shallow landslides and debris flows. Therefore, for the purpose of risk prevention, national and regional authorities also require more objective and realistic maps with information about spatially variable susceptibility of the geosphere for hazard-relevant gravitational mass movements. There are many and various proven methods and models (e.g. neural networks, logistic regression, heuristic methods) available to create such process-related (e.g. flat gravitational mass movements in soil) suszeptibility maps. But numerous national and international studies show a dependence of the suitability of a method on the quality of process data and parameter maps (f.e. Tilch & Schwarz 2011, Schwarz & Tilch 2011). In this case, it is important that also maps with detailed and process-oriented information on the process-relevant geosphere will be considered. One major disadvantage is that only occasionally area-wide process-relevant information exists. Similarly, in Austria often only soil maps for treeless areas are available. However, in almost all previous studies, randomly existing geological and geotechnical maps were used, which often have been specially adapted to the issues and objectives. This is one reason why very often conceptual soil maps must be derived from geological maps with only hard rock information, which often have a rather low quality. Based on these maps, for example, adjacent areas of different geological composition and process-relevant physical properties are razor sharp delineated, which in nature appears quite rarly. In order to obtain more realistic information about the spatial variability of the process-relevant geosphere (soil cover) and its physical properties, aerogeophysical measurements (electromagnetic, radiometric), carried out by helicopter, from different regions of Austria were interpreted

  2. Mapping caribou habitat north of the 51st parallel in Québec using Landsat imagery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stéphanie Chalifoux

    2003-04-01

    Full Text Available A methodology using Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM images and vegetation typology, based on lichens as the principal component of caribou winter diet, was developed to map caribou habitat over a large and diversified area of Northern Québec. This approach includes field validation by aerial surveys (helicopter, classification of vegetation types, image enhancement, visual interpretation and computer assisted mapping. Measurements from more than 1500 field sites collected over six field campaigns from 1989 to 1996 represented the data analysed in this study. As the study progressed, 14 vegetation classes were defined and retained for analyses. Vegetation classes denoting important caribou habitat included six classes of upland lichen communities (Lichen, Lichen-Shrub, Shrub-Lichen, Lichen-Graminoid-Shrub, Lichen-Woodland, Lichen-Shrub-Woodland. Two classes (Burnt-over area, Regenerating burnt-over area are related to forest fire, and as they develop towards lichen communities, will become important for caribou. The last six classes are retained to depict remaining vegetation cover types. A total of 37 Landsat TM scenes were geocoded and enhanced using two methods: the Taylor method and the false colour composite method (bands combination and stretching. Visual inter¬pretation was chosen as the most efficient and reliable method to map vegetation types related to caribou habitat. The 43 maps produced at the scale of 1:250 000 and the synthesis map (1:2 000 000 provide a regional perspective of caribou habitat over 1200 000 km2 covering the entire range of the George river herd. The numerical nature of the data allows rapid spatial analysis and map updating.

  3. Benthic Habitat Mapping by Combining Lyzenga’s Optical Model and Relative Water Depth Model in Lintea Island, Southeast Sulawesi

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hafizt, M.; Manessa, M. D. M.; Adi, N. S.; Prayudha, B.

    2017-12-01

    Benthic habitat mapping using satellite data is one challenging task for practitioners and academician as benthic objects are covered by light-attenuating water column obscuring object discrimination. One common method to reduce this water-column effect is by using depth-invariant index (DII) image. However, the application of the correction in shallow coastal areas is challenging as a dark object such as seagrass could have a very low pixel value, preventing its reliable identification and classification. This limitation can be solved by specifically applying a classification process to areas with different water depth levels. The water depth level can be extracted from satellite imagery using Relative Water Depth Index (RWDI). This study proposed a new approach to improve the mapping accuracy, particularly for benthic dark objects by combining the DII of Lyzenga’s water column correction method and the RWDI of Stumpt’s method. This research was conducted in Lintea Island which has a high variation of benthic cover using Sentinel-2A imagery. To assess the effectiveness of the proposed new approach for benthic habitat mapping two different classification procedures are implemented. The first procedure is the commonly applied method in benthic habitat mapping where DII image is used as input data to all coastal area for image classification process regardless of depth variation. The second procedure is the proposed new approach where its initial step begins with the separation of the study area into shallow and deep waters using the RWDI image. Shallow area was then classified using the sunglint-corrected image as input data and the deep area was classified using DII image as input data. The final classification maps of those two areas were merged as a single benthic habitat map. A confusion matrix was then applied to evaluate the mapping accuracy of the final map. The result shows that the new proposed mapping approach can be used to map all benthic objects in

  4. Evaluation of Four Supervised Learning Methods for Benthic Habitat Mapping Using Backscatter from Multi-Beam Sonar

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jacquomo Monk

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available An understanding of the distribution and extent of marine habitats is essential for the implementation of ecosystem-based management strategies. Historically this had been difficult in marine environments until the advancement of acoustic sensors. This study demonstrates the applicability of supervised learning techniques for benthic habitat characterization using angular backscatter response data. With the advancement of multibeam echo-sounder (MBES technology, full coverage datasets of physical structure over vast regions of the seafloor are now achievable. Supervised learning methods typically applied to terrestrial remote sensing provide a cost-effective approach for habitat characterization in marine systems. However the comparison of the relative performance of different classifiers using acoustic data is limited. Characterization of acoustic backscatter data from MBES using four different supervised learning methods to generate benthic habitat maps is presented. Maximum Likelihood Classifier (MLC, Quick, Unbiased, Efficient Statistical Tree (QUEST, Random Forest (RF and Support Vector Machine (SVM were evaluated to classify angular backscatter response into habitat classes using training data acquired from underwater video observations. Results for biota classifications indicated that SVM and RF produced the highest accuracies, followed by QUEST and MLC, respectively. The most important backscatter data were from the moderate incidence angles between 30° and 50°. This study presents initial results for understanding how acoustic backscatter from MBES can be optimized for the characterization of marine benthic biological habitats.

  5. Mapping Habitats and Developing Baselines in Offshore Marine Reserves with Little Prior Knowledge: A Critical Evaluation of a New Approach.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emma Lawrence

    Full Text Available The recently declared Australian Commonwealth Marine Reserve (CMR Network covers a total of 3.1 million km2 of continental shelf, slope, and abyssal habitat. Managing and conserving the biodiversity values within this network requires knowledge of the physical and biological assets that lie within its boundaries. Unfortunately very little is known about the habitats and biological assemblages of the continental shelf within the network, where diversity is richest and anthropogenic pressures are greatest. Effective management of the CMR estate into the future requires this knowledge gap to be filled efficiently and quantitatively. The challenge is particularly great for the shelf as multibeam echosounder (MBES mapping, a key tool for identifying and quantifying habitat distribution, is time consuming in shallow depths, so full coverage mapping of the CMR shelf assets is unrealistic in the medium-term. Here we report on the results of a study undertaken in the Flinders Commonwealth Marine Reserve (southeast Australia designed to test the benefits of two approaches to characterising shelf habitats: (i MBES mapping of a continuous (~30 km2 area selected on the basis of its potential to include a range of seabed habitats that are potentially representative of the wider area, versus; (ii a novel approach that uses targeted mapping of a greater number of smaller, but spatially balanced, locations using a Generalized Random Tessellation Stratified sample design. We present the first quantitative estimates of habitat type and sessile biological communities on the shelf of the Flinders reserve, the former based on three MBES analysis techniques. We contrast the quality of information that both survey approaches offer in combination with the three MBES analysis methods. The GRTS approach enables design based estimates of habitat types and sessile communities and also identifies potential biodiversity hotspots in the northwest corner of the reserve's IUCN

  6. Mapping Habitats and Developing Baselines in Offshore Marine Reserves with Little Prior Knowledge: A Critical Evaluation of a New Approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawrence, Emma; Hayes, Keith R; Lucieer, Vanessa L; Nichol, Scott L; Dambacher, Jeffrey M; Hill, Nicole A; Barrett, Neville; Kool, Johnathan; Siwabessy, Justy

    2015-01-01

    The recently declared Australian Commonwealth Marine Reserve (CMR) Network covers a total of 3.1 million km2 of continental shelf, slope, and abyssal habitat. Managing and conserving the biodiversity values within this network requires knowledge of the physical and biological assets that lie within its boundaries. Unfortunately very little is known about the habitats and biological assemblages of the continental shelf within the network, where diversity is richest and anthropogenic pressures are greatest. Effective management of the CMR estate into the future requires this knowledge gap to be filled efficiently and quantitatively. The challenge is particularly great for the shelf as multibeam echosounder (MBES) mapping, a key tool for identifying and quantifying habitat distribution, is time consuming in shallow depths, so full coverage mapping of the CMR shelf assets is unrealistic in the medium-term. Here we report on the results of a study undertaken in the Flinders Commonwealth Marine Reserve (southeast Australia) designed to test the benefits of two approaches to characterising shelf habitats: (i) MBES mapping of a continuous (~30 km2) area selected on the basis of its potential to include a range of seabed habitats that are potentially representative of the wider area, versus; (ii) a novel approach that uses targeted mapping of a greater number of smaller, but spatially balanced, locations using a Generalized Random Tessellation Stratified sample design. We present the first quantitative estimates of habitat type and sessile biological communities on the shelf of the Flinders reserve, the former based on three MBES analysis techniques. We contrast the quality of information that both survey approaches offer in combination with the three MBES analysis methods. The GRTS approach enables design based estimates of habitat types and sessile communities and also identifies potential biodiversity hotspots in the northwest corner of the reserve's IUCN zone IV, and in

  7. Computational fluid dynamics-habitat suitability index (CFD-HSI) modelling as an exploratory tool for assessing passability of riverine migratory challenge zones for fish

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haro, Alexander J.; Chelminski, Michael; Dudley, Robert W.

    2015-01-01

    We developed two-dimensional computational fluid hydraulics-habitat suitability index (CFD-HSI) models to identify and qualitatively assess potential zones of shallow water depth and high water velocity that may present passage challenges for five major anadromous fish species in a 2.63-km reach of the main stem Penobscot River, Maine, as a result of a dam removal downstream of the reach. Suitability parameters were based on distribution of fish lengths and body depths and transformed to cruising, maximum sustained and sprint swimming speeds. Zones of potential depth and velocity challenges were calculated based on the hydraulic models; ability of fish to pass a challenge zone was based on the percent of river channel that the contiguous zone spanned and its maximum along-current length. Three river flows (low: 99.1 m3 sec-1; normal: 344.9 m3 sec-1; and high: 792.9 m3 sec-1) were modelled to simulate existing hydraulic conditions and hydraulic conditions simulating removal of a dam at the downstream boundary of the reach. Potential depth challenge zones were nonexistent for all low-flow simulations of existing conditions for deeper-bodied fishes. Increasing flows for existing conditions and removal of the dam under all flow conditions increased the number and size of potential velocity challenge zones, with the effects of zones being more pronounced for smaller species. The two-dimensional CFD-HSI model has utility in demonstrating gross effects of flow and hydraulic alteration, but may not be as precise a predictive tool as a three-dimensional model. Passability of the potential challenge zones cannot be precisely quantified for two-dimensional or three-dimensional models due to untested assumptions and incomplete data on fish swimming performance and behaviours.

  8. Machine-learning classifiers applied to habitat and geological substrate mapping offshore South Carolina

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, S. M.; Maschmeyer, C.; Anderson, E.; Knapp, C. C.; Brantley, D.

    2017-12-01

    classification as the classifier confused flat parts with relatively flat sand data. 100% of testing data representing rocky portions of the seafloor were correctly classified. The use of machine-learning classifiers to determine seafloor-type provides a new solution to habitat mapping and offshore engineering problems.

  9. Mapping tropical dry forest habitats integrating landsat NDVI, Ikonos imagery, and topographic information in the Caribbean island of Mona.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinuzzi, Sebastiáin; Gould, William A; Ramos Gonzalez, Olga M; Martinez Robles, Alma; Calle Maldonado, Paulina; Pérez-Buitrago, Néstor; Fumero Caban, José J

    2008-06-01

    Assessing the status of tropical dry forest habitats using remote sensing technologies is one of the research priorities for Neotropical forests. We developed a simple method for mapping vegetation and habitats in a tropical dry forest reserve, Mona Island, Puerto Rico, by integrating the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) from Landsat, topographic information, and high-resolution Ikonos imagery. The method was practical for identifying vegetation types in areas with a great variety of plant communities and complex relief, and can be adapted to other dry forest habitats of the Caribbean Islands. NDVI was useful for identifying the distribution of forests, woodlands, and shrubland, providing a natural representation of the vegetation patterns on the island. The use of Ikonos imagery allowed increasing the number of land cover classes. As a result, sixteen land-cover types were mapped over the 5500 ha area, with a kappa coefficient of accuracy equal to 79%. This map is a central piece for modeling vertebrate species distribution and biodiversity patterns by the Puerto Rico Gap Analysis Project, and it is of great value for assisting research and management actions in the island.

  10. Construction of Core Collections Suitable for Association Mapping to Optimize Use of Mediterranean Olive (Olea europaea L.) Genetic Resources

    Science.gov (United States)

    El Bakkali, Ahmed; Haouane, Hicham; Moukhli, Abdelmajid; Costes, Evelyne; Van Damme, Patrick; Khadari, Bouchaib

    2013-01-01

    Phenotypic characterisation of germplasm collections is a decisive step towards association mapping analyses, but it is particularly expensive and tedious for woody perennial plant species. Characterisation could be more efficient if focused on a reasonably sized subset of accessions, or so-called core collection (CC), reflecting the geographic origin and variability of the germplasm. The questions that arise concern the sample size to use and genetic parameters that should be optimized in a core collection to make it suitable for association mapping. Here we investigated these questions in olive (Olea europaea L.), a perennial fruit species. By testing different sampling methods and sizes in a worldwide olive germplasm bank (OWGB Marrakech, Morocco) containing 502 unique genotypes characterized by nuclear and plastid loci, a two-step sampling method was proposed. The Shannon-Weaver diversity index was found to be the best criterion to be maximized in the first step using the Core Hunter program. A primary core collection of 50 entries (CC50) was defined that captured more than 80% of the diversity. This latter was subsequently used as a kernel with the Mstrat program to capture the remaining diversity. 200 core collections of 94 entries (CC94) were thus built for flexibility in the choice of varieties to be studied. Most entries of both core collections (CC50 and CC94) were revealed to be unrelated due to the low kinship coefficient, whereas a genetic structure spanning the eastern and western/central Mediterranean regions was noted. Linkage disequilibrium was observed in CC94 which was mainly explained by a genetic structure effect as noted for OWGB Marrakech. Since they reflect the geographic origin and diversity of olive germplasm and are of reasonable size, both core collections will be of major interest to develop long-term association studies and thus enhance genomic selection in olive species. PMID:23667437

  11. The impact of lidar elevation uncertainty on mapping intertidal habitats on barrier islands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Enwright, Nicholas M.; Wang, Lei; Borchert, Sinéad M.; Day, Richard H.; Feher, Laura C.; Osland, Michael J.

    2018-01-01

    this study should increase efficiency and enhance results for habitat mapping and analyses in dynamic, low-relief coastal environments.

  12. Models for mapping potential habitat at landscape scales: an example using northern spotted owls.

    Science.gov (United States)

    William C. McComb; Michael T. McGrath; Thomas A. Spies; David. Vesely

    2002-01-01

    We are assessing the potential for current and alternative policies in the Oregon Coast Range to affect habitat capability for a suite of forest resources. We provide an example of a spatially explicit habitat capability model for northern spotted owls (Strix occidentalis caurina)to illustrate the approach we are taking to assess potential changes...

  13. Fine-scale mapping of vector habitats using very high resolution satellite imagery: a liver fluke case-study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Roeck, Els; Van Coillie, Frieke; De Wulf, Robert; Soenen, Karen; Charlier, Johannes; Vercruysse, Jozef; Hantson, Wouter; Ducheyne, Els; Hendrickx, Guy

    2014-12-01

    The visualization of vector occurrence in space and time is an important aspect of studying vector-borne diseases. Detailed maps of possible vector habitats provide valuable information for the prediction of infection risk zones but are currently lacking for most parts of the world. Nonetheless, monitoring vector habitats from the finest scales up to farm level is of key importance to refine currently existing broad-scale infection risk models. Using Fasciola hepatica, a parasite liver fluke, as a case in point, this study illustrates the potential of very high resolution (VHR) optical satellite imagery to efficiently and semi-automatically detect detailed vector habitats. A WorldView2 satellite image capable of transmitted by freshwater snails. The vector thrives in small water bodies (SWBs), such as ponds, ditches and other humid areas consisting of open water, aquatic vegetation and/or inundated grass. These water bodies can be as small as a few m2 and are most often not present on existing land cover maps because of their small size. We present a classification procedure based on object-based image analysis (OBIA) that proved valuable to detect SWBs at a fine scale in an operational and semi-automated way. The classification results were compared to field and other reference data such as existing broad-scale maps and expert knowledge. Overall, the SWB detection accuracy reached up to 87%. The resulting fine-scale SWB map can be used as input for spatial distribution modelling of the liver fluke snail vector to enable development of improved infection risk mapping and management advice adapted to specific, local farm situations.

  14. Using a Combined Platform of Swarm Intelligence Algorithms and GIS to Provide Land Suitability Maps for Locating Cardiac Rehabilitation Defibrillators

    Science.gov (United States)

    KAFFASH-CHARANDABI, Neda; SADEGHI-NIARAKI, Abolghasem; PARK, Dong-Kyun

    2015-01-01

    Background: Cardiac arrest is a condition in which the heart is completely stopped and is not pumping any blood. Although most cardiac arrest cases are reported from homes or hospitals, about 20% occur in public areas. Therefore, these areas need to be investigated in terms of cardiac arrest incidence so that places of high incidence can be identified and cardiac rehabilitation defibrillators installed there. Methods: In order to investigate a study area in Petersburg, Pennsylvania State, and to determine appropriate places for installing defibrillators with 5-year period data, swarm intelligence algorithms were used. Moreover, the location of the defibrillators was determined based on the following five evaluation criteria: land use, altitude of the area, economic conditions, distance from hospitals and approximate areas of reported cases of cardiac arrest for public places that were created in geospatial information system (GIS). Results: The A-P HADEL algorithm results were more precise about 27.36%. The validation results indicated a wider coverage of real values and the verification results confirmed the faster and more exact optimization of the cost function in the PSO method. Conclusion: The study findings emphasize the necessity of applying optimal optimization methods along with GIS and precise selection of criteria in the selection of optimal locations for installing medical facilities because the selected algorithm and criteria dramatically affect the final responses. Meanwhile, providing land suitability maps for installing facilities across hot and risky spots has the potential to save many lives. PMID:26587471

  15. Soil maps, field knowledge, forest inventory and Ecological-Economic Zoning as a basis for agricultural suitability of lands in Minas Gerais elaborated in GIS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vladimir Antonio Silva

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Lands (broader concept than soils, including all elements of the environment: soils, geology, topography, climate, water resources, flora and fauna, and the effects of anthropogenic activities of the state of Minas Gerais are in different soil, climate and socio-economics conditions and suitability for the production of agricultural goods is therefore distinct and mapping of agricultural suitability of the state lands is crucial for planning guided sustainability. Geoprocessing uses geographic information treatment techniques and GIS allows to evaluate geographic phenomena and their interrelationships using digital maps. To evaluate the agricultural suitability of state lands, we used soil maps, field knowledge, forest inventories and databases related to Ecological-Economic Zoning (EEZ of Minas Gerais, to develop a map of land suitability in GIS. To do this, we have combined the maps of soil fertility, water stress, oxygen deficiency, vulnerability to erosion and impediments to mechanization. In terms of geographical expression, the main limiting factor of lands is soil fertility, followed by lack of water, impediments to mechanization and vulnerability to erosion. Regarding agricultural suitability, the group 2 (regular suitability for crops is the most comprehensive, representing 45.13% of the state. For management levels A and B, low and moderate technological level, respectively, the most expressive suitability class is the regular, followed by the restricted class and last, the adequate class, while for the management level C (high technological level the predominant class is the restricted. The predominant most intensive use type is for crops, whose area increases substantially with capital investment and technology (management levels B and C.

  16. Benthic Habitat and Zone Maps of Puerto Rico 1999 - Prepared by Visual Interpretation from Remote Sensing Imagery Collected by NOAA, 1999

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — There are 208 habitat and zone maps of Puerto Rico and is major islands. This project is a cooperative effort between the National Ocean Service, National Centers...

  17. Test of the Capability of Laser Line Scan Technology to Support Benthic Habitat Mapping in Coral Reef Ecosystems, Maui Island, November 2006

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The utility of Laser Line Scan (LLS) Technology for optical validation of benthic habitat map data from coral reef ecosystems was tested with a deployment of a...

  18. An integrated study of spatial multicriteria analysis and mathematical modelling for managed aquifer recharge site suitability mapping and site ranking at Northern Gaza coastal aquifer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rahman, Mohammad Azizur; Rusteberg, Bernd; Uddin, Mohammad Salah; Lutz, Annegret; Saada, Muath Abu; Sauter, Martin

    2013-07-30

    This paper describes an integrated approach of site suitability mapping and ranking of the most suitable sites, for the implementation of Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) projects, using spatial multicriteria decision analysis (SMCDA) techniques and mathematical modelling. The SMCDA procedure contains constraint mapping, site suitability analysis with criteria standardization and weighting, criteria overlay by analytical hierarchy process (AHP) combined with weighted linear combination (WLC) and ordered weighted averaging (OWA), and sensitivity analysis. The hydrogeological impacts of the selected most suitable sites were quantified by using groundwater flow and transport modelling techniques. Finally, ranking of the selected sites was done with the WLC method. The integrated approach is demonstrated by a case study in the coastal aquifer of North Gaza. Constraint mapping shows that 50% of the total study area is suitable for MAR implementation. About 25% of the total area is "very good" and 25% percent is "good" for MAR, according to the site suitability analysis. Six locations were selected and ranked against six representative decision criteria. Long term (year 2003 to year 2040) groundwater flow and transport simulations were performed to quantify the selected criteria under MAR project operation conditions at the selected sites. Finally, the suitability mapping and hydrogeological investigation recommends that the location of the existing infiltration ponds, constructed near the planned North Gaza Wastewater Treatment Plant (NGWWTP) is most suitable for MAR project implementation. This paper concludes that mathematical modelling should be combined with the SMCDA technique in order to select the best location for MAR project implementation. Besides MAR project implementation, the generalised approach can be applicable for any other water resources development project that deals with site selection and implementation. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights

  19. Common dolphins in the Alboran Sea: Facing a reduction in their suitable habitat due to an increase in Sea surface temperature

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cañadas, A.; Vázquez, J. A.

    2017-07-01

    The short-beaked common dolphin Mediterranean subpopulation appears to have suffered a steep decline over recent decades and was listed in 2003 as 'Endangered' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. The Alboran Sea is the last region in the Mediterranean where it is still abundant. In this study, we relate features of this species' ecology to climate change, focusing on distribution and density. This work used a two decades-long dataset on the common dolphin in the Alboran Sea and a time series of environmental changes. Once established, these relationships were used in conjunction with some simulated scenarios of environmental change to predict the potential effects of further change on these species over the next 100 years. Two approaches were used: 1) projection from a regression line from local variation, and 2) a HadCM3 climate model with time-varying anthropogenic effects. Generalized Additive Models were used to model the relationship between density of the animals with SST and other environmental covariates. Results from both approaches were very similar. The predictions of density from the regression line fell within the ranges from the HadCM3 climate model, the first being based on local and locally, point to point, differentiated information, which lead us to consider the first approach as the best for this area. At the small spatial scale of the Alboran Sea and Gulf of Vera, an increase in SST will potentially yield a reduction in suitable habitat for common dolphins, with a progressive reduction in density from east to west.

  20. EXTRAPOLATING THE SUITABILITY OF SOILS AS NATURAL REACTORS USING AN EXISTING SOIL MAP: APPLICATION OF PEDOTRANSFER FUNCTIONS, SPATIAL INTEGRATION AND VALIDATION PROCEDURES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yameli Guadalupe Aguilar Duarte

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was the spatial identification of the suitability of soils as reactors in the treatment of swine wastewater in the Mexican state of Yucatan, as well as the development of a map with validation procedures. Pedotransfer functions were applied to the existing soils database. A methodological approach was adopted that allowed the spatialization of pedotransfer function data points. A map of the suitability of soil associations as reactors was produced, as well as a map of the level of accuracy of the associations using numerical classification technique, such as discriminant analysis. Soils with the highest suitability indices were found to be Vertisols, Stagnosols, Nitisols and Luvisols. Some 83.9% of the area of Yucatan is marginally suitable for the reception of swine wastewater, 6.5% is moderately suitable, while 6% is suitable. The percentages of the spatial accuracy of the pedotransfer functions range from 62% to 95% with an overall value of 71.5%. The methodological approach proved to be practical, accurate and inexpensive.

  1. Predicting freshwater habitat integrity using land-use surrogates

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    2007-04-02

    Apr 2, 2007 ... Quantification of potential surrogates of freshwater habitat integrity. We chose a series of land-use variables that might be suitable predictors for assessing freshwater habitat integrity from the land cover map (CSIR 2005) and added separate GIS surfaces for human population density and the distribution of ...

  2. Using forest inventory and analysis data and the forest vegetation simulator to predict and monitor fisher (Martes pennanti) resting habitat suitability

    Science.gov (United States)

    William J. Zielinski; Andrew N. Gray; Jeffrey R. Dunk; Joseph W. Sherlock; Gary E. Dixon

    2010-01-01

    New knowledge from wildlife-habitat relationship models is often difficult to implement in a management context. This can occur because researchers do not always consider whether managers have access to information about environmental covariates that permit the models to be applied. Moreover, ecosystem management requires knowledge about the condition of habitats over...

  3. Coastal Bend Texas Benthic Habitat Mapping Reprocessed DOQQ Aerial Imagery (NODC Accession 0086051)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — In 2006 and 2007 the NOAA Coastal Services Center purchased services to reprocess existing digital multi-spectral imagery (ADS-40) and create digital benthic habitat...

  4. Coastal Bend Texas Benthic Habitat Mapping Aransas Bay (NODC Accession 0070784)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — In 2006 and 2007 the NOAA Coastal Services Center purchased services to process existing digital multi-spectral imagery (ADS-40) and create digital benthic habitat...

  5. Mapping Thermal Habitat of Ectotherms Based on Behavioral Thermoregulation in a Controlled Thermal Environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fei, T.; Skidmore, A.; Liu, Y.

    2012-07-01

    Thermal environment is especially important to ectotherm because a lot of physiological functions rely on the body temperature such as thermoregulation. The so-called behavioural thermoregulation function made use of the heterogeneity of the thermal properties within an individual's habitat to sustain the animal's physiological processes. This function links the spatial utilization and distribution of individual ectotherm with the thermal properties of habitat (thermal habitat). In this study we modelled the relationship between the two by a spatial explicit model that simulates the movements of a lizard in a controlled environment. The model incorporates a lizard's transient body temperatures with a cellular automaton algorithm as a way to link the physiology knowledge of the animal with the spatial utilization of its microhabitat. On a larger spatial scale, 'thermal roughness' of the habitat was defined and used to predict the habitat occupancy of the target species. The results showed the habitat occupancy can be modelled by the cellular automaton based algorithm at a smaller scale, and can be modelled by the thermal roughness index at a larger scale.

  6. On the suitability of MODIS time series metrics to map vegetation types in dry savanna ecosystems: A case study in the Kalahari of NE Namibia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hüttich, C.; Gessner, U.; Herold, M.; Strohbach, B.; Schmidt, M.; Keil, M.; Dech, S.

    2009-01-01

    The characterization and evaluation of the recent status of biodiversity in Southern Africa’s Savannas is a major prerequisite for suitable and sustainable land management and conservation purposes. This paper presents an integrated concept for vegetation type mapping in a dry savanna ecosystem

  7. The scientific basis for modeling Northern Spotted Owl habitat: A response to Loehle, Irwin, Manly, and Merrill

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeffrey R. Dunk; Brian Woodbridge; Elizabeth M. Glenn; Raymond J. Davis; Katherine Fitzgerald; Paul Henson; David W. LaPlante; Bruce G. Marcot; Barry R. Noon; Martin G. Raphael; Nathan H. Schumaker; Brendan. White

    2015-01-01

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently revised the recovery plan (USFWS, 2011) and designated Critical Habitat (USFWS, 2012a) for the Northern Spotted Owl (Strix occidentalis caurina). The Critical Habitat designation was based in part on a map of relative habitat suitability that was developed by USFWS (2011, 2012b) for this purpose. Loehle...

  8. Lowland tapir distribution and habitat loss in South America

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jose Luis Passos Cordeiro

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available The development of species distribution models (SDMs can help conservation efforts by generating potential distributions and identifying areas of high environmental suitability for protection. Our study presents a distribution and habitat map for lowland tapir in South America. We also describe the potential habitat suitability of various geographical regions and habitat loss, inside and outside of protected areas network. Two different SDM approaches, MAXENT and ENFA, produced relative different Habitat Suitability Maps for the lowland tapir. While MAXENT was efficient at identifying areas as suitable or unsuitable, it was less efficient (when compared to the results by ENFA at identifying the gradient of habitat suitability. MAXENT is a more multifaceted technique that establishes more complex relationships between dependent and independent variables. Our results demonstrate that for at least one species, the lowland tapir, the use of a simple consensual approach (average of ENFA and MAXENT models outputs better reflected its current distribution patterns. The Brazilian ecoregions have the highest habitat loss for the tapir. Cerrado and Atlantic Forest account for nearly half (48.19% of the total area lost. The Amazon region contains the largest area under protection, and the most extensive remaining habitat for the tapir, but also showed high levels of habitat loss outside protected areas, which increases the importance of support for proper management.

  9. Lowland tapir distribution and habitat loss in South America.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cordeiro, Jose Luis Passos; Fragoso, José M V; Crawshaw, Danielle; Oliveira, Luiz Flamarion B

    2016-01-01

    The development of species distribution models (SDMs) can help conservation efforts by generating potential distributions and identifying areas of high environmental suitability for protection. Our study presents a distribution and habitat map for lowland tapir in South America. We also describe the potential habitat suitability of various geographical regions and habitat loss, inside and outside of protected areas network. Two different SDM approaches, MAXENT and ENFA, produced relative different Habitat Suitability Maps for the lowland tapir. While MAXENT was efficient at identifying areas as suitable or unsuitable, it was less efficient (when compared to the results by ENFA) at identifying the gradient of habitat suitability. MAXENT is a more multifaceted technique that establishes more complex relationships between dependent and independent variables. Our results demonstrate that for at least one species, the lowland tapir, the use of a simple consensual approach (average of ENFA and MAXENT models outputs) better reflected its current distribution patterns. The Brazilian ecoregions have the highest habitat loss for the tapir. Cerrado and Atlantic Forest account for nearly half (48.19%) of the total area lost. The Amazon region contains the largest area under protection, and the most extensive remaining habitat for the tapir, but also showed high levels of habitat loss outside protected areas, which increases the importance of support for proper management.

  10. Predicting and Mapping Potential Whooping Crane Stopover Habitat to Guide Site Selection for Wind Energy Projects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Migration is one of the most poorly understood components of a bird’s life cycle. For that reason, migratory stopover habitats are often not part of conservation planning and may be overlooked when planning new development projects. This project highlights and addresses an overl...

  11. Mapping cold-water coral habitats at different scales within the Northern Ionian Sea (Central Mediterranean: an assessment of coral coverage and associated vulnerability.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alessandra Savini

    Full Text Available In this study, we mapped the distribution of Cold-Water Coral (CWC habitats on the northern Ionian Margin (Mediterranean Sea, with an emphasis on assessing coral coverage at various spatial scales over an area of 2,000 km(2 between 120 and 1,400 m of water depth. Our work made use of a set of data obtained from ship-based research surveys. Multi-scale seafloor mapping data, video inspections, and previous results from sediment samples were integrated and analyzed using Geographic Information System (GIS-based tools. Results obtained from the application of spatial and textural analytical techniques to acoustic meso-scale maps (i.e. a Digital Terrain Model (DTM of the seafloor at a 40 m grid cell size and associated terrain parameters and large-scale maps (i.e. Side-Scan Sonar (SSS mosaics of 1 m in resolution ground-truthed using underwater video observations were integrated and revealed that, at the meso-scale level, the main morphological pattern (i.e. the aggregation of mound-like features associated with CWC habitat occurrences was widespread over a total area of 600 km(2. Single coral mounds were isolated from the DTM and represented the geomorphic proxies used to model coral distributions within the investigated area. Coral mounds spanned a total area of 68 km(2 where different coral facies (characterized using video analyses and mapped on SSS mosaics represent the dominant macro-habitat. We also mapped and classified anthropogenic threats that were identifiable within the examined videos, and, here, discuss their relationship to the mapped distribution of coral habitats and mounds. The combined results (from multi-scale habitat mapping and observations of the distribution of anthropogenic threats provide the first quantitative assessment of CWC coverage for a Mediterranean province and document the relevant role of seafloor geomorphology in influencing habitat vulnerability to different types of human pressures.

  12. Mapping cold-water coral habitats at different scales within the Northern Ionian Sea (Central Mediterranean): an assessment of coral coverage and associated vulnerability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Savini, Alessandra; Vertino, Agostina; Marchese, Fabio; Beuck, Lydia; Freiwald, André

    2014-01-01

    In this study, we mapped the distribution of Cold-Water Coral (CWC) habitats on the northern Ionian Margin (Mediterranean Sea), with an emphasis on assessing coral coverage at various spatial scales over an area of 2,000 km(2) between 120 and 1,400 m of water depth. Our work made use of a set of data obtained from ship-based research surveys. Multi-scale seafloor mapping data, video inspections, and previous results from sediment samples were integrated and analyzed using Geographic Information System (GIS)-based tools. Results obtained from the application of spatial and textural analytical techniques to acoustic meso-scale maps (i.e. a Digital Terrain Model (DTM) of the seafloor at a 40 m grid cell size and associated terrain parameters) and large-scale maps (i.e. Side-Scan Sonar (SSS) mosaics of 1 m in resolution ground-truthed using underwater video observations) were integrated and revealed that, at the meso-scale level, the main morphological pattern (i.e. the aggregation of mound-like features) associated with CWC habitat occurrences was widespread over a total area of 600 km(2). Single coral mounds were isolated from the DTM and represented the geomorphic proxies used to model coral distributions within the investigated area. Coral mounds spanned a total area of 68 km(2) where different coral facies (characterized using video analyses and mapped on SSS mosaics) represent the dominant macro-habitat. We also mapped and classified anthropogenic threats that were identifiable within the examined videos, and, here, discuss their relationship to the mapped distribution of coral habitats and mounds. The combined results (from multi-scale habitat mapping and observations of the distribution of anthropogenic threats) provide the first quantitative assessment of CWC coverage for a Mediterranean province and document the relevant role of seafloor geomorphology in influencing habitat vulnerability to different types of human pressures.

  13. High-resolution behavioral mapping of electric fishes in Amazonian habitats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madhav, Manu S; Jayakumar, Ravikrishnan P; Demir, Alican; Stamper, Sarah A; Fortune, Eric S; Cowan, Noah J

    2018-04-11

    The study of animal behavior has been revolutionized by sophisticated methodologies that identify and track individuals in video recordings. Video recording of behavior, however, is challenging for many species and habitats including fishes that live in turbid water. Here we present a methodology for identifying and localizing weakly electric fishes on the centimeter scale with subsecond temporal resolution based solely on the electric signals generated by each individual. These signals are recorded with a grid of electrodes and analyzed using a two-part algorithm that identifies the signals from each individual fish and then estimates the position and orientation of each fish using Bayesian inference. Interestingly, because this system involves eavesdropping on electrocommunication signals, it permits monitoring of complex social and physical interactions in the wild. This approach has potential for large-scale non-invasive monitoring of aquatic habitats in the Amazon basin and other tropical freshwater systems.

  14. A multistage decision support framework to guide tree species management under climate change via habitat suitability and colonization models, and a knowledge-based scoring system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anantha M. Prasad; Louis R. Iverson; Stephen N. Matthews; Matthew P. Peters

    2016-01-01

    Context. No single model can capture the complex species range dynamics under changing climates--hence the need for a combination approach that addresses management concerns. Objective. A multistage approach is illustrated to manage forested landscapes under climate change. We combine a tree species habitat model--DISTRIB II, a species colonization model--SHIFT, and...

  15. Mapping of suitable zones for manual drilling as a possible solution to increase access to drinking water in Africa through integration of systematized GIS data and local knowledge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fussi, Fabio; Alvino, Roberta; Caruba, Massimo; Galimberti, Luca; Marzan, Ignacio; Tarrason y Cerda', David; Sabatini, Daniela

    2013-04-01

    In several African countries water supply is still largely a huge problem. In order to achieve MDG for water supply, UNICEF is promoting manual drilling in Africa. Manual drilling refers to those techniques of drilling boreholes for groundwater exploitation using human or animal power (not mechanized equipment). These techniques are well known in countries with large alluvial deposits (India, Nepal, Bangladesh, etc). They are cheaper than mechanized boreholes, easy to implement as the equipment is locally done, able to provide clean water if correctly applied. But manual drilling is feasible only where suitable hydrogeological conditions are met: - the shallow geological layers are not too hard (soft sediments or rocks having limited resistance) and have good permeability; - the depth where it is possible to find exploitable water is limited (in this study we assumed no deeper than 25 m). For this reason mapping of suitable zone for manual drilling has been the first step in UNICEF program already completed in 15 countries. this paper explains the general methodology for the identification of suitable zones at country level The methodology is based in the integration of different information (maps, reports, database) already existing in each country, together with interview of local technicians with direct experience in various regions and limited direct field data collection. General suitability for manual drilling (although adapted to specific condition in each country) is based on the combination of three main parameters: the geological suitability, the suitability according to water depth and the morphological suitability: - Geological suitability is related to the hardness and permeability of the shallow layers of rock formations. It has been obtained through a GIS procedure of simplification and reclassification of geological maps, estimating hardness and permeability of main rock and overlaying weathered layer on the basis of stratigraphic borehole logs

  16. A National Approach for Mapping and Quantifying Habitat-based Biodiversity Metrics Across Multiple Spatial Scales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ecosystem services, i.e., "services provided to humans from natural systems," have become a key issue of this century in resource management, conservation planning, and environmental decision analysis. Mapping and quantifying ecosystem services have become strategic national inte...

  17. Quantifying and Mapping Habitat-Based Biodiversity Metrics Within an Ecosystem Services Framework

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ecosystem services have become a key issue of this century in resource management, conservation planning, human well-being, and environmental decision analysis. Mapping and quantifying ecosystem services have become strategic national interests for integrating ecology with econom...

  18. NOAA's Coral Reef Conservation Program: Coral Reef Habitat Mapping Projects in 2016

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Maps are a critical cornerstone of coral reef management, research and planning, with direct links to management needs in a number of forms. To accurately...

  19. Combining pixel and object based image analysis of ultra-high resolution multibeam bathymetry and backscatter for habitat mapping in shallow marine waters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ierodiaconou, Daniel; Schimel, Alexandre C. G.; Kennedy, David; Monk, Jacquomo; Gaylard, Grace; Young, Mary; Diesing, Markus; Rattray, Alex

    2018-06-01

    Habitat mapping data are increasingly being recognised for their importance in underpinning marine spatial planning. The ability to collect ultra-high resolution (cm) multibeam echosounder (MBES) data in shallow waters has facilitated understanding of the fine-scale distribution of benthic habitats in these areas that are often prone to human disturbance. Developing quantitative and objective approaches to integrate MBES data with ground observations for predictive modelling is essential for ensuring repeatability and providing confidence measures for habitat mapping products. Whilst supervised classification approaches are becoming more common, users are often faced with a decision whether to implement a pixel based (PB) or an object based (OB) image analysis approach, with often limited understanding of the potential influence of that decision on final map products and relative importance of data inputs to patterns observed. In this study, we apply an ensemble learning approach capable of integrating PB and OB Image Analysis from ultra-high resolution MBES bathymetry and backscatter data for mapping benthic habitats in Refuge Cove, a temperate coastal embayment in south-east Australia. We demonstrate the relative importance of PB and OB seafloor derivatives for the five broad benthic habitats that dominate the site. We found that OB and PB approaches performed well with differences in classification accuracy but not discernible statistically. However, a model incorporating elements of both approaches proved to be significantly more accurate than OB or PB methods alone and demonstrate the benefits of using MBES bathymetry and backscatter combined for class discrimination.

  20. NOAA's efforts to map extent, health and condition of deep sea corals and sponges and their habitat on the banks and island slopes of Southern California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Etnoyer, P. J.; Salgado, E.; Stierhoff, K.; Wickes, L.; Nehasil, S.; Kracker, L.; Lauermann, A.; Rosen, D.; Caldow, C.

    2015-12-01

    Southern California's deep-sea corals are diverse and abundant, but subject to multiple stressors, including corallivory, ocean acidification, and commercial bottom fishing. NOAA has surveyed these habitats using a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) since 2003. The ROV was equipped with high-resolution cameras to document deep-water groundfish and their habitat in a series of research expeditions from 2003 - 2011. Recent surveys 2011-2015 focused on in-situ measures of aragonite saturation and habitat mapping in notable habitats identified in previous years. Surveys mapped abundance and diversity of fishes and corals, as well as commercial fisheries landings and frequency of fishing gear. A novel priority setting algorithm was developed to identify hotspots of diversity and fishing intensity, and to determine where future conservation efforts may be warranted. High density coral aggregations identified in these analyses were also used to guide recent multibeam mapping efforts. The maps suggest a large extent of unexplored and unprotected hard-bottom habitat in the mesophotic zone and deep-sea reaches of Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary.

  1. GIS habitat analysis for lesser prairie-chickens in southeastern New Mexico

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Neville Paul

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background We conducted Geographic Information System (GIS habitat analyses for lesser prairie-chicken (LPCH, Tympanuchus pallidicinctus conservation planning. The 876,799 ha study area included most of the occupied habitat for the LPCH in New Mexico. The objectives were to identify and quantify: 1. suitable LPCH habitat in New Mexico, 2. conversion of native habitats, 3. potential for habitat restoration, and 4. unsuitable habitat available for oil and gas activities. Results We found 16% of suitable habitat (6% of the study area distributed in 13 patches of at least 3,200 ha and 11% of suitable habitat (4% of the study area distributed in four patches over 7,238 ha. The area converted from native vegetation types comprised 17% of the study area. Ninety-five percent of agricultural conversion occurred on private lands in the northeastern corner of the study area. Most known herbicide-related conversions (82% occurred in rangelands in the western part of the study area, on lands managed primarily by the US Bureau of Land Management (BLM. We identified 88,190 ha (10% of the study area of habitats with reasonable restoration potential. Sixty-two percent of the primary population area (PPA contained occupied, suitable, or potentially suitable habitat, leaving 38% that could be considered for oil and gas development. Conclusion Although suitable LPCH habitat appears at first glance to be abundant in southeastern New Mexico, only a fraction of apparently suitable vegetation types constitute quality habitat. However, we identified habitat patches that could be restored through mesquite control or shin-oak reintroduction. The analysis also identified areas of unsuitable habitat with low restoration potential that could be targeted for oil and gas exploration, in lieu of occupied, high-quality habitats. Used in combination with GIS analysis and current LPCH population data, the habitat map represents a powerful conservation and management tool.

  2. GIS habitat analysis for lesser prairie-chickens in southeastern New Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Kristine; Neville, Teri B; Neville, Paul

    2006-12-04

    We conducted Geographic Information System (GIS) habitat analyses for lesser prairie-chicken (LPCH, Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) conservation planning. The 876,799 ha study area included most of the occupied habitat for the LPCH in New Mexico. The objectives were to identify and quantify: 1. suitable LPCH habitat in New Mexico, 2. conversion of native habitats, 3. potential for habitat restoration, and 4. unsuitable habitat available for oil and gas activities. We found 16% of suitable habitat (6% of the study area) distributed in 13 patches of at least 3,200 ha and 11% of suitable habitat (4% of the study area) distributed in four patches over 7,238 ha. The area converted from native vegetation types comprised 17% of the study area. Ninety-five percent of agricultural conversion occurred on private lands in the northeastern corner of the study area. Most known herbicide-related conversions (82%) occurred in rangelands in the western part of the study area, on lands managed primarily by the US Bureau of Land Management (BLM). We identified 88,190 ha (10% of the study area) of habitats with reasonable restoration potential. Sixty-two percent of the primary population area (PPA) contained occupied, suitable, or potentially suitable habitat, leaving 38% that could be considered for oil and gas development. Although suitable LPCH habitat appears at first glance to be abundant in southeastern New Mexico, only a fraction of apparently suitable vegetation types constitute quality habitat. However, we identified habitat patches that could be restored through mesquite control or shin-oak reintroduction. The analysis also identified areas of unsuitable habitat with low restoration potential that could be targeted for oil and gas exploration, in lieu of occupied, high-quality habitats. Used in combination with GIS analysis and current LPCH population data, the habitat map represents a powerful conservation and management tool.

  3. Cold-seep habitat mapping: High-resolution spatial characterization of the Blake Ridge Diapir seep field

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagner, Jamie K. S.; McEntee, Molly H.; Brothers, Laura L.; German, Christopher R.; Kaiser, Carl L.; Yoerger, Dana R.; Van Dover, Cindy Lee

    2013-08-01

    Relationships among seep community biomass, diversity, and physiographic controls such as underlying geology are not well understood. Previous efforts to constrain these relationships at the Blake Ridge Diapir were limited to observations from piloted deep-submergence vehicles. In August 2012, the autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) Sentry collected geophysical and photographic data over a 0.131 km2 area at the Blake Ridge Diapir seeps. A nested survey approach was used that began with a regional or reconnaissance-style survey using sub-bottom mapping systems to locate and identify seeps and underlying conduits. This survey was followed by AUV-mounted sidescan sonar and multibeam echosounder systems mapping on a mesoscale to characterize the seabed physiography. At the most detailed survey level, digital photographic imaging was used to resolve sub-meter characteristics of the biology. Four pockmarks (25-70 m diameter) were documented, each supporting chemosynthetic communities. Concentric zonation of mussels and clams suggests the influence of chemical gradients on megafaunal distribution. Data collection and analytical techniques used here yield high-resolution habitat maps that can serve as baselines to constrain temporal evolution of seafloor seeps, and to inform ecological niche modeling and resource management.

  4. Integrating Remote Sensing with Species Distribution Models; Mapping Tamarisk Invasions Using the Software for Assisted Habitat Modeling (SAHM).

    Science.gov (United States)

    West, Amanda M; Evangelista, Paul H; Jarnevich, Catherine S; Young, Nicholas E; Stohlgren, Thomas J; Talbert, Colin; Talbert, Marian; Morisette, Jeffrey; Anderson, Ryan

    2016-10-11

    Early detection of invasive plant species is vital for the management of natural resources and protection of ecosystem processes. The use of satellite remote sensing for mapping the distribution of invasive plants is becoming more common, however conventional imaging software and classification methods have been shown to be unreliable. In this study, we test and evaluate the use of five species distribution model techniques fit with satellite remote sensing data to map invasive tamarisk (Tamarix spp.) along the Arkansas River in Southeastern Colorado. The models tested included boosted regression trees (BRT), Random Forest (RF), multivariate adaptive regression splines (MARS), generalized linear model (GLM), and Maxent. These analyses were conducted using a newly developed software package called the Software for Assisted Habitat Modeling (SAHM). All models were trained with 499 presence points, 10,000 pseudo-absence points, and predictor variables acquired from the Landsat 5 Thematic Mapper (TM) sensor over an eight-month period to distinguish tamarisk from native riparian vegetation using detection of phenological differences. From the Landsat scenes, we used individual bands and calculated Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), Soil-Adjusted Vegetation Index (SAVI), and tasseled capped transformations. All five models identified current tamarisk distribution on the landscape successfully based on threshold independent and threshold dependent evaluation metrics with independent location data. To account for model specific differences, we produced an ensemble of all five models with map output highlighting areas of agreement and areas of uncertainty. Our results demonstrate the usefulness of species distribution models in analyzing remotely sensed data and the utility of ensemble mapping, and showcase the capability of SAHM in pre-processing and executing multiple complex models.

  5. Integrating remote sensing with species distribution models; Mapping tamarisk invasions using the Software for Assisted Habitat Modeling (SAHM)

    Science.gov (United States)

    West, Amanda M.; Evangelista, Paul H.; Jarnevich, Catherine S.; Young, Nicholas E.; Stohlgren, Thomas J.; Talbert, Colin; Talbert, Marian; Morisette, Jeffrey; Anderson, Ryan

    2016-01-01

    Early detection of invasive plant species is vital for the management of natural resources and protection of ecosystem processes. The use of satellite remote sensing for mapping the distribution of invasive plants is becoming more common, however conventional imaging software and classification methods have been shown to be unreliable. In this study, we test and evaluate the use of five species distribution model techniques fit with satellite remote sensing data to map invasive tamarisk (Tamarix spp.) along the Arkansas River in Southeastern Colorado. The models tested included boosted regression trees (BRT), Random Forest (RF), multivariate adaptive regression splines (MARS), generalized linear model (GLM), and Maxent. These analyses were conducted using a newly developed software package called the Software for Assisted Habitat Modeling (SAHM). All models were trained with 499 presence points, 10,000 pseudo-absence points, and predictor variables acquired from the Landsat 5 Thematic Mapper (TM) sensor over an eight-month period to distinguish tamarisk from native riparian vegetation using detection of phenological differences. From the Landsat scenes, we used individual bands and calculated Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), Soil-Adjusted Vegetation Index (SAVI), and tasseled capped transformations. All five models identified current tamarisk distribution on the landscape successfully based on threshold independent and threshold dependent evaluation metrics with independent location data. To account for model specific differences, we produced an ensemble of all five models with map output highlighting areas of agreement and areas of uncertainty. Our results demonstrate the usefulness of species distribution models in analyzing remotely sensed data and the utility of ensemble mapping, and showcase the capability of SAHM in pre-processing and executing multiple complex models.

  6. Seafloor Mapping and Benthic Habitats off Assateague Island National Seashore: can we Resolve any Effects of Superstorm Sandy?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, D.; Trembanis, A. C.; Kennedy, E.; Rusch, H.; Rothermel, E.

    2016-02-01

    The National Park Service has partnered with faculty and students at the University of Delaware to map the length of Assateague Island and sample benthic communities there for two purposes: (1) to provide a complete inventory of benthic habitats and their biota, and (2) to determine if any changes from a pre-storm survey can be ascribed to Superstorm Sandy in 2012. During the 2014 and 2015 field seasons over 75 km2 of high-resolution ( 50 cm/pixel) side-scan sonar and collocated bathymetry were collected with a surface vessel mounted bathy side-scan sonar (EdgeTech 6205), spanning the shore from depths of less than 2 m out to a distance of approximately 1 nautical mile and depths of 10-12 m. Furthermore, we have resampled using standard methodology (modified Young grab and 0.5-mm sieve) a subset of the previously sampled benthic stations that represent all sediment classes identified in prior studies. Additionally, we have obtained novel data with our ROV and AUV assets, including finer scale bottom video and multibeam bathymetry, at specifically chosen locations in order to enhance understanding of the benthic habitat and bottom type changes. In addition to providing a habitat and faunal inventory for resource management purposes, we will compare our side scan and benthic survey data to the pre-storm 2011 data products with comparable coverage. To date we have found that ArcGIS and ENVI sediment classifications agree well with those from the 2011 study, but spatially we note more areas of finer sediments and less of gravel. As was expected, 2014 benthic assemblages differ significantly among sediment classes (PRIMER ANOSIM), and sediment class is the best predictor of the benthic community (PERMANOVA+ distance-based RDA). Our goal here is to use consistent analytical approaches to characterize changes that occur over season and inter-annual time scales. This is a critical step toward attributing sediment, habitat and biological changes to Superstorm Sandy.

  7. Multisource multibeam backscatter data: developing a strategy for the production of benthic habitat maps using semi-automated seafloor classification methods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lacharité, Myriam; Brown, Craig J.; Gazzola, Vicki

    2018-06-01

    The establishment of multibeam echosounders (MBES) as a mainstream tool in ocean mapping has facilitated integrative approaches towards nautical charting, benthic habitat mapping, and seafloor geotechnical surveys. The bathymetric and backscatter information generated by MBES enables marine scientists to present highly accurate bathymetric data with a spatial resolution closely matching that of terrestrial mapping, and can generate customized thematic seafloor maps to meet multiple ocean management needs. However, when a variety of MBES systems are used, the creation of objective habitat maps can be hindered by the lack of backscatter calibration, due for example, to system-specific settings, yielding relative rather than absolute values. Here, we describe an approach using object-based image analysis to combine 4 non-overlapping and uncalibrated (backscatter) MBES coverages to form a seamless habitat map on St. Anns Bank (Atlantic Canada), a marine protected area hosting a diversity of benthic habitats. The benthoscape map was produced by analysing each coverage independently with supervised classification (k-nearest neighbor) of image-objects based on a common suite of 7 benthoscapes (determined with 4214 ground-truthing photographs at 61 stations, and characterized with backscatter, bathymetry, and bathymetric position index). Manual re-classification based on uncertainty in membership values to individual classes—especially at the boundaries between coverages—was used to build the final benthoscape map. Given the costs and scarcity of MBES surveys in offshore marine ecosystems—particularly in large ecosystems in need of adequate conservation strategies, such as in Canadian waters—developing approaches to synthesize multiple datasets to meet management needs is warranted.

  8. High-Precision Land-Cover-Land-Use GIS Mapping and Land Availability and Suitability Analysis for Grass Biomass Production in the Aroostook River Valley, Maine, USA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chunzeng Wang

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available High-precision land-cover-land-use GIS mapping was performed in four major townships in Maine’s Aroostook River Valley, using on-screen digitization and direct interpretation of very high spatial resolution satellite multispectral imagery (15–60 cm and high spatial resolution LiDAR data (2 m and the field mapping method. The project not only provides the first-ever high-precision land-use maps for northern Maine, but it also yields accurate hectarage estimates of different land-use types, in particular grassland, defined as fallow land, pasture, and hay field. This enables analysis of potential land availability and suitability for grass biomass production and other sustainable land uses. The results show that the total area of fallow land in the four towns is 7594 hectares, which accounts for 25% of total open land, and that fallow plots equal to or over four hectares in size total 4870, or 16% of open land. Union overlay analysis, using the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS soil data, indicates that only a very small percentage of grassland (4.9% is on “poorly-drained” or “very-poorly-drained” soils, and that most grassland (85% falls into the “farmland of state importance” or “prime farmland” categories, as determined by NRCS. It is concluded that Maine’s Aroostook River Valley has an ample base of suitable, underutilized land for producing grass biomass.

  9. Proceedings of a workshop on the development and evaluation of habitat suitability criteria: A compilation of papers and discussions presented at Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado, December 8-12, 1986

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bovee, Ken; Zuboy, J.R.

    1988-01-01

    The development of reliable habitat suitability criteria is critical to the successful implementation of the Instream Flow Incremental Methodology (IFIM), or any other habitat based evaluation technology. It is also a fascinating topic of research, for several reasons. First, the “science” of habitat quantification is relatively young. Descriptions of habitat use and partitioning can be traced back to Darwin, if not further. Attempts to actually quantify habitat use can be found predominantly during the last two decades, with most of the activity occurring in about the last five years. Second, this work is challenging because we are usually working with fish or some other organism that lives out of sight in an environment that is foreign to humans. Most of the data collection techniques that have been developed for standard fisheries work are unsuited, without modification, for criteria development. These factors make anyone involved in this type of research a pioneer, of sorts. Pioneers often make new and wonderful discoveries, but they also sometimes get lost. In our opinion, however, there is an even more rewarding aspect to criteria development research. It seems that the field of biology has tended to become increasingly clinical over the years. Criteria development demands the unobtrusive observation of organisms in their natural environment, a fact that allows the biological to be a naturalist and still get paid for it. The relative youth and importance of habitat quantification have resulted in rapid advancements in the state of the art. The expansion of methods is vividly demonstrated simply by comparing the two Instream Flow Information Papers written on the subject in 1978 and in 1986. One of the missions of the Aquatic Systems Branch (formerly the Instream Flow Group) is to serve as a clearinghouse for new techniques and methods. In keeping with this role, a workshop was conducted during December 1986 to discuss current and newly evolving methods

  10. Assessment of habitat conditions using Self-Organizing Feature Maps for reintroduction/introduction of Aldrovanda vesiculosa L. in Poland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Piotr Kosiba

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available The study objects were Aldrovanda vesiculosa L., an endangered species and fifty five water sites in Poland. The aim of the present work was to test the Self-Organizing Feature Map in order to examine and predict water properties and type of trophicity for restoration of the rare plant. Descriptive statistical parameters have been calculated, analysis of variance and cluster analysis were carried out and SOFM model has been constructed for analysed sites. The results of SOFM model and cluster analysis were compared. The study revealed that the ordination of individuals and groups of neurons in topological map of sites are similar in relation to dendrogram of cluster analysis, but not identical. The constructed SOFM model is related with significantly different contents of chemical water properties and type of trophicity. It appeared that sites with A. vesiculosa are predominantly distrophic and eutrophic waters shifted to distrophicity. The elevated model showed the sites with chemical properties favourable for restoration the species. Determined was the range of ecological tolerance of the species in relation to habitat conditions as stenotopic or relatively stenotopic in respect of the earlier accepted eutrophic status. The SOFM appeared to be a useful technique for ordination of ecological data and provides a novel framework for the discovery and forecasting of ecosystem properties constituting a validation of the SOFM method in this type of studies.

  11. Identifying ozone-sensitive communities of (semi-)natural vegetation suitable for mapping exceedance of critical levels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mills, G.; Hayes, F.; Jones, M.L.M.; Cinderby, S.

    2007-01-01

    Using published data on the responses of individual species to ozone, 54 EUNIS (European Nature Information System) level 4 communities with six or more ozone-sensitive species (%OS) and c. 20% or more species tested for ozone sensitivity, were identified as potentially ozone-sensitive. The largest number of these communities (23) was associated with Grasslands, with Heathland, scrub and tundra, and Mires, bogs and fens having the next highest representation at 11 and 8 level 4 communities each respectively. Within the grasslands classification, E4 (Alpine and sub-alpine grasslands), E5 (Woodland fringes and clearings) and E1 (Dry grasslands) were the most sensitive with 68.1, 51.6 and 48.6%OS respectively. It is feasible to map the land-cover for these and other communities at level 2, but it may not be currently possible to map the land-cover for all communities identified to be ozone-sensitive at levels 3 and 4. - Grassland communities such as alpine and sub-alpine grasslands have the highest potential sensitivity ozone, based on the responses of their component species

  12. Mapping tropical dry forest habitats integrating Landsat NDVI, Ikonos imagery, and topographic information in the Caribbean Island of Mona

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sebastián Martinuzzi

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available Assessing the status of tropical dry forest habitats using remote sensing technologies is one of the research priorities for Neotropical forests. We developed a simple method for mapping vegetation and habitats in a tropical dry forest reserve, Mona Island, Puerto Rico, by integrating the Normalized Difference vegetation Index (NDvI from Landsat, topographic information, and high-resolution Ikonos imagery. The method was practical for identifying vegetation types in areas with a great variety of plant communities and complex relief, and can be adapted to other dry forest habitats of the Caribbean Islands. NDvI was useful for identifying the distribution of forests, woodlands, and shrubland, providing a natural representation of the vegetation patterns on the island. The use of Ikonos imagery allowed increasing the number of land cover classes. As a result, sixteen land-cover types were mapped over the 5 500 ha area, with a kappa coefficient of accuracy equal to 79 %. This map is a central piece for modeling vertebrate species distribution and biodiversity patterns by the Puerto Rico Gap Analysis Project, and it is of great value for assisting research and management actions in the island. Rev. Biol. Trop. 56 (2: 625-639. Epub 2008 June 30.El estudio y evaluación de los bosques tropicales secos mediante herramientas de teledetección es una de las prioridades de investigación en los ambientes neotropicales. Desarrollamos una metodología simple para mapear la vegetación de la isla de Mona, Puerto Rico, mediante el uso del índice de vegetación normalizado (NDVI por sus siglas en inglés de Landsat, información topográfica, e imágenes auxiliares de alta resolución Ikonos. La metodología fue útil para identificar las clases de vegetación en un área de gran variedad de comunidades vegetales y relieve complejo, y puede ser adaptada a otras regiones de bosque seco de las islas del Caribe. El NDVI permitió identificar la distribución de

  13. Systematic mapping of bedrock and habitats along the Florida reef tract: central Key Largo to Halfmoon Shoal (Gulf of Mexico)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lidz, Barbara H.; Reich, Christopher D.; Shinn, Eugene A.

    2007-01-01

    The fragile coral reefs of the Florida Keys form the largest living coral reef ecosystem in the continental United States. Lining the shallow outer shelf approximately 5 to 7 km seaward of the keys, the reefs have national aesthetic and resource value. As recently as the 1970s, the coral reefs were the heart of a vibrant ecosystem. Since then, the health of all ecosystem components has declined markedly due to a variety of environmental stressors . Corals are succumbing to bleaching and diseases. Species that are the building blocks of solid reef framework are increasingly being replaced by species that do not construct reef framework. Algal proliferation is increasing competition for space and hard surfaces needed by coral larvae for settlement. Decline of the coral reef ecosystem has significant negative implications for economic vitality of the region, ranging from viability of the tourism industry attracted by the aesthetics to commercial fisheries drawn by the resources. At risk of loss are biologic habitats and reef resources, including interconnected habitats for endangered species in shoreline mangroves, productive nearshore marine and wetland nurseries, and economic offshore fisheries. In 1997, the U.S. Geological Survey's Coastal and Marine Geology Program undertook a comprehensive 7-year-long mission to consolidate, synthesize, and map new (1997) and existing geologic and biologic information into a digitized regional database and one-volume reference source on the geologic history of the Florida Keys reef tract (this report). The project was conducted in cooperation with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Marine Sanctuary Program. The purpose was to examine the natural evolution and demise of several coral reef ecosystems over the past 325,000 years, with an eye toward gaining a better understanding of the cause of the reef decline observed today. Scientific data and datasets presented in this report are intended for use by

  14. On-site evaluation of the suitability of a wetted instream habitat in the Middle Rio Grande, New Mexico, for the Rio Grande silvery minnow (Hybognathus amarus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-01

    Two in-situ exposure studies were conducted with the federally-listed endangered Rio Grande silvery minnow (Hybognathus amarus). One-year-old adults were exposed in cages deployed at three sites in the Middle Rio Grande, N. Mex., for 4 days to assess survival and for 26 days to evaluate survival, growth, overall health, and whole-body elemental composition. The test sites were located on the Pueblo of Isleta in the (1) main channel of the Middle Rio Grande, (2) 240-Wasteway irrigation return drain, and (3) wetted instream habitat created below the outfall of the 240-Wasteway irrigation return drain. During the cage exposures, temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH, conductivity, and turbidity were monitored continuously (15-minute intervals) and common constituents, nutrients, carbons, metals, and pesticides were measured at discrete intervals. In both studies, there were statistical differences in several water-quality parameters among sites; and except for turbidity, these differences were small and were not considered to be biologically significant. The cages used in the 4-day exposure study were ineffective at preventing access to the fish by predators, and survival was highly variable (20 percent to 90 percent) across sites. In the 26-day chronic exposure study, weight and condition factor of caged-exposed fish at all sites were significantly lower than those at test initiation. After 26 days of exposure, there were no significant differences in survival, total length, weight, or condition factor of fish across sites, but absolute weight loss and relative reduction in condition factor were significantly greater in fish at the wetted instream habitat site compared to those at the Middle Rio Grande site. There were no statistical differences in health assessment indices, mesenteric fat indices, or prevalence of abnormalities in cage-exposed fish among sites. Cage-exposed fish had higher health assessment indices and prevalence of fin anomalies and a lower mesenteric

  15. Cost-effective mapping of benthic habitats in inland reservoirs through split-beam sonar, indicator kriging, and historical geologic data.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erik R Venteris

    Full Text Available Because bottom substrate composition is an important control on the temporal and spatial location of the aquatic community, accurate maps of benthic habitats of inland lakes and reservoirs provide valuable information to managers, recreational users, and scientists. Therefore, we collected vertical, split-beam sonar data (roughness [E1], hardness [E2], and bathymetry and sediment samples to make such maps. Statistical calibration between sonar parameters and sediment classes was problematic because the E1:E2 ratios for soft (muck and clay sediments overlapped a lower and narrower range for hard (gravel substrates. Thus, we used indicator kriging (IK to map the probability that unsampled locations did not contain coarse sediments. To overcome the calibration issue we tested proxies for the natural processes and anthropogenic history of the reservoir as potential predictive variables. Of these, a geologic map proved to be the most useful. The central alluvial valley and mudflats contained mainly muck and organic-rich clays. The surrounding glacial till and shale bedrock uplands contained mainly poorly sorted gravels. Anomalies in the sonar data suggested that the organic-rich sediments also contained trapped gases, presenting additional interpretive issues for the mapping. We extended the capability of inexpensive split-beam sonar units through the incorporation of historic geologic maps and other records as well as validation with dredge samples. Through the integration of information from multiple data sets, were able to objectively identify bottom substrate and provide reservoir users with an accurate map of available benthic habitat.

  16. Cost-Effective Mapping of Benthic Habitats in Inland Reservoirs through Split-Beam Sonar, Indicator Kriging, and Historical Geologic Data

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Venteris, Erik R.; May, Cassandra

    2014-04-23

    Because bottom substrate composition is an important control on the temporal and spatial location of the aquatic community, accurate maps of benthic habitats of inland lakes and reservoirs provide valuable information to managers, recreational users, and scientists. Therefore, we collected vertical, split-beam sonar data (roughness [E1], hardness [E2], and bathymetry) and sediment samples to make such maps. Statistical calibration between sonar parameters and sediment classes was problematic because the E1:E2 ratios for soft (muck and clay) sediments overlapped a lower and narrower range for hard (gravel) substrates. Thus, we used indicator kriging (IK) to map the probability that unsampled locations did not contain coarse sediments. To overcome the calibration issue we tested proxies for the natural processes and anthropogenic history of the reservoir as potential predictive variables. Of these, a geologic map proved to be the most useful. The central alluvial valley and mudflats contained mainly muck and organic-rich clays. The surrounding glacial till and shale bedrock uplands contained mainly poorly sorted gravels. Anomalies in the sonar data suggested that the organic-rich sediments also contained trapped gases, presenting additional interpretive issues for the mapping. We extended the capability of inexpensive split-beam sonar units through the incorporation of historic geologic maps and other records as well as validation with dredge samples. Through the integration of information from multiple data sets, were able to objectively identify bottom substrate and provide reservoir users with an accurate map of available benthic habitat.

  17. Use of linkage mapping and centrality analysis across habitat gradients to conserve connectivity of gray wolf populations in western North America.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carroll, Carlos; McRae, Brad H; Brookes, Allen

    2012-02-01

    Centrality metrics evaluate paths between all possible pairwise combinations of sites on a landscape to rank the contribution of each site to facilitating ecological flows across the network of sites. Computational advances now allow application of centrality metrics to landscapes represented as continuous gradients of habitat quality. This avoids the binary classification of landscapes into patch and matrix required by patch-based graph analyses of connectivity. It also avoids the focus on delineating paths between individual pairs of core areas characteristic of most corridor- or linkage-mapping methods of connectivity analysis. Conservation of regional habitat connectivity has the potential to facilitate recovery of the gray wolf (Canis lupus), a species currently recolonizing portions of its historic range in the western United States. We applied 3 contrasting linkage-mapping methods (shortest path, current flow, and minimum-cost-maximum-flow) to spatial data representing wolf habitat to analyze connectivity between wolf populations in central Idaho and Yellowstone National Park (Wyoming). We then applied 3 analogous betweenness centrality metrics to analyze connectivity of wolf habitat throughout the northwestern United States and southwestern Canada to determine where it might be possible to facilitate range expansion and interpopulation dispersal. We developed software to facilitate application of centrality metrics. Shortest-path betweenness centrality identified a minimal network of linkages analogous to those identified by least-cost-path corridor mapping. Current flow and minimum-cost-maximum-flow betweenness centrality identified diffuse networks that included alternative linkages, which will allow greater flexibility in planning. Minimum-cost-maximum-flow betweenness centrality, by integrating both land cost and habitat capacity, allows connectivity to be considered within planning processes that seek to maximize species protection at minimum cost

  18. Agricultural utilisation and potential suitability of the Sysľovské polia Special Protection Area (south-western Slovakia landscape in relation to the habitat requirements of the red-footed falcon (Falco vespertinus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zemko Martin

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Intensification of land use in an agricultural landscape significantly affects biodiversity also in protected areas. This can be observed in the Sysľovské polia Special Protection Area in relation to the occurrence of the red-footed falcon (Falco vespertinus. The objective of this study was to evaluate the landscape structure and suitability of agrotechnical procedures for the habitat demands of this species in the course of the period from 2004 until 2017. The utilisation was assessed on the basis of four landscape elements representation in 1949 and 2017. The next step was analysis of landscape patches. The aim was to quantify the diversity and the spatial structure of the landscape mosaic using Shannon’s Diversity Index and Evenness Index as well as Simpson’s Diversity Index and Evenness Index and spatial pattern analysis in the Fragstats software programme. Assessment of crop suitability was carried out according to the following criteria: representation of positive/negative agricultural crops, diversity of crops in crop rotation, and (non-observance of crop rotation. It was found that the agricultural landscape use did not change significantly. The study area has been used as an intensively-farmed agricultural landscape for a long time. The landscape elements have remained almost identical, with dominance of arable land. Differences emerged in the analysis of the micropatches, which are represented by natural hedgerows consisting of various species of trees, shrubs and grasses. The results show a decrease in the diversity of patches and changes in the structure of the landscape patches, which may be important in terms of the preservation of the habitat of fauna which form an important part of the F vespertinus diet. On the basis of the evaluation of the suitability of agricultural crop growing, we found that there were some areas showing negative values in all the criteria, and thus they require changes in the crop rotation focusing

  19. Mapping Submerged Habitats and Mangroves of Lampi Island Marine National Park (Myanmar from in Situ and Satellite Observations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claudia Giardino

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available In this study we produced the first thematic maps of submerged and coastal habitats of Lampi Island (Myanmar from in situ and satellite data. To focus on key elements of bio-diversity typically existing in tropical islands the detection of corals, seagrass, and mangrove forests was addressed. Satellite data were acquired from Landsat-8; for the purpose of validation Rapid-Eye data were also used. In situ data supporting image processing were collected in a field campaign performed from 28 February to 4 March 2015 at the time of sensors overpasses. A hybrid approach based on bio-optical modeling and supervised classification techniques was applied to atmospherically-corrected Landsat-8 data. Bottom depth estimations, to be used in the classification process of shallow waters, were in good agreement with depth soundings (R2 = 0.87. Corals were classified with producer and user accuracies of 58% and 77%, while a lower accuracy (producer and user accuracies of 50% was found for the seagrass due to the patchy distribution of meadows; accuracies more than 88% were obtained for mangrove forests. The classification indicated the presence of 18 mangroves sites with extension larger than 5 km2; for 15 of those the coexistence of corals and seagrass were also found in the fronting bays, suggesting a significant rate of biodiversity for the study area.

  20. The use of color infrared photography for wetlands mapping with special reference to shoreline and waterfowl habitat assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    1973-01-01

    Evaluation of low altitude oblique photography obtained by hand-held cameras was useful in determining specifications of operational mission requirements for conventional smaller-scaled vertical photography. Remote sensing techniques were used to assess the rapid destruction of marsh areas at Pointe Mouillee. In an estuarian environment where shoreline features change yearly, there is a need for revision in existing area maps. A land cover inventory, mapped from aerial photography, provided essential data necessary for determining adjacent lands suitable for marshland development. To quantitatively assess the wetlands environment, a detailed inventory of vegetative communities (19 categories) was made using color infrared photography and intensive ground truth. A carefully selected and well laid-out transect was found to be a key asset to photointerpretation and to the analysis of vegetative conditions. Transect data provided the interpreter with locally representative areas of various vegetative types. This facilitated development of a photointerpretation key. Additional information on vegetative conditions in the area was also obtained by evaluating the transect data.

  1. Appraisal of Phlebotomus argentipes habitat suitability using a remotely sensed index in the kala-azar endemic focus of Bihar, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shreekant Kesari

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Visceral leishmaniasis, or kala-azar, is recognised as a serious emerging public health problem in India. In this study, environmental parameters, such as land surface temperature (LST and renormalised difference vegetation indices (RDVI, were used to delineate the association between environmental variables and Phlebotomus argentipes abundance in a representative endemic region of Bihar, India. The adult P. argentipes were collected between September 2009-February 2010 using the hand-held aspirator technique. The distribution of P. argentipes was analysed with the LST and RDVI of the peak and lean seasons. The association between environmental covariates and P. argentipes density was analysed a multivariate linear regression model. The sandfly density at its maximum in September, whereas the minimum density was recorded in January. The regression model indicated that the season, minimum LST, mean LST and mean RDVI were the best environmental covariates for the P. argentipes distribution. The final model indicated that nearly 74% of the variance of sandfly density could be explained by these environmental covariates. This approach might be useful for mapping and predicting the distribution of P. argentipes, which may help the health agencies that are involved in the kala-azar control programme focus on high-risk areas.

  2. Designing Climate-Resilient Marine Protected Area Networks by Combining Remotely Sensed Coral Reef Habitat with Coastal Multi-Use Maps

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joseph M. Maina

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Decision making for the conservation and management of coral reef biodiversity requires an understanding of spatial variability and distribution of reef habitat types. Despite the existence of very high-resolution remote sensing technology for nearly two decades, comprehensive assessment of coral reef habitats at national to regional spatial scales and at very high spatial resolution is still scarce. Here, we develop benthic habitat maps at a sub-national scale by analyzing large multispectral QuickBird imagery dataset covering ~686 km2 of the main shallow coral fringing reef along the southern border with Tanzania (4.68°S, 39.18°E to the reef end at Malindi, Kenya (3.2°S, 40.1°E. Mapping was conducted with a user approach constrained by ground-truth data, with detailed transect lines from the shore to the fore reef. First, maps were used to evaluate the present management system’s effectiveness at representing habitat diversity. Then, we developed three spatial prioritization scenarios based on differing objectives: (i minimize lost fishing opportunity; (ii redistribute fisheries away from currently overfished reefs; and (iii minimize resource use conflicts. We further constrained the priority area in each prioritization selection scenario based on optionally protecting the least or the most climate exposed locations using a model of exposure to climate stress. We discovered that spatial priorities were very different based on the different objectives and on whether the aim was to protect the least or most climate-exposed habitats. Our analyses provide a spatially explicit foundation for large-scale conservation and management strategies that can account for ecosystem service benefits.

  3. Mapping large-area landscape suitability for honey bees to assess the influence of land-use change on sustainability of national pollination services

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallant, Alisa L.; Euliss, Ned H.; Browning, Zac

    2014-01-01

    Pollination is a critical ecosystem service affected by various drivers of land-use change, such as policies and programs aimed at land resources, market values for crop commodities, local land-management decisions, and shifts in climate. The United States is the world's most active market for pollination services by honey bees, and the Northern Great Plains provide the majority of bee colonies used to meet the Nation's annual pollination needs. Legislation requiring increased production of biofuel crops, increasing commodity prices for crops of little nutritional value for bees in the Northern Great Plains, and reductions in government programs aimed at promoting land conservation are converging to alter the regional landscape in ways that challenge beekeepers to provide adequate numbers of hives for national pollination services. We developed a spatially explicit model that identifies sites with the potential to support large apiaries based on local-scale land-cover requirements for honey bees. We produced maps of potential apiary locations for North Dakota, a leading producer of honey, based on land-cover maps representing (1) an annual time series compiled from existing operational products and (2) a realistic scenario of land change. We found that existing land-cover products lack sufficient local accuracy to monitor actual changes in landscape suitability for honey bees, but our model proved informative for evaluating effects on suitability under scenarios of land change. The scenario we implemented was aligned with current drivers of land-use change in the Northern Great Plains and highlighted the importance of conservation lands in landscapes intensively and extensively managed for crops.

  4. Fish Habitat Utilization Patterns and Evaluation of the Efficacy of Marine Protected Areas in Hawaii: Integration of NOAA Digital Benthic Habitat Mapping and Coral Reef Ecological Studies

    OpenAIRE

    Friedlander, Alan M.; Brown, Eric; Monaco, Mark E.; Clarke, Athline

    2006-01-01

    Over the past four decades, the state of Hawaii has developed a system of eleven Marine Life Conservation Districts (MLCDs) to conserve and replenish marine resources around the state. Initially established to provide opportunities for public interaction with the marine environment, these MLCDs vary in size, habitat quality, and management regimes, providing an excellent opportunity to test hypotheses concerning marine protected area (MPA) design and function using multiple discreet sampling ...

  5. Critical Habitat :: NOAA Fisheries

    Science.gov (United States)

    occupied by the species at the time of listing, if they contain physical or biological features essential essential for conservation. Critical Habitat Maps NOTE: The critical habitat maps provided here are for Data Leatherback Turtle (U.S. West Coast) » Biological Report » Economic Report 2012 77 FR 4170 Go to

  6. Mapping critical habitat of waterbirds in the Arctic for risk management in respect of IFC PS6

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hilarides, Lammert; Langendoen, Tom; Flink, Stephan; van Leeuwen, Merijn; Steen, Bart; Kondratyev, Alexander; Kölzsch, Andrea; Aarvak, Tomas; Kruckenberg, Helmut; Vangeluwe, Didier; Todorov, Emil; Harrison, Anne L.; Rees, Eileen; Dokter, Adriaan; Nolet, Bart; Mundkur, Taej

    2017-01-01

    Economic development and energy exploration are increasing in the Arctic. Important breeding habitats for many waterbird species, which have previously been relatively undisturbed, are now being subjected to these anthropogenic pressures. The conservation of the habitats and the species they support

  7. Saving Salmon Through Advances in Fluvial Remote Sensing: Applying the Optimal Band Ratio Analysis (OBRA) for Bathymetric Mapping of Over 250 km of River Channel and Habitat Classification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richardson, R.; Legleiter, C. J.; Harrison, L.

    2015-12-01

    Salmonids are threatened with extinction across the world from the fragmentation of riverine ecosystems from dams and diversions. In California, efforts to expand the range of spawnable habitat for native salmon by transporting fish around reservoirs is a potentially species saving idea. But, strong scientific evidence of the amount of high quality habitat is required to make these difficult management decisions. Remote sensing has long been used in fluvial settings to identify physical parameters that drive the quality of aquatic habitat; however, the true strength of remote sensing to cover large spatial extents has not been applied with the resolution that is relevant to salmonids. This project utilizes hyperspectral data of over 250 km of the Tuolumne and Merced Rivers to extract depth and bed slope from the wetted channel and NIR LiDAR for the surrounding topography. The Optimal Band Ratio Analysis (OBRA) has proven as an effective tool to create bathymetric maps of river channels in ideal settings with clear water, high amounts of bottom reflectance, and less than 3 meters deep over short distances. Results from this study show that OBRA can be applied over larger riverscapes at high resolutions (0.5 m). The depth and bed slope estimations are used to classify habitat units that are crucial to quantifying the quality and amount of habitat in these river that once produced large populations of native salmonids. As more managers look to expand habitat for these threatened species the tools developed here will be cost effective over the large extents that salmon migrate to spawn.

  8. Defining geo-habitats for groundwater ecosystem assessments: an example from England and Wales (UK)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weitowitz, Damiano C.; Maurice, Louise; Lewis, Melinda; Bloomfield, John P.; Reiss, Julia; Robertson, Anne L.

    2017-12-01

    Groundwater ecosystems comprising micro-organisms and metazoans provide an important contribution to global biodiversity. Their complexity depends on geology, which determines the physical habitat available, and the chemical conditions within it. Despite this, methods of classifying groundwater habitats using geological data are not well established and researchers have called for higher resolution habitat frameworks. A novel habitat typology for England and Wales (UK) is proposed, which distinguishes 11 geological habitats (geo-habitats) on hydrogeological principles and maps their distribution. Hydrogeological and hydrochemical data are used to determine the characteristics of each geo-habitat, and demonstrate their differences. Using these abiotic parameters, a new method to determine abiotic habitat quality is then developed. The geo-habitats had significantly different characteristics, validating the classification system. All geo-habitats were highly heterogeneous, containing both high quality habitat patches that are likely to be suitable for fauna, and areas of low quality that may limit faunal distributions. Karstic and porous habitats generally were higher quality than fractured habitats. Overall, 70% of England and Wales are covered by lower quality fractured habitats, with only 13% covered by higher quality habitats. The main areas of high quality habitats occur in central England as north-south trending belts, possibly facilitating dispersal along this axis. They are separated by low quality geo-habitats that may prevent east-west dispersal of fauna. In south-west England and Wales suitable geo-habitats occur as small isolated patches. Overall, this paper provides a new national-scale typology that is adaptable for studies in other geographic areas.

  9. Mapping the Relative Probability of Common Toad Occurrence in Terrestrial Lowland Farm Habitat in the United Kingdom.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rosie D Salazar

    Full Text Available The common toad (Bufo bufo is of increasing conservation concern in the United Kingdom (UK due to dramatic population declines occurring in the past century. Many of these population declines coincided with reductions in both terrestrial and aquatic habitat availability and quality and have been primarily attributed to the effect of agricultural land conversion (of natural and semi-natural habitats to arable and pasture fields and pond drainage. However, there is little evidence available to link habitat availability with common toad population declines, especially when examined at a broad landscape scale. Assessing such patterns of population declines at the landscape scale, for instance, require an understanding of how this species uses terrestrial habitat.We intensively studied the terrestrial resource selection of a large population of common toads in Oxfordshire, England, UK. Adult common toads were fitted with passive integrated transponder (PIT tags to allow detection in the terrestrial environment using a portable PIT antenna once toads left the pond and before going into hibernation (April/May-October 2012 and 2013. We developed a population-level resource selection function (RSF to assess the relative probability of toad occurrence in the terrestrial environment by collecting location data for 90 recaptured toads.The predicted relative probability of toad occurrence for this population was greatest in wooded habitat near to water bodies; relative probability of occurrence declined dramatically > 50 m from these habitats. Toads also tended to select habitat near to their breeding pond and toad occurrence was negatively related to urban environments.

  10. Design and analysis for thematic map accuracy assessment: Fundamental principles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stephen V. Stehman; Raymond L. Czaplewski

    1998-01-01

    Land-cover maps are used in numerous natural resource applications to describe the spatial distribution and pattern of land-cover, to estimate areal extent of various cover classes, or as input into habitat suitability models, land-cover change analyses, hydrological models, and risk analyses. Accuracy assessment quantifies data quality so that map users may evaluate...

  11. Genetic characterization of a core collection of flax (Linum usitatissimum L.) suitable for association mapping studies and evidence of divergent selection between fiber and linseed types.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soto-Cerda, Braulio J; Diederichsen, Axel; Ragupathy, Raja; Cloutier, Sylvie

    2013-05-06

    Flax is valued for its fiber, seed oil and nutraceuticals. Recently, the fiber industry has invested in the development of products made from linseed stems, making it a dual purpose crop. Simultaneous targeting of genomic regions controlling stem fiber and seed quality traits could enable the development of dual purpose cultivars. However, the genetic diversity, population structure and linkage disequilibrium (LD) patterns necessary for association mapping (AM) have not yet been assessed in flax because genomic resources have only recently been developed. We characterized 407 globally distributed flax accessions using 448 microsatellite markers. The data was analyzed to assess the suitability of this core collection for AM. Genomic scans to identify candidate genes selected during the divergent breeding process of fiber flax and linseed were conducted using the whole genome shotgun sequence of flax. Combined genetic structure analysis assigned all accessions to two major groups with six sub-groups. Population differentiation was weak between the major groups (F(ST) = 0.094) and for most of the pairwise comparisons among sub-groups. The molecular coancestry analysis indicated weak relatedness (mean = 0.287) for most individual pairs. Abundant genetic diversity was observed in the total panel (5.32 alleles per locus), and some sub-groups showed a high proportion of private alleles. The average genome-wide LD (r²) was 0.036, with a relatively fast decay of 1.5 cM. Genomic scans between fiber flax and linseed identified candidate genes involved in cell-wall biogenesis/modification, xylem identity and fatty acid biosynthesis congruent with genes previously identified in flax and other plant species. Based on the abundant genetic diversity, weak population structure and relatedness and relatively fast LD decay, we concluded that this core collection is suitable for AM studies targeting multiple agronomic and quality traits aiming at the improvement of flax as a

  12. Mapping urban and peri-urban breeding habitats of Aedes mosquitoes using a fuzzy analytical hierarchical process based on climatic and physical parameters

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muhammad Shahzad Sarfraz

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The spread of dengue fever depends mainly on the availability of favourable breeding sites for its mosquito vectors around human dwellings. To investigate if the various factors influencing breeding habitats can be mapped from space, dengue indices, such as the container index, the house index and the Breteau index, were calculated from Ministry of Public health data collected three times annually in Phitsanulok, Thailand between 2009 and 2011. The most influential factors were found to be temperature, humidity, rainfall, population density, elevation and land cover. Models were worked out using parameters mostly derived from freely available satellite images and fuzzy logic software with parameter synchronisation and a predication algorithm based on data mining and the Decision Tree method. The models developed were found to be sufficiently flexible to accommodate additional parameters and sampling data that might improve prediction of favourable breeding hotspots. The algorithm applied can not only be used for the prediction of near real-time scenarios with respect to dengue, but can also be applied for monitoring other diseases influenced by environmental and climatic factors. The multi-criteria model presented is a cost-effective way of identifying outbreak hotspots and early warning systems lend themselves for development based on this strategy. The proposed approach demonstrates the successful utilisation of remotely sensed images to map mosquito breeding habitats.

  13. Evaluation of seabed mapping methods for fine-scale classification of extremely shallow benthic habitats - Application to the Venice Lagoon, Italy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montereale Gavazzi, G.; Madricardo, F.; Janowski, L.; Kruss, A.; Blondel, P.; Sigovini, M.; Foglini, F.

    2016-03-01

    Recent technological developments of multibeam echosounder systems (MBES) allow mapping of benthic habitats with unprecedented detail. MBES can now be employed in extremely shallow waters, challenging data acquisition (as these instruments were often designed for deeper waters) and data interpretation (honed on datasets with resolution sometimes orders of magnitude lower). With extremely high-resolution bathymetry and co-located backscatter data, it is now possible to map the spatial distribution of fine scale benthic habitats, even identifying the acoustic signatures of single sponges. In this context, it is necessary to understand which of the commonly used segmentation methods is best suited to account for such level of detail. At the same time, new sampling protocols for precisely geo-referenced ground truth data need to be developed to validate the benthic environmental classification. This study focuses on a dataset collected in a shallow (2-10 m deep) tidal channel of the Lagoon of Venice, Italy. Using 0.05-m and 0.2-m raster grids, we compared a range of classifications, both pixel-based and object-based approaches, including manual, Maximum Likelihood Classifier, Jenks Optimization clustering, textural analysis and Object Based Image Analysis. Through a comprehensive and accurately geo-referenced ground truth dataset, we were able to identify five different classes of the substrate composition, including sponges, mixed submerged aquatic vegetation, mixed detritic bottom (fine and coarse) and unconsolidated bare sediment. We computed estimates of accuracy (namely Overall, User, Producer Accuracies and the Kappa statistic) by cross tabulating predicted and reference instances. Overall, pixel based segmentations produced the highest accuracies and the accuracy assessment is strongly dependent on the number of classes chosen for the thematic output. Tidal channels in the Venice Lagoon are extremely important in terms of habitats and sediment distribution

  14. Integrating Remote Sensing with Species Distribution Models; Mapping Tamarisk Invasions Using the Software for Assisted Habitat Modeling (SAHM)

    OpenAIRE

    West, Amanda M.; Evangelista, Paul H.; Jarnevich, Catherine S.; Young, Nicholas E.; Stohlgren, Thomas J.; Talbert, Colin; Talbert, Marian; Morisette, Jeffrey; Anderson, Ryan

    2016-01-01

    Early detection of invasive plant species is vital for the management of natural resources and protection of ecosystem processes. The use of satellite remote sensing for mapping the distribution of invasive plants is becoming more common, however conventional imaging software and classification methods have been shown to be unreliable. In this study, we test and evaluate the use of five species distribution model techniques fit with satellite remote sensing data to map invasive tamarisk (Tama...

  15. A Cartographic Tool for Managing African Swine Fever in Eurasia: Mapping Wild Boar Distribution Based on the Quality of Available Habitats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bosch, J; Iglesias, I; Muñoz, M J; de la Torre, A

    2017-12-01

    The current African swine fever (ASF) epidemic in Eurasia represents a risk for the swine industry with devastating socio-economic and political consequences. Wild boar appears to be a key factor in maintaining the disease in endemic areas (mainly the Russian Federation) and spreading the disease across borders, including within the European Union. To help predict and interpret the dynamics of ASF infection, we developed a standardized distribution map based on global land cover vegetation (GLOBCOVER) that quantifies the quality of available habitats (QAH) for wild boar across Eurasia as an indirect index for quantifying numbers of wild boar. QAHs were estimated using a seven-level scale based on expert opinion and found to correlate closely with georeferenced presence of wild boar (n = 22 362): the highest wild boar densities (74.47%) were found in areas at the two highest QAH levels, while the lowest densities (5.66%) were found in areas at the lowest QAH levels. Mapping notifications from 2007 to 2016 onto the QAH map showed that in endemic areas, 60% of ASF notifications occurred in domestic pigs, mostly in agricultural landscapes (QAHs 1.75 and 1) containing low-biosecurity domestic pig farms. In the EU, in contrast, 95% of ASF notifications occurred in wild boar, within natural landscapes (QAH 2). These results suggest that the QAH map can be a useful epi-tool for defining risk scenarios and identifying potential travel corridors for ASF. This tool will help inform resource allocation decisions and improve prevention, control and surveillance of ASF and potentially of other diseases affecting swine and wild boar in Eurasia. © 2016 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

  16. Assessing habitat connectivity for ground-dwelling animals in an urban environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Braaker, S; Moretti, M; Boesch, R; Ghazoul, J; Obrist, M K; Bontadina, F

    To ensure viable species populations in fragmented landscapes, individuals must be able to move between suitable habitat patches. Despite the increased interest in biodiversity assessment in urban environments, the ecological relevance of habitat connectivity in highly fragmented landscapes remains largely unknown. The first step to understanding the role of habitat connectivity in urban ecology is the challenging task of assessing connectivity in the complex patchwork of contrasting habitats that is found in cities. We developed a data-based framework, minimizing the use of subjective assumptions, to assess habitat connectivity that consists of the following sequential steps: (1) identification of habitat preference based on empirical habitat-use data; (2) derivation of habitat resistance surfaces evaluating various transformation functions; (3) modeling of different connectivity maps with electrical circuit theory (Circuitscape), a method considering all possible pathways across the landscape simultaneously; and (4) identification of the best connectivity map with information-theoretic model selection. We applied this analytical framework to assess habitat connectivity for the European hedgehog Erinaceus europaeus, a model species for ground-dwelling animals, in the city of Zurich, Switzerland, using GPS track points from 40 individuals. The best model revealed spatially explicit connectivity “pinch points,” as well as multiple habitat connections. Cross-validation indicated the general validity of the selected connectivity model. The results show that both habitat connectivity and habitat quality affect the movement of urban hedgehogs (relative importance of the two variables was 19.2% and 80.8%, respectively), and are thus both relevant for predicting urban animal movements. Our study demonstrates that even in the complex habitat patchwork of cities, habitat connectivity plays a major role for ground-dwelling animal movement. Data-based habitat connectivity

  17. Satellite Derived Seafloor Bathymetry and Habitat Mapping on a Shallow Carbonate Platform: Campeche Bank, México.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garza-Perez, J. R.; Rankey, E. C.; Rodriguez-Vázquez, R. A.; Naranjo-Garcia, M. J.

    2017-12-01

    Extensive and consistent high-resolution seafloor mapping is a difficult task involving important financial resources, intensive field work and careful planning; thus there is a paucity of this type of mapping products both in spatial distribution and through time. Remote sensed imagery has supported continuous mapping efforts elsewhere, but extensive seafloor mapping, even in shallow regions keeps being elusive. Challenges to this effort include cloud cover, surface sun-glint, and water turbidity caused by sediment resuspension and primary productivity. Nevertheless, using high-quality satellite imagery (Landsat-8 OLI -30x30m/pixel- and GeoEye-1 -2x2m/pixel) and rigorous pre-processing (atmospheric correction, de-glinting and water-column light extinction compensation), resulting data contribute towards the advancement of seafloor mapping. The Yucatan Peninsula in México is a carbonate ramp devoid of significant orographic features and surface water bodies. Its submerged portion is the Campeche Bank, gently sloping towards the Gulf of Mexico. The bottom features several distinct blankets composed by medium-fine sediment (dominated by pelecypods, gastropods, foraminifera, lithoclasts, calcareous peloids and algal nodules, Halimeda plaques and coralline algae fragments), and a reef unit with several bank-type coral reefs. Outside the coral reefs, biotic cover down to 20 m deep is dominated by macroalgae (red, brown, green), coralline and filamentous algae with sharp seasonal changes in abundance, from almost nil during north-winds (Oct. - Jan.) to high during dry (Feb.- May) and rainy seasons (Jun. - Sept.), with changes of dominance by algae groups between dry and rainy seasons. This bloom is favored by increases in sunlight and nutrients carried by the Caribbean current upwelling washing the Campeche Bank. Beyond 20 m depth, sandy plains dominate the seascape. Corals, octocorals, sponges and tunicates are spatially restricted to bottoms with thin layers of

  18. The importance of distance to resources in the spatial modelling of bat foraging habitat.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Rainho

    Full Text Available Many bats are threatened by habitat loss, but opportunities to manage their habitats are now increasing. Success of management depends greatly on the capacity to determine where and how interventions should take place, so models predicting how animals use landscapes are important to plan them. Bats are quite distinctive in the way they use space for foraging because (i most are colonial central-place foragers and (ii exploit scattered and distant resources, although this increases flying costs. To evaluate how important distances to resources are in modelling foraging bat habitat suitability, we radio-tracked two cave-dwelling species of conservation concern (Rhinolophus mehelyi and Miniopterus schreibersii in a Mediterranean landscape. Habitat and distance variables were evaluated using logistic regression modelling. Distance variables greatly increased the performance of models, and distance to roost and to drinking water could alone explain 86 and 73% of the use of space by M. schreibersii and R. mehelyi, respectively. Land-cover and soil productivity also provided a significant contribution to the final models. Habitat suitability maps generated by models with and without distance variables differed substantially, confirming the shortcomings of maps generated without distance variables. Indeed, areas shown as highly suitable in maps generated without distance variables proved poorly suitable when distance variables were also considered. We concluded that distances to resources are determinant in the way bats forage across the landscape, and that using distance variables substantially improves the accuracy of suitability maps generated with spatially explicit models. Consequently, modelling with these variables is important to guide habitat management in bats and similarly mobile animals, particularly if they are central-place foragers or depend on spatially scarce resources.

  19. Mapping coral and sponge habitats on a shelf-depth environment using multibeam sonar and ROV video observations: Learmonth Bank, northern British Columbia, Canada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neves, Bárbara M.; Du Preez, Cherisse; Edinger, Evan

    2014-01-01

    Efforts to locate and map deep-water coral and sponge habitats are essential for the effective management and conservation of these vulnerable marine ecosystems. Here we test the applicability of a simple multibeam sonar classification method developed for fjord environments to map the distribution of shelf-depth substrates and gorgonian coral- and sponge-dominated biotopes. The studied area is a shelf-depth feature Learmonth Bank, northern British Columbia, Canada and the method was applied aiming to map primarily non-reef forming coral and sponge biotopes. Aside from producing high-resolution maps (5 m2 raster grid), biotope-substrate associations were also investigated. A multibeam sonar survey yielded bathymetry, acoustic backscatter strength and slope. From benthic video transects recorded by remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) six primary substrate types and twelve biotope categories were identified, defined by the primary sediment and dominant biological structure, respectively. Substrate and biotope maps were produced using a supervised classification mostly based on the inter-quartile range of the acoustic variables for each substrate type and biotope. Twenty-five percent of the video observations were randomly reserved for testing the classification accuracy. The dominant biotope-defining corals were red tree coral Primnoa pacifica and small styasterids, of which Stylaster parageus was common. Demosponges and hexactinellid sponges were frequently observed but no sponge reefs were observed. The substrate classification readily distinguished fine sediment, Sand and Bedrock from the other substrate types, but had greater difficulty distinguishing Bedrock from Boulders and Cobble. The biotope classification accurately identified Gardens (dense aggregations of sponges and corals) and Primnoa-dominated biotopes (67% accuracy), but most other biotopes had lower accuracies. There was a significant correspondence between Learmonth's biotopes and substrate types

  20. Mapping forest functional type in a forest-shrubland ecotone using SPOT imagery and predictive habitat distribution modelling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Assal, Timothy J.; Anderson, Patrick J.; Sibold, Jason

    2015-01-01

    The availability of land cover data at local scales is an important component in forest management and monitoring efforts. Regional land cover data seldom provide detailed information needed to support local management needs. Here we present a transferable framework to model forest cover by major plant functional type using aerial photos, multi-date Système Pour l’Observation de la Terre (SPOT) imagery, and topographic variables. We developed probability of occurrence models for deciduous broad-leaved forest and needle-leaved evergreen forest using logistic regression in the southern portion of the Wyoming Basin Ecoregion. The model outputs were combined into a synthesis map depicting deciduous and coniferous forest cover type. We evaluated the models and synthesis map using a field-validated, independent data source. Results showed strong relationships between forest cover and model variables, and the synthesis map was accurate with an overall correct classification rate of 0.87 and Cohen’s kappa value of 0.81. The results suggest our method adequately captures the functional type, size, and distribution pattern of forest cover in a spatially heterogeneous landscape.

  1. Inter-annual variability of North Sea plaice spawning habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loots, C.; Vaz, S.; Koubbi, P.; Planque, B.; Coppin, F.; Verin, Y.

    2010-11-01

    Potential spawning habitat is defined as the area where environmental conditions are suitable for spawning to occur. Spawning adult data from the first quarter (January-March) of the International Bottom Trawl Survey have been used to study the inter-annual variability of the potential spawning habitat of North Sea plaice from 1980 to 2007. Generalised additive models (GAM) were used to create a model that related five environmental variables (depth, bottom temperature and salinity, seabed stress and sediment type) to presence-absence and abundance of spawning adults. Then, the habitat model was applied each year from 1970 to 2007 to predict inter-annual variability of the potential spawning habitat. Predicted responses obtained by GAM for each year were mapped using kriging. A hierarchical classification associated with a correspondence analysis was performed to cluster spawning suitable areas and to determine how they evolved across years. The potential spawning habitat was consistent with historical spawning ground locations described in the literature from eggs surveys. It was also found that the potential spawning habitat varied across years. Suitable areas were located in the southern part of the North Sea and along the eastern coast of England and Scotland in the eighties; they expanded further north from the nineties. Annual survey distributions did not show such northward expansion and remained located in the southern North Sea. This suggests that this species' actual spatial distribution remains stable against changing environmental conditions, and that the potential spawning habitat is not fully occupied. Changes in environmental conditions appear to remain within plaice environmental ranges, meaning that other factors may control the spatial distribution of plaice spawning habitat.

  2. Flood-inundation maps and wetland restoration suitability index for the Blue River and selected tributaries, Kansas City, Missouri, and vicinity, 2012

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heimann, David C.; Kelly, Brian P.; Studley, Seth E.

    2015-01-01

    Digital flood-inundation maps for a 39.7-mile reach of the Blue River and selected tributaries (Brush Creek, Indian Creek, and Dyke Branch) at Kansas City, Missouri, and vicinity, were created by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in cooperation with the City of Kansas City, Missouri. The flood-inundation maps, accessed through the USGS Flood-Inundation Mapping Science Web site at http://water.usgs.gov/osw/flood_inundation/, depict estimates of the spatial extent and depth of flooding corresponding to selected water levels (stages) at 15 reference streamgages and associated stream reaches in the Blue River Basin. Near-real-time stage data from the streamgages may be obtained from the USGS National Water Information System at http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ or the National Weather Service (NWS) Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service (AHPS) at http://water.weather.gov/ahps/, which also forecasts flood hydrographs at selected sites.

  3. Quantification of habitat fragmentation reveals extinction risk in terrestrial mammals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crooks, Kevin R.; Burdett, Christopher L.; Theobald, David M.; King, Sarah R. B.; Rondinini, Carlo; Boitani, Luigi

    2017-01-01

    Although habitat fragmentation is often assumed to be a primary driver of extinction, global patterns of fragmentation and its relationship to extinction risk have not been consistently quantified for any major animal taxon. We developed high-resolution habitat fragmentation models and used phylogenetic comparative methods to quantify the effects of habitat fragmentation on the world’s terrestrial mammals, including 4,018 species across 26 taxonomic Orders. Results demonstrate that species with more fragmentation are at greater risk of extinction, even after accounting for the effects of key macroecological predictors, such as body size and geographic range size. Species with higher fragmentation had smaller ranges and a lower proportion of high-suitability habitat within their range, and most high-suitability habitat occurred outside of protected areas, further elevating extinction risk. Our models provide a quantitative evaluation of extinction risk assessments for species, allow for identification of emerging threats in species not classified as threatened, and provide maps of global hotspots of fragmentation for the world’s terrestrial mammals. Quantification of habitat fragmentation will help guide threat assessment and strategic priorities for global mammal conservation. PMID:28673992

  4. Sabellaria spinulosa (Polychaeta, Annelida) reefs in the Mediterranean Sea: Habitat mapping, dynamics and associated fauna for conservation management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gravina, Maria Flavia; Cardone, Frine; Bonifazi, Andrea; Bertrandino, Marta Simona; Chimienti, Giovanni; Longo, Caterina; Marzano, Carlotta Nonnis; Moretti, Massimo; Lisco, Stefania; Moretti, Vincenzo; Corriero, Giuseppe; Giangrande, Adriana

    2018-01-01

    Habitat Directive.

  5. Modeling of Iranian Cheetah Habitat using Ecological Niche Factor Analysis (Case Study: Dare Anjir Wildlife Refuge

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. Zamani

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Evaluation of habitat sustainability indexes is essential in wildlife management and conservation of rare species. Suitable habitats are required in wildlife managements and conservation also, they increase reproduction and survival rate of species. In this study in order to mapping habitat sustainability and recognizing habitat requirements of Iranian Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus venaticus, field data from Dare Anjir  wildlife refuge were collected since autumn 2009 until summer 2011. Ecological Niche Factor Analysis approach has been used to develop habitat suitability model. In this method primary maps of  habitat variables including elevation, slope, aspect, vegetation cover, distance from water sources and environmental monitoring stations have been produced by Idrisi and Biomapper software and imported in Biomapper. The output scores obtained from the analysis showed that Iranian cheetah tends to mountain areas where has more topographical features for camouflage in order to hunting, and northern aspects which have more humidity, denser vegetation cover and more preys . Our result showed that the Iranian cheetah has medium niche width and prefer marginal habitats.

  6. Use of Land Use Land Cover Change Mapping Products in Aiding Coastal Habitat Conservation and Restoration Efforts of the Mobile Bay NEP

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spruce, Joseph P.; Swann, Roberta; Smooth, James

    2010-01-01

    The Mobile Bay region has undergone significant land use land cover change (LULC) over the last 35 years, much of which is associated with urbanization. These changes have impacted the region s water quality and wildlife habitat availability. In addition, much of the region is low-lying and close to the Gulf, which makes the region vulnerable to hurricanes, climate change (e.g., sea level rise), and sometimes man-made disasters such as the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill. Land use land cover change information is needed to help coastal zone managers and planners to understand and mitigate the impacts of environmental change on the region. This presentation discusses selective results of a current NASA-funded project in which Landsat data over a 34-year period (1974-2008) is used to produce, validate, refine, and apply land use land cover change products to aid coastal habitat conservation and restoration needs of the Mobile Bay National Estuary Program (MB NEP). The project employed a user defined classification scheme to compute LULC change mapping products for the entire region, which includes the majority of Mobile and Baldwin counties. Additional LULC change products have been computed for select coastal HUC-12 sub-watersheds adjacent to either Mobile Bay or the Gulf of Mexico, as part of the MB NEP watershed profile assessments. This presentation will include results of additional analyses of LULC change for sub-watersheds that are currently high priority areas, as defined by MB NEP. Such priority sub-watersheds include those that are vulnerable to impacts from the DWH oil spill, as well as sub-watersheds undergoing urbanization. Results demonstrating the nature and permanence of LULC change trends for these higher priority sub-watersheds and results characterizing change for the entire 34-year period and at approximate 10-year intervals across this period will also be presented. Future work will include development of value-added coastal habitat quality

  7. Landsat ETM+ and SRTM Data Provide Near Real-Time Monitoring of Chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes Habitats in Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samuel M. Jantz

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available All four chimpanzee sub-species populations are declining due to multiple factors including human-caused habitat loss. Effective conservation efforts are therefore needed to ensure their long-term survival. Habitat suitability models serve as useful tools for conservation planning by depicting relative environmental suitability in geographic space over time. Previous studies mapping chimpanzee habitat suitability have been limited to small regions or coarse spatial and temporal resolutions. Here, we used Random Forests regression to downscale a coarse resolution habitat suitability calibration dataset to estimate habitat suitability over the entire chimpanzee range at 30-m resolution. Our model predicted habitat suitability well with an r2 of 0.82 (±0.002 based on 50-fold cross validation where 75% of the data was used for model calibration and 25% for model testing; however, there was considerable variation in the predictive capability among the four sub-species modeled individually. We tested the influence of several variables derived from Landsat Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+ that included metrics of forest canopy and structure for four three-year time periods between 2000 and 2012. Elevation, Landsat ETM+ band 5 and Landsat derived canopy cover were the strongest predictors; highly suitable areas were associated with dense tree canopy cover for all but the Nigeria-Cameroon and Central Chimpanzee sub-species. Because the models were sensitive to such temporally based predictors, our results are the first to highlight the value of integrating continuously updated variables derived from satellite remote sensing into temporally dynamic habitat suitability models to support  near real-time monitoring of habitat status and decision support systems.

  8. Defining biological assemblages (biotopes) of conservation interest in the submarine canyons of the South West Approaches (offshore United Kingdom) for use in marine habitat mapping

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davies, Jaime S.; Howell, Kerry L.; Stewart, Heather A.; Guinan, Janine; Golding, Neil

    2014-06-01

    In 2007, the upper part of a submarine canyon system located in water depths between 138 and 1165 m in the South West (SW) Approaches (North East Atlantic Ocean) was surveyed over a 2 week period. High-resolution multibeam echosounder data covering 1106 km2, and 44 ground-truthing video and image transects were acquired to characterise the biological assemblages of the canyons. The SW Approaches is an area of complex terrain, and intensive ground-truthing revealed the canyons to be dominated by soft sediment assemblages. A combination of multivariate analysis of seabed photographs (184-1059 m) and visual assessment of video ground-truthing identified 12 megabenthic assemblages (biotopes) at an appropriate scale to act as mapping units. Of these biotopes, 5 adhered to current definitions of habitats of conservation concern, 4 of which were classed as Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems. Some of the biotopes correspond to descriptions of communities from other megahabitat features (for example the continental shelf and seamounts), although it appears that the canyons host modified versions, possibly due to the inferred high rates of sedimentation in the canyons. Other biotopes described appear to be unique to canyon features, particularly the sea pen biotope consisting of Kophobelemnon stelliferum and cerianthids.

  9. Modeling and Validation of Environmental Suitability for Schistosomiasis Transmission Using Remote Sensing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walz, Yvonne; Wegmann, Martin; Dech, Stefan; Vounatsou, Penelope; Poda, Jean-Noël; N'Goran, Eliézer K; Utzinger, Jürg; Raso, Giovanna

    2015-11-01

    Schistosomiasis is the most widespread water-based disease in sub-Saharan Africa. Transmission is governed by the spatial distribution of specific freshwater snails that act as intermediate hosts and human water contact patterns. Remote sensing data have been utilized for spatially explicit risk profiling of schistosomiasis. We investigated the potential of remote sensing to characterize habitat conditions of parasite and intermediate host snails and discuss the relevance for public health. We employed high-resolution remote sensing data, environmental field measurements, and ecological data to model environmental suitability for schistosomiasis-related parasite and snail species. The model was developed for Burkina Faso using a habitat suitability index (HSI). The plausibility of remote sensing habitat variables was validated using field measurements. The established model was transferred to different ecological settings in Côte d'Ivoire and validated against readily available survey data from school-aged children. Environmental suitability for schistosomiasis transmission was spatially delineated and quantified by seven habitat variables derived from remote sensing data. The strengths and weaknesses highlighted by the plausibility analysis showed that temporal dynamic water and vegetation measures were particularly useful to model parasite and snail habitat suitability, whereas the measurement of water surface temperature and topographic variables did not perform appropriately. The transferability of the model showed significant relations between the HSI and infection prevalence in study sites of Côte d'Ivoire. A predictive map of environmental suitability for schistosomiasis transmission can support measures to gain and sustain control. This is particularly relevant as emphasis is shifting from morbidity control to interrupting transmission. Further validation of our mechanistic model needs to be complemented by field data of parasite- and snail

  10. Predicting occurrence of juvenile shark habitat to improve conservation planning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oh, Beverly Z L; Sequeira, Ana M M; Meekan, Mark G; Ruppert, Jonathan L W; Meeuwig, Jessica J

    2017-06-01

    Fishing and habitat degradation have increased the extinction risk of sharks, and conservation strategies recognize that survival of juveniles is critical for the effective management of shark populations. Despite the rapid expansion of marine protected areas (MPAs) globally, the paucity of shark-monitoring data on large scales (100s-1000s km) means that the effectiveness of MPAs in halting shark declines remains unclear. Using data collected by baited remote underwater video systems (BRUVS) in northwestern Australia, we developed generalized linear models to elucidate the ecological drivers of habitat suitability for juvenile sharks. We assessed occurrence patterns at the order and species levels. We included all juvenile sharks sampled and the 3 most abundant species sampled separately (grey reef [Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos], sandbar [Carcharhinus plumbeus], and whitetip reef sharks [Triaenodon obesus]). We predicted the occurrence of juvenile sharks across 490,515 km 2 of coastal waters and quantified the representation of highly suitable habitats within MPAs. Our species-level models had higher accuracy (ĸ ≥ 0.69) and deviance explained (≥48%) than our order-level model (ĸ = 0.36 and deviance explained of 10%). Maps of predicted occurrence revealed different species-specific patterns of highly suitable habitat. These differences likely reflect different physiological or resource requirements between individual species and validate concerns over the utility of conservation targets based on aggregate species groups as opposed to a species-focused approach. Highly suitable habitats were poorly represented in MPAs with the most restrictions on extractive activities. This spatial mismatch possibly indicates a lack of explicit conservation targets and information on species distribution during the planning process. Non-extractive BRUVS provided a useful platform for building the suitability models across large scales to assist conservation planning across

  11. Mapping the Lisbon Potential Foodshed in Ribatejo e Oeste: A Suitability and Yield Model for Assessing the Potential for Localized Food Production

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andreia Saavedra Cardoso

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Research on food planning has been recently proposed in North American and European planning to account for how cities might change their food provision to respond to the rising demands for a more sustainable and ethical food system. The purpose of this paper was to evaluate the agro-ecological potential of the Lisbon city region, Ribatejo e Oeste, to increase its Regional Food Self-Reliance (RFSR, through adopting demand restraint and food system relocalization approaches to food system sustainability. Three new diet scenarios were considered: meat-based, plant-based and strict vegetarian, defined in accordance with healthy dietary patterns. We used agro-climatic and agro-edaphic agricultural suitability models to evaluate the agro-ecological potential for RFSR, and proposed the use of Foodshed Landscape Plans within a landscape planning methodology. Results showed the extent of local food production that could improve food self-reliance, with 72%, 76%, 84% of total food needs in the meat-based, plant-based, and strict vegetarian scenarios, respectively. Thus, food system transformation by means of relocalization, is therefore ecologically feasible and would ensure the sustainable use of the ecological basis of food security. Additionally, a dietary transition would imply significant land sparing, which strengthens the demand restraint perspective for a transition to food system sustainability.

  12. Identifying Areas Suitable for the Occurrence of Rift Valley Fever in North Africa: Implications for Surveillance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arsevska, E; Hellal, J; Mejri, S; Hammami, S; Marianneau, P; Calavas, D; Hénaux, V

    2016-12-01

    Rift Valley fever (RVF) is a vector-borne zoonotic disease that has caused widespread outbreaks throughout Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, with serious consequences for livestock-based economies and public health. Although there have never been any reports of RVF in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya, it is a priority disease in the Maghreb, due to the threat of introduction of the virus through transboundary livestock movements or infected mosquito vectors. However, the implementation of surveillance activities and early warning contingency plans requires better knowledge of the epidemiological situation. We conducted a multicriteria decision analysis, integrating host distribution with a combination of important ecological factors that drive mosquito abundance, to identify hotspots and suitable time periods for RVF enzootic circulation (i.e. stable transmission at a low to moderate level for an extended period of time) and an RVF epizootic event (i.e. a sudden occurrence of a large number of infected animals over a large geographic area) in the Maghreb. We also modelled vector species distribution using available information on vector presence and habitat preference. We found that the northern regions of the Maghreb were moderately suitable for RVF enzootics, but highly suitable for RVF epizootics. The vector species distribution model identified these regions as the most favourable mosquito habitats. Due to the low density of animal hosts and arid conditions, the desert region showed low RVF suitability, except in oases. However, the presence of competent vectors in putative unsuitable areas underlines the need for further assessments of mosquito habitat preference. This study produced monthly RVF suitability maps useful for animal health managers and veterinary services involved in designing risk-based surveillance programmes. The suitability maps can be further enhanced using existing country-specific sources of information and by incorporating knowledge

  13. Surface Habitat Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kennedy, Kriss J.

    2009-01-01

    The Surface Habitat Systems (SHS) Focused Investment Group (FIG) is part of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Johnson Space Center (JSC) effort to provide a focused direction and funding to the various projects that are working on human surface habitat designs and technologies for the planetary exploration missions. The overall SHS-FIG effort focuses on directing and guiding those projects that: 1) develop and demonstrate new surface habitat system concepts, innovations, and technologies to support human exploration missions, 2) improve environmental systems that interact with human habitats, 3) handle and emplace human surface habitats, and 4) focus on supporting humans living and working in habitats on planetary surfaces. The activity areas of the SHS FIG described herein are focused on the surface habitat project near-term objectives as described in this document. The SHS-FIG effort focuses on mitigating surface habitat risks (as identified by the Lunar Surface Systems Project Office (LSSPO) Surface Habitat Element Team; and concentrates on developing surface habitat technologies as identified in the FY08 gap analysis. The surface habitat gap assessment will be updated annually as the surface architecture and surface habitat definition continues to mature. These technologies are mapped to the SHS-FIG Strategic Development Roadmap. The Roadmap will bring to light the areas where additional innovative efforts are needed to support the development of habitat concepts and designs and the development of new technologies to support of the LSSPO Habitation Element development plan. Three specific areas of development that address Lunar Architecture Team (LAT)-2 and Constellation Architecture Team (CxAT) Lunar habitat design issues or risks will be focused on by the SHS-FIG. The SHS-FIG will establish four areas of development that will help the projects prepare in their planning for surface habitat systems development. Those development areas are

  14. A comparison of photograph-interpreted and IfSAR-derived maps of polar bear denning habitat for the 1002 Area of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durner, George M.; Atwood, Todd C.

    2018-05-11

    Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) in Alaska use the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) for maternal denning. Pregnant bears den in snow banks for more than 3 months in winter during which they give birth to and nurture young. Denning is one of the most vulnerable times in polar bear life history as the family group cannot simply walk away from a disturbance without jeopardizing survival of newly born cubs. The ANWR includes the “1002 Area”, a region recently opened for oil and gas exploration by the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI). As a part of its mission, the DOI “… protects and manages the Nation's natural resources …” and is therefore responsible for conserving polar bears and encouraging development of energy potential. Because future industrial activities could overlap habitats used by denning polar bears, identifying these habitats can inform the decisions of resource managers tasked to develop resources and protect polar bears. To help inform these efforts, we qualitatively compared the distribution of denning habitat identified by two different methods: previously published habitat from manual interpretation of aerial photographs, and habitat derived by computer interrogation of interferometric synthetic aperture radar (IfSAR) digital terrain models (DTM). Because photograph-interpreted methods depicted denning habitat as a line and IfSAR-derived methods depicted habitat as a polygon, we assessed agreement between the two methods with distance measurements. We found that 77.5 percent of IfSAR-derived denning habitat (79.6 km2 ; 1.2 percent of the 6,837.0 km2 1002 Area) was within 600 m of photograph-interpreted habitat (3,026.9 km), including 53.9 percent within 200 m. This distribution differed from that of randomly distributed points, as only 49.4 percent of these occurred within 600 m of photograph-interpreted habitat, including 18.3 percent within 200 m. Both methods appear to identify the major physiographic features that polar bears

  15. Riparian Habitat - San Joaquin River

    Data.gov (United States)

    California Natural Resource Agency — The immediate focus of this study is to identify, describe and map the extent and diversity of riparian habitats found along the main stem of the San Joaquin River,...

  16. On Spatial Resolution in Habitat Models: Can Small-scale Forest Structure Explain Capercaillie Numbers?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ilse Storch

    2002-06-01

    Full Text Available This paper explores the effects of spatial resolution on the performance and applicability of habitat models in wildlife management and conservation. A Habitat Suitability Index (HSI model for the Capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus in the Bavarian Alps, Germany, is presented. The model was exclusively built on non-spatial, small-scale variables of forest structure and without any consideration of landscape patterns. The main goal was to assess whether a HSI model developed from small-scale habitat preferences can explain differences in population abundance at larger scales. To validate the model, habitat variables and indirect sign of Capercaillie use (such as feathers or feces were mapped in six study areas based on a total of 2901 20 m radius (for habitat variables and 5 m radius sample plots (for Capercaillie sign. First, the model's representation of Capercaillie habitat preferences was assessed. Habitat selection, as expressed by Ivlev's electivity index, was closely related to HSI scores, increased from poor to excellent habitat suitability, and was consistent across all study areas. Then, habitat use was related to HSI scores at different spatial scales. Capercaillie use was best predicted from HSI scores at the small scale. Lowering the spatial resolution of the model stepwise to 36-ha, 100-ha, 400-ha, and 2000-ha areas and relating Capercaillie use to aggregated HSI scores resulted in a deterioration of fit at larger scales. Most importantly, there were pronounced differences in Capercaillie abundance at the scale of study areas, which could not be explained by the HSI model. The results illustrate that even if a habitat model correctly reflects a species' smaller scale habitat preferences, its potential to predict population abundance at larger scales may remain limited.

  17. Ensemble forecasting of potential habitat for three invasive fishes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poulos, Helen M.; Chernoff, Barry; Fuller, Pam L.; Butman, David

    2012-01-01

    Aquatic invasive species pose major ecological and economic threats to aquatic ecosystems worldwide via displacement, predation, or hybridization with native species and the alteration of aquatic habitats and hydrologic cycles. Modeling the habitat suitability of alien aquatic species through spatially explicit mapping is an increasingly important risk assessment tool. Habitat modeling also facilitates identification of key environmental variables influencing invasive species distributions. We compared four modeling methods to predict the potential continental United States distributions of northern snakehead Channa argus (Cantor, 1842), round goby Neogobius melanostomus (Pallas, 1814), and silver carp Hypophthalmichthys molitrix (Valenciennes, 1844) using maximum entropy (Maxent), the genetic algorithm for rule set production (GARP), DOMAIN, and support vector machines (SVM). We used inventory records from the USGS Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database and a geographic information system of 20 climatic and environmental variables to generate individual and ensemble distribution maps for each species. The ensemble maps from our study performed as well as or better than all of the individual models except Maxent. The ensemble and Maxent models produced significantly higher accuracy individual maps than GARP, one-class SVMs, or DOMAIN. The key environmental predictor variables in the individual models were consistent with the tolerances of each species. Results from this study provide insights into which locations and environmental conditions may promote the future spread of invasive fish in the US.

  18. Predictive habitat modelling as a tool to assess the change in distribution and extent of an OSPAR priority habitat under an increased ocean temperature scenario: consequences for marine protected area networks and management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gormley, Kate S G; Porter, Joanne S; Bell, Michael C; Hull, Angela D; Sanderson, William G

    2013-01-01

    The aims of this study were to determine the extent and distribution of an OSPAR priority habitat under current baseline ocean temperatures; to illustrate the prospect for habitat loss under a changing ocean temperature scenario; and to demonstrate the potential application of predictive habitat mapping in "future-proofing" conservation and biodiversity management. Maxent modelling and GIS environmental envelope analysis of the biogenic bed forming species, Modiolus modiolus was carried out. The Maxent model was tested and validated using 75%/25% training/test occurrence records and validated against two sampling biases (the whole study area and a 20km buffer). The model was compared to the envelope analysis and the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (Area Under the curve; AUC) was evaluated. The performance of the Maxent model was rated as 'good' to 'excellent' on all replicated runs and low variation in the runs was recorded from the AUC values. The extent of "most suitable", "less suitable" and "unsuitable" habitat was calculated for the baseline year (2009) and the projected increased ocean temperature scenarios (2030, 2050, 2080 and 2100). A loss of 100% of "most suitable" habitat was reported by 2080. Maintaining a suitable level of protection of marine habitats/species of conservation importance may require management of the decline and migration rather than maintenance of present extent. Methods applied in this study provide the initial application of a plausible "conservation management tool".

  19. Predictive habitat modelling as a tool to assess the change in distribution and extent of an OSPAR priority habitat under an increased ocean temperature scenario: consequences for marine protected area networks and management.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kate S G Gormley

    Full Text Available The aims of this study were to determine the extent and distribution of an OSPAR priority habitat under current baseline ocean temperatures; to illustrate the prospect for habitat loss under a changing ocean temperature scenario; and to demonstrate the potential application of predictive habitat mapping in "future-proofing" conservation and biodiversity management. Maxent modelling and GIS environmental envelope analysis of the biogenic bed forming species, Modiolus modiolus was carried out. The Maxent model was tested and validated using 75%/25% training/test occurrence records and validated against two sampling biases (the whole study area and a 20km buffer. The model was compared to the envelope analysis and the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (Area Under the curve; AUC was evaluated. The performance of the Maxent model was rated as 'good' to 'excellent' on all replicated runs and low variation in the runs was recorded from the AUC values. The extent of "most suitable", "less suitable" and "unsuitable" habitat was calculated for the baseline year (2009 and the projected increased ocean temperature scenarios (2030, 2050, 2080 and 2100. A loss of 100% of "most suitable" habitat was reported by 2080. Maintaining a suitable level of protection of marine habitats/species of conservation importance may require management of the decline and migration rather than maintenance of present extent. Methods applied in this study provide the initial application of a plausible "conservation management tool".

  20. Spatially explicit modeling of greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) habitat in Nevada and northeastern California: a decision-support tool for management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coates, Peter S.; Casazza, Michael L.; Brussee, Brianne E.; Ricca, Mark A.; Gustafson, K. Benjamin; Overton, Cory T.; Sanchez-Chopitea, Erika; Kroger, Travis; Mauch, Kimberly; Niell, Lara; Howe, Kristy; Gardner, Scott; Espinosa, Shawn; Delehanty, David J.

    2014-01-01

    Greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus, hereafter referred to as “sage-grouse”) populations are declining throughout the sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) ecosystem, including millions of acres of potential habitat across the West. Habitat maps derived from empirical data are needed given impending listing decisions that will affect both sage-grouse population dynamics and human land-use restrictions. This report presents the process for developing spatially explicit maps describing relative habitat suitability for sage-grouse in Nevada and northeastern California. Maps depicting habitat suitability indices (HSI) values were generated based on model-averaged resource selection functions informed by more than 31,000 independent telemetry locations from more than 1,500 radio-marked sage-grouse across 12 project areas in Nevada and northeastern California collected during a 15-year period (1998–2013). Modeled habitat covariates included land cover composition, water resources, habitat configuration, elevation, and topography, each at multiple spatial scales that were relevant to empirically observed sage-grouse movement patterns. We then present an example of how the HSI can be delineated into categories. Specifically, we demonstrate that the deviation from the mean can be used to classify habitat suitability into three categories of habitat quality (high, moderate, and low) and one non-habitat category. The classification resulted in an agreement of 93–97 percent for habitat versus non-habitat across a suite of independent validation datasets. Lastly, we provide an example of how space use models can be integrated with habitat models to help inform conservation planning. In this example, we combined probabilistic breeding density with a non-linear probability of occurrence relative to distance to nearest lek (traditional breeding ground) using count data to calculate a composite space use index (SUI). The SUI was then classified into two categories of use

  1. Benthic Habitat and Zone Maps of St. Thomas and St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands - Prepared by Visual Interpretation from Remote Sensing Imagery Collected by NOAA, 1999

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Ther are 25 habitat and zone PDF products. This project is a cooperative effort between the National Ocean Service, National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science,...

  2. A spatial model of white sturgeon rearing habitat in the lower Columbia River, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hatten, J.R.; Parsley, M.J.

    2009-01-01

    Concerns over the potential effects of in-water placement of dredged materials prompted us to develop a GIS-based model that characterizes in a spatially explicit manner white sturgeon Acipenser transmontanus rearing habitat in the lower Columbia River, USA. The spatial model was developed using water depth, riverbed slope and roughness, fish positions collected in 2002, and Mahalanobis distance (D2). We created a habitat suitability map by identifying a Mahalanobis distance under which >50% of white sturgeon locations occurred in 2002 (i.e., high-probability habitat). White sturgeon preferred relatively moderate to high water depths, and low to moderate riverbed slope and roughness values. The eigenvectors indicated that riverbed slope and roughness were slightly more important than water depth, but all three variables were important. We estimated the impacts that fill might have on sturgeon habitat by simulating the addition of fill to the thalweg, in 3-m increments, and recomputing Mahalanobis distances. Channel filling simulations revealed that up to 9 m of fill would have little impact on high-probability habitat, but 12 and 15 m of fill resulted in habitat declines of ???12% and ???45%, respectively. This is the first spatially explicit predictive model of white sturgeon rearing habitat in the lower Columbia River, and the first to quantitatively predict the impacts of dredging operations on sturgeon habitat. Future research should consider whether water velocity improves the accuracy and specificity of the model, and to assess its applicability to other areas in the Columbia River.

  3. Remote sensing-based landscape indicators for the evaluation of threatened-bird habitats in a tropical forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Minerva; Tokola, Timo; Hou, Zhengyang; Notarnicola, Claudia

    2017-07-01

    Avian species persistence in a forest patch is strongly related to the degree of isolation and size of a forest patch and the vegetation structure within a patch and its matrix are important predictors of bird habitat suitability. A combination of space-borne optical (Landsat), ALOS-PALSAR (radar), and airborne Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) data was used for assessing variation in forest structure across forest patches that had undergone different levels of forest degradation in a logged forest-agricultural landscape in Southern Laos. The efficacy of different remote sensing (RS) data sources in distinguishing forest patches that had different seizes, configurations, and vegetation structure was examined. These data were found to be sensitive to the varying levels of degradation of the different patch categories. Additionally, the role of local scale forest structure variables (characterized using the different RS data and patch area) and landscape variables (characterized by distance from different forest patches) in influencing habitat preferences of International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red listed birds found in the study area was examined. A machine learning algorithm, MaxEnt, was used in conjunction with these data and field collected geographical locations of the avian species to identify the factors influencing habitat preference of the different bird species and their suitable habitats. Results show that distance from different forest patches played a more important role in influencing habitat suitability for the different avian species than local scale factors related to vegetation structure and health. In addition to distance from forest patches, LiDAR-derived forest structure and Landsat-derived spectral variables were important determinants of avian habitat preference. The models derived using MaxEnt were used to create an overall habitat suitability map (HSM) which mapped the most suitable habitat patches for sustaining all the

  4. Habitat evaluation for outbreak of Yangtze voles (Microtus fortis) and management implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Zhenggang; Zhao, Yunlin; Li, Bo; Zhang, Meiwen; Shen, Guo; Wang, Yong

    2015-05-01

    Rodent pests severely damage agricultural crops. Outbreak risk models of rodent pests often do not include sufficient information regarding geographic variation. Habitat plays an important role in rodent-pest outbreak risk, and more information about the relationship between habitat and crop protection is urgently needed. The goal of the present study was to provide an outbreak risk map for the Dongting Lake region and to understand the relationship between rodent-pest outbreak variation and habitat distribution. The main rodent pests in the Dongting Lake region are Yangtze voles (Microtus fortis). These pests cause massive damage in outbreak years, most notably in 2007. Habitat evaluation and ecological details were obtained by analyzing the correlation between habitat suitability and outbreak risk, as indicated by population density and historical events. For the source-sink population, 96.18% of Yangtze vole disaster regions were covered by a 10-km buffer zone of suitable habitat in 2007. Historical outbreak frequency and peak population density were significantly correlated with the proportion of land covered by suitable habitat (r = 0.68, P = 0.04 and r = 0.76, P = 0.03, respectively). The Yangtze vole population tends to migrate approximately 10 km in outbreak years. Here, we propose a practical method for habitat evaluation that can be used to create integrated pest management plans for rodent pests when combined with basic information on the biology, ecology and behavior of the target species. © 2014 International Society of Zoological Sciences, Institute of Zoology/Chinese Academy of Sciences and Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.

  5. Structural habitat predicts functional dispersal habitat of a large carnivore: how leopards change spots.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fattebert, Julien; Robinson, Hugh S; Balme, Guy; Slotow, Rob; Hunter, Luke

    2015-10-01

    Natal dispersal promotes inter-population linkage, and is key to spatial distribution of populations. Degradation of suitable landscape structures beyond the specific threshold of an individual's ability to disperse can therefore lead to disruption of functional landscape connectivity and impact metapopulation function. Because it ignores behavioral responses of individuals, structural connectivity is easier to assess than functional connectivity and is often used as a surrogate for landscape connectivity modeling. However using structural resource selection models as surrogate for modeling functional connectivity through dispersal could be erroneous. We tested how well a second-order resource selection function (RSF) models (structural connectivity), based on GPS telemetry data from resident adult leopard (Panthera pardus L.), could predict subadult habitat use during dispersal (functional connectivity). We created eight non-exclusive subsets of the subadult data based on differing definitions of dispersal to assess the predictive ability of our adult-based RSF model extrapolated over a broader landscape. Dispersing leopards used habitats in accordance with adult selection patterns, regardless of the definition of dispersal considered. We demonstrate that, for a wide-ranging apex carnivore, functional connectivity through natal dispersal corresponds to structural connectivity as modeled by a second-order RSF. Mapping of the adult-based habitat classes provides direct visualization of the potential linkages between populations, without the need to model paths between a priori starting and destination points. The use of such landscape scale RSFs may provide insight into predicting suitable dispersal habitat peninsulas in human-dominated landscapes where mitigation of human-wildlife conflict should be focused. We recommend the use of second-order RSFs for landscape conservation planning and propose a similar approach to the conservation of other wide-ranging large

  6. Development of a Regional Habitat Classification Scheme for the ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    development, image processing techniques and field survey methods are outlined. Habitat classification, and regional-scale comparisons of relative habitat composition are described. The study demonstrates the use of remote sensing data to construct digital habitat maps for the comparison of regional habitat coverage, ...

  7. Evaluating Presence Data versus Expert Opinions to Assess Occurrence, Habitat Preferences and Landscape Permeability: A Case Study of Butterflies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muhammad Arfan

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available We explored how presence data and expert opinions performed with respect to identifying the ecological preferences and the spatial needs of six butterfly species in the Federal State of Saxony, Germany. We used presence records and a land-cover map. In parallel we used expert responses to evaluate the 40 land-cover types occurring in the map, in terms of both suitability and permeability for the six species. Presence data were translated into preferences through Ivlev’s electivity indices (IEI. Visual analysis of preference maps based on IEI showed a distinct pattern of suitable versus less suitable areas. Similarly, spatial analyses found that presence-points were closer to suitability areas based on IEI than those that were based on expert data. However, in case of mismatches between expert and presence-based evaluations, independent experts identified the expert evaluation as better and considered IEI outcomes as wrong. We found a medium to high correlation between land-cover class suitability and permeability based on expert opinions for all species. This indicates that expert evaluation of permeability is affiliated with habitat suitability. Integration of species-presence data and expert-knowledge about species could enhance our capabilities to understand and potentially map suitability while gathering information about suitability and permeability separately can improve species conservation planning.

  8. An analysis of the habitat of the Greater One-horned Rhinoceros Rhinoceros unicorns (Mammalia: Perissodactyla: Rhinocerotidae at the Chitwan National Park, Nepal

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. Thapa

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available We used Geographic Information Systems (GIS and landscape-level data obtained from remote sensing sources to build a habitat suitability index model (HSI for the Greater One-horned Rhinoceros Rhinoceros unicornis. The model was based primarily on important habitat requisites of the modeled species, especially food and cover. We extracted food and cover from land cover map and ran focal statistics to determine their proportion in a neighborhood of 70x70 pixels that accounts for the animal’s average mean annual home range, which is ~4km2 = 400 ha = 70x70 pixels x 900 m2 = 4410000/10000 = 441 ha. We used two arbitrarily selected parameters a and Tc to observe the impacts of food and cover on the HSI. We performed sensitivity analysis by varying values of parameters around their nominal, which revealed that the HSI value of a pixel is changed with uncertainty with very low values of a fraction of the food or cover. We identified four habitat types from the HSI map. We used patch and class metrics of FRAGSTATS program to estimate the amount and fragmentation of each habitat type. The metrics provided composition and configuration status for all four habitat types. We found a presence of a total of 476 patches with 517.82km2 belonging to suitable habitat type. These areas can be targeted for management, monitoring and improvement to provide habitat for the target and sympatric species.

  9. Landscape Analysis of Adult Florida Panther Habitat.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert A Frakes

    Full Text Available Historically occurring throughout the southeastern United States, the Florida panther is now restricted to less than 5% of its historic range in one breeding population located in southern Florida. Using radio-telemetry data from 87 prime-aged (≥3 years old adult panthers (35 males and 52 females during the period 2004 through 2013 (28,720 radio-locations, we analyzed the characteristics of the occupied area and used those attributes in a random forest model to develop a predictive distribution map for resident breeding panthers in southern Florida. Using 10-fold cross validation, the model was 87.5 % accurate in predicting presence or absence of panthers in the 16,678 km2 study area. Analysis of variable importance indicated that the amount of forests and forest edge, hydrology, and human population density were the most important factors determining presence or absence of panthers. Sensitivity analysis showed that the presence of human populations, roads, and agriculture (other than pasture had strong negative effects on the probability of panther presence. Forest cover and forest edge had strong positive effects. The median model-predicted probability of presence for panther home ranges was 0.81 (0.82 for females and 0.74 for males. The model identified 5579 km2 of suitable breeding habitat remaining in southern Florida; 1399 km2 (25% of this habitat is in non-protected private ownership. Because there is less panther habitat remaining than previously thought, we recommend that all remaining breeding habitat in south Florida should be maintained, and the current panther range should be expanded into south-central Florida. This model should be useful for evaluating the impacts of future development projects, in prioritizing areas for panther conservation, and in evaluating the potential impacts of sea-level rise and changes in hydrology.

  10. Landscape Analysis of Adult Florida Panther Habitat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frakes, Robert A; Belden, Robert C; Wood, Barry E; James, Frederick E

    2015-01-01

    Historically occurring throughout the southeastern United States, the Florida panther is now restricted to less than 5% of its historic range in one breeding population located in southern Florida. Using radio-telemetry data from 87 prime-aged (≥3 years old) adult panthers (35 males and 52 females) during the period 2004 through 2013 (28,720 radio-locations), we analyzed the characteristics of the occupied area and used those attributes in a random forest model to develop a predictive distribution map for resident breeding panthers in southern Florida. Using 10-fold cross validation, the model was 87.5 % accurate in predicting presence or absence of panthers in the 16,678 km2 study area. Analysis of variable importance indicated that the amount of forests and forest edge, hydrology, and human population density were the most important factors determining presence or absence of panthers. Sensitivity analysis showed that the presence of human populations, roads, and agriculture (other than pasture) had strong negative effects on the probability of panther presence. Forest cover and forest edge had strong positive effects. The median model-predicted probability of presence for panther home ranges was 0.81 (0.82 for females and 0.74 for males). The model identified 5579 km2 of suitable breeding habitat remaining in southern Florida; 1399 km2 (25%) of this habitat is in non-protected private ownership. Because there is less panther habitat remaining than previously thought, we recommend that all remaining breeding habitat in south Florida should be maintained, and the current panther range should be expanded into south-central Florida. This model should be useful for evaluating the impacts of future development projects, in prioritizing areas for panther conservation, and in evaluating the potential impacts of sea-level rise and changes in hydrology.

  11. Land Suitability Assessment And Precision Farming Prospects For ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The soils on the farm were sampled and profiles classified using South African Binomial system of soil classification. The farm was divided into suitability classes of highly suitable (S1), suitable (S2), and unsuitable (N1), and permanently unsuitable (N2) classes. Maize-soybean suitability maps were produced based on soil ...

  12. Benthic Photo Survey: Software for Geotagging, Depth-tagging, and Classifying Photos from Survey Data and Producing Shapefiles for Habitat Mapping in GIS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jared Kibele

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Photo survey techniques are common for resource management, ecological research, and ground truthing for remote sensing but current data processing methods are cumbersome and inefficient. The Benthic Photo Survey (BPS software described here was created to simplify the data processing and management tasks associated with photo surveys of underwater habitats. BPS is free and open source software written in Python with a QT graphical user interface. BPS takes a GPS log and jpeg images acquired by a diver or drop camera and assigns the GPS position to each photo based on time-stamps (i.e. geotagging. Depth and temperature can be assigned in a similar fashion (i.e. depth-tagging using log files from an inexpensive consumer grade depth / temperature logger that can be attached to the camera. BPS provides the user with a simple interface to assign quantitative habitat and substrate classifications to each photo. Location, depth, temperature, habitat, and substrate data are all stored with the jpeg metadata in Exchangeable image file format (Exif. BPS can then export all of these data in a spatially explicit point shapefile format for use in GIS. BPS greatly reduces the time and skill required to turn photos into usable data thereby making photo survey methods more efficient and cost effective. BPS can also be used, as is, for other photo sampling techniques in terrestrial and aquatic environments and the open source code base offers numerous opportunities for expansion and customization.

  13. NOAA submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) habitat mapping orthoimagery, collection subset 1 of 2, coastal North Carolina and SE Virginia, 2007-2008 (NODC Accession 0086096)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Orthophotography was flown in coastal regions of North Carolina and southeastern Virginia in an effort to establish long term mapping and monitoring of submerged...

  14. Detailed Maps Depicting the Shallow-Water Benthic Habitats of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Derived from High Resolution IKONOS Satellite Imagery

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Detailed, shallow-water coral reef ecosystem maps were generated by rule-based, semi-automated image analysis of high-resolution satellite imagery for nine locations...

  15. Detailed Maps Depicting the Shallow-Water Benthic Habitats of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Derived from High Resolution IKONOS Satellite Imagery (Draft)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Detailed, shallow-water coral reef ecosystem maps were generated by rule-based, semi-automated image analysis of high-resolution satellite imagery for nine locations...

  16. Fuzzy modelling of Atlantic salmon physical habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    St-Hilaire, André; Mocq, Julien; Cunjak, Richard

    2015-04-01

    Fish habitat models typically attempt to quantify the amount of available river habitat for a given fish species for various flow and hydraulic conditions. To achieve this, information on the preferred range of values of key physical habitat variables (e.g. water level, velocity, substrate diameter) for the targeted fishs pecies need to be modelled. In this context, we developed several habitat suitability indices sets for three Atlantic salmon life stages (young-of-the-year (YOY), parr, spawning adults) with the help of fuzzy logic modeling. Using the knowledge of twenty-seven experts, from both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, we defined fuzzy sets of four variables (depth, substrate size, velocity and Habitat Suitability Index, or HSI) and associated fuzzy rules. When applied to the Romaine River (Canada), median curves of standardized Weighted Usable Area (WUA) were calculated and a confidence interval was obtained by bootstrap resampling. Despite the large range of WUA covered by the expert WUA curves, confidence intervals were relatively narrow: an average width of 0.095 (on a scale of 0 to 1) for spawning habitat, 0.155 for parr rearing habitat and 0.160 for YOY rearing habitat. When considering an environmental flow value corresponding to 90% of the maximum reached by WUA curve, results seem acceptable for the Romaine River. Generally, this proposed fuzzy logic method seems suitable to model habitat availability for the three life stages, while also providing an estimate of uncertainty in salmon preferences.

  17. An approach of habitat degradation assessment for characterization on coastal habitat conservation tendency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Xi-Yin; Lei, Kun; Meng, Wei

    2017-09-01

    Coastal zones are population and economy highly intensity regions all over the world, and coastal habitat supports the sustainable development of human society. The accurate assessment of coastal habitat degradation is the essential prerequisite for coastal zone protection. In this study, an integrated framework of coastal habitat degradation assessment including landuse classification, habitat classifying and zoning, evaluation criterion of coastal habitat degradation and coastal habitat degradation index has been established for better regional coastal habitat assessment. Through establishment of detailed three-class landuse classification, the fine landscape change is revealed, the evaluation criterion of coastal habitat degradation through internal comparison based on the results of habitat classifying and zoning could indicate the levels of habitat degradation and distinguish the intensity of human disturbances in different habitat subareas under the same habitat classification. Finally, the results of coastal habitat degradation assessment could be achieved through coastal habitat degradation index (CHI). A case study of the framework is carried out in the Circum-Bohai-Sea-Coast, China, and the main results show the following: (1) The accuracy of all land use classes are above 90%, which indicates a satisfactory accuracy for the classification map. (2) The Circum-Bohai-Sea-Coast is divided into 3 kinds of habitats and 5 subareas. (3) In the five subareas of the Circum-Bohai-Sea-Coast, the levels of coastal habitat degradation own significant difference. The whole Circum-Bohai-Sea-Coast generally is in a worse state according to area weighting of each habitat subarea. This assessment framework of coastal habitat degradation would characterize the landuse change trend, realize better coastal habitat degradation assessment, reveal the habitat conservation tendency and distinguish intensity of human disturbances. Furthermore, it would support for accurate coastal

  18. Deep Space Habitat Concept Demonstrator

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bookout, Paul S.; Smitherman, David

    2015-01-01

    This project will develop, integrate, test, and evaluate Habitation Systems that will be utilized as technology testbeds and will advance NASA's understanding of alternative deep space mission architectures, requirements, and operations concepts. Rapid prototyping and existing hardware will be utilized to develop full-scale habitat demonstrators. FY 2014 focused on the development of a large volume Space Launch System (SLS) class habitat (Skylab Gen 2) based on the SLS hydrogen tank components. Similar to the original Skylab, a tank section of the SLS rocket can be outfitted with a deep space habitat configuration and launched as a payload on an SLS rocket. This concept can be used to support extended stay at the Lunar Distant Retrograde Orbit to support the Asteroid Retrieval Mission and provide a habitat suitable for human missions to Mars.

  19. A methodology for evaluating land suitability for medicinal plants at a regional level

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marco Barbaro

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Before introducing a new crop in an area, such as medicinal plant species, crop-land suitability analysis is a prerequisite to achieve an optimum exploitation of the available land resources for a sustainable agricultural production. To evaluate the land suitability it is important to take into account the habitats of the plant species. Moreover, agronomic, logistic and product quality aspects have to be considered. The importance of these aspects changes according to the stakeholders: the local government is more involved in supporting environmental suitability and production sustainability, farmers need areas which satisfy agronomic and logistic requirements, while industry is interested in the quality of production. A methodology was developed and implemented to create suitability maps for medicinal plants. Because of the generally limited information about medicinal plant adaptation, a simple methodology, based on a priori information has been developed, based on three different criteria: i environmental suitability (point of view of local government; ii agronomic, productivity and logistic suitability (point of view of the farmer; iii quality suitability (point of view of industry. For each of the three criteria, a specific macro-indicator, based on land characteristics, was calculated using membership functions. Here, a methodology to create maps for the introduction of such species was developed and implemented. This methodology can be repeated by command scripts in an easy-to-use freeware GIS. The structure of the evaluation model can be easily adapted to consider more detailed land information like climate and soil. The methodology (implemented by scripts in a freeware GIS, can be easily repeated and adapted for other situations.

  20. Multi–criteria evaluation and simulated annealing for delimiting high priority habitats of Alectoris chukar and Phasianus colchicus in Iran

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Momeni Dehaghi, I.

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Habitat degradation and hunting are among the most important causes of population decline for Alectoris chukar and Phasianus colchicus, two of the most threatened game species in the Golestan Province of Iran. Limited data on distribution and location of high–quality habitats for the two species make conservation efforts more difficult in the province. We used multi–criteria evaluation (MCE as a coarse–filter approach to refine the general distribution areas into habitat suitability maps for the species. We then used these maps as input to simulated annealing as a heuristic algorithm through Marxan in order to prioritize areas for conservation of the two species. To find the optimal solution, we tested various boundary length modifier (BLM values in the simulated annealing process. Our results showed that the MCE approach was useful to refine general habitat maps. Assessment of the selected reserves confirmed the suitability of the selected areas (mainly neighboring the current reserves making their management easier and more feasible. The total area of the selected reserves was about 476 km2. As current reserves of the Golestan Province represent only 23 % of the optimal area, further protected areas should be considered to efficiently conserve these two species.

  1. Two-dimensional physical habitat modeling of effects of habitat structures on urban stream restoration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dongkyun Im

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available River corridors, even if highly modified or degraded, still provide important habitats for numerous biological species, and carry high aesthetic and economic values. One of the keys to urban stream restoration is recovery and maintenance of ecological flows sufficient to sustain aquatic ecosystems. In this study, the Hongje Stream in the Seoul metropolitan area of Korea was selected for evaluating a physically-based habitat with and without habitat structures. The potential value of the aquatic habitat was evaluated by a weighted usable area (WUA using River2D, a two-dimensional hydraulic model. The habitat suitability for Zacco platypus in the Hongje Stream was simulated with and without habitat structures. The computed WUA values for the boulder, spur dike, and riffle increased by about 2%, 7%, and 131%, respectively, after their construction. Also, the three habitat structures, especially the riffle, can contribute to increasing hydraulic heterogeneity and enhancing habitat diversity.

  2. Landscape suitability in Botswana for the conservation of its six large African carnivores.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hanlie E K Winterbach

    Full Text Available Wide-ranging large carnivores often range beyond the boundaries of protected areas into human-dominated areas. Mapping out potentially suitable habitats on a country-wide scale and identifying areas with potentially high levels of threats to large carnivore survival is necessary to develop national conservation action plans. We used a novel approach to map and identify these areas in Botswana for its large carnivore guild consisting of lion (Panthera leo, leopard (Panthera pardus, spotted hyaena (Crocuta crocuta, brown hyaena (Hyaena brunnea, cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus and African wild dog (Lycaon pictus. The habitat suitability for large carnivores depends primarily on prey availability, interspecific competition, and conflict with humans. Prey availability is most likely the strongest natural determinant. We used the distribution of biomass of typical wild ungulate species occurring in Botswana which is preyed upon by the six large carnivores to evaluate the potential suitability of the different management zones in the country to sustain large carnivore populations. In areas where a high biomass of large prey species occurred, we assumed interspecific competition between dominant and subordinated competitors to be high. This reduced the suitability of these areas for conservation of subordinate competitors, and vice versa. We used the percentage of prey biomass of the total prey and livestock biomass to identify areas with potentially high levels of conflict in agricultural areas. High to medium biomass of large prey was mostly confined to conservation zones, while small prey biomass was more evenly spread across large parts of the country. This necessitates different conservation strategies for carnivores with a preference for large prey, and those that can persist in the agricultural areas. To ensure connectivity between populations inside Botswana and also with its neighbours, a number of critical areas for priority management actions exist

  3. Landscape suitability in Botswana for the conservation of its six large African carnivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winterbach, Hanlie E K; Winterbach, Christiaan W; Somers, Michael J

    2014-01-01

    Wide-ranging large carnivores often range beyond the boundaries of protected areas into human-dominated areas. Mapping out potentially suitable habitats on a country-wide scale and identifying areas with potentially high levels of threats to large carnivore survival is necessary to develop national conservation action plans. We used a novel approach to map and identify these areas in Botswana for its large carnivore guild consisting of lion (Panthera leo), leopard (Panthera pardus), spotted hyaena (Crocuta crocuta), brown hyaena (Hyaena brunnea), cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) and African wild dog (Lycaon pictus). The habitat suitability for large carnivores depends primarily on prey availability, interspecific competition, and conflict with humans. Prey availability is most likely the strongest natural determinant. We used the distribution of biomass of typical wild ungulate species occurring in Botswana which is preyed upon by the six large carnivores to evaluate the potential suitability of the different management zones in the country to sustain large carnivore populations. In areas where a high biomass of large prey species occurred, we assumed interspecific competition between dominant and subordinated competitors to be high. This reduced the suitability of these areas for conservation of subordinate competitors, and vice versa. We used the percentage of prey biomass of the total prey and livestock biomass to identify areas with potentially high levels of conflict in agricultural areas. High to medium biomass of large prey was mostly confined to conservation zones, while small prey biomass was more evenly spread across large parts of the country. This necessitates different conservation strategies for carnivores with a preference for large prey, and those that can persist in the agricultural areas. To ensure connectivity between populations inside Botswana and also with its neighbours, a number of critical areas for priority management actions exist in the

  4. [Cultural regionalization for Notopterygium incisum based on 3S technology platform. I. Evaluation for growth suitability for N. incisum based on ecological factors analysis by Maxent and ArcGIS model].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Hong-bing; Sun, Hui; Jiang, Shun-yuan; Zhou, Yi; Cao, Wen-long; Ji, Ming-chang; Zhy, Wen-tao; Yan, Han-jing

    2015-03-01

    Growth suitability as assessment indicators for medicinal plants cultivation was proposed based on chemical quality determination and ecological factors analysis by Maxent and ArcGIS model. Notopterygium incisum, an endangered Chinese medicinal plant, was analyzed as a case, its potential distribution areas at different suitability grade and regionalization map were formulated based on growth suitability theory. The results showed that the most suitable habitats is Sichuan province, and more than 60% of the most suitable areawas located in the western Sichuan such as Aba and Ganzi prefectures for N. incisum. The results indicated that habitat altitude, average air temperature in September, and vegetation types were the dominant factors contributing to the grade of plant growth, precipitation and slope were the major factors contributing to notopterol accumulation in its underground parts, while isoimperatorin in its underground parts was negatively corelated with precipitation and slope of its habitat. However, slope as a factor influencing chemical components seemed to be a pseudo corelationship. Therefore, there were distinguishing differences between growth suitability and quality suitability for medicinal plants, which was helpful to further research and practice of cultivation regionalization, wild resource monitoring and large-scale cultivation of traditional Chinese medicine plants.

  5. Site Suitability For Yam, Rice And Cotton Production In Adamawa ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This paper demonstrated the potentials of GIS technique for mapping and delineating the suitable sites for Yam, Rice and Cotton production in Adamawa State. Site suitability mapping is necessary to create data bank and to guide the farmers in decision making on sites for crop production in the state. The use of GIS for this ...

  6. [Ecology suitability study of Ephedra intermedia].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Xiao-Hui; Lu, You-Yuan; Huang, De-Dong; Zhu, Tian-Tian; Lv, Pei-Lin; Jin, Ling

    2017-06-01

    The study aims at predicting ecological suitability of Ephedra intermedia in China by using maximum entropy Maxent model combined with GIS, and finding the main ecological factors affecting the distribution of E. intermedia suitability in appropriate growth area. Thirty-eight collected samples of E. intermedia and E. intermedia and 116 distribution information from CVH information using ArcGIS technology were analyzed. MaxEnt model was applied to forecast the E. intermedia in our country's ecology. E. intermedia MaxEnt ROC curve model training data and testing data sets the AUC value was 0.986 and 0.958, respectively, which were greater than 0.9, tending to be 1.The calculated E. intermedia habitat suitability by the model showed a high accuracy and credibility, which indicated that MaxEnt model could well predict the potential distribution area of E. intermedia in China. Copyright© by the Chinese Pharmaceutical Association.

  7. Shallow-water Benthic Habitats in Jobos Bay

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Shallow-water (<30m) benthic habitat maps of the nearshore marine environment of Jobos Bay, Puerto Rico were mapped and characterized using visual interpretation...

  8. NEPR Geographic Zone Map 2015

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This geographic zone map was created by interpreting satellite and aerial imagery, seafloor topography (bathymetry model), and the new NEPR Benthic Habitat Map...

  9. Identifying suitable sites for Florida panther reintroduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thatcher, Cindy A.; van Manen, Frank T.; Clark, Joseph D.

    2006-01-01

    A major objective of the 1995 Florida Panther (Puma concolor cory) Recovery Plan is the establishment of 2 additional panther populations within the historic range. Our goal was to identify prospective sites for Florida panther reintroduction within the historic range based on quantitative landscape assessments. First, we delineated 86 panther home ranges using telemetry data collected from 1981 to 2001 in south Florida to develop a Mahalanobis distance (D2) habitat model, using 4 anthropogenic variables and 3 landscape variables mapped at a 500-m resolution. From that analysis, we identified 9 potential reintroduction sites of sufficient size to support a panther population. We then developed a similar D2 model at a higher spatial resolution to quantify the area of favorable panther habitat at each site. To address potential for the population to expand, we calculated the amount of favorable habitat adjacent to each prospective reintroduction site within a range of dispersal distances of female panthers. We then added those totals to the contiguous patches to estimate the total amount of effective panther habitat at each site. Finally, we developed an expert-assisted model to rank and incorporate potentially important habitat variables that were not appropriate for our empirical analysis (e.g., area of public lands, livestock density). Anthropogenic factors heavily influenced both the landscape and the expert-assisted models. Of the 9 areas we identified, the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Ozark National Forest, and Felsenthal National Wildlife Refuge regions had the highest combination of effective habitat area and expert opinion scores. Sensitivity analyses indicated that variability among key model parameters did not affect the high ranking of those sites. Those sites should be considered as starting points for the field evaluation of potential reintroduction sites.

  10. Using urban forest assessment tools to model bird habitat potential

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lerman, Susannah B.; Nislow, Keith H.; Nowak, David J.; DeStefano, Stephen; King, David I.; Jones-Farrand, D. Todd

    2014-01-01

    The alteration of forest cover and the replacement of native vegetation with buildings, roads, exotic vegetation, and other urban features pose one of the greatest threats to global biodiversity. As more land becomes slated for urban development, identifying effective urban forest wildlife management tools becomes paramount to ensure the urban forest provides habitat to sustain bird and other wildlife populations. The primary goal of this study was to integrate wildlife suitability indices to an existing national urban forest assessment tool, i-Tree. We quantified available habitat characteristics of urban forests for ten northeastern U.S. cities, and summarized bird habitat relationships from the literature in terms of variables that were represented in the i-Tree datasets. With these data, we generated habitat suitability equations for nine bird species representing a range of life history traits and conservation status that predicts the habitat suitability based on i-Tree data. We applied these equations to the urban forest datasets to calculate the overall habitat suitability for each city and the habitat suitability for different types of land-use (e.g., residential, commercial, parkland) for each bird species. The proposed habitat models will help guide wildlife managers, urban planners, and landscape designers who require specific information such as desirable habitat conditions within an urban management project to help improve the suitability of urban forests for birds.

  11. GIS habitat analysis for lesser prairie-chickens in southeastern New Mexico

    OpenAIRE

    Johnson, Kristine; Neville, Teri B; Neville, Paul

    2006-01-01

    Abstract Background We conducted Geographic Information System (GIS) habitat analyses for lesser prairie-chicken (LPCH, Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) conservation planning. The 876,799 ha study area included most of the occupied habitat for the LPCH in New Mexico. The objectives were to identify and quantify: 1. suitable LPCH habitat in New Mexico, 2. conversion of native habitats, 3. potential for habitat restoration, and 4. unsuitable habitat available for oil and gas activities. Results We f...

  12. The global distribution of deep-water Antipatharia habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yesson, Chris; Bedford, Faye; Rogers, Alex D.; Taylor, Michelle L.

    2017-11-01

    Antipatharia are a diverse group of corals with many species found in deep water. Many Antipatharia are habitat for associates, have extreme longevity and some species can occur beyond 8500 m depth. As they are major constituents of'coral gardens', which are Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems (VMEs), knowledge of their distribution and environmental requirements is an important pre-requisite for informed conservation planning particularly where the expense and difficulty of deep-sea sampling prohibits comprehensive surveys. This study uses a global database of Antipatharia distribution data to perform habitat suitability modelling using the Maxent methodology to estimate the global extent of black coral habitat suitability. The model of habitat suitability is driven by temperature but there is notable influence from other variables of topography, surface productivity and oxygen levels. This model can be used to predict areas of suitable habitat, which can be useful for conservation planning. The global distribution of Antipatharia habitat suitability shows a marked contrast with the distribution of specimen observations, indicating that many potentially suitable areas have not been sampled, and that sampling effort has been disproportionate to shallow, accessible areas inside marine protected areas (MPAs). Although 25% of Antipatharia observations are located in MPAs, only 7-8% of predicted suitable habitat is protected, which is short of the Convention on Biological Diversity target to protect 10% of ocean habitats by 2020.

  13. Mapping past, present, and future climatic suitability for invasive Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus in the United States: a process-based modeling approach using CMIP5 downscaled climate scenarios

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donnelly, M. A. P.; Marcantonio, M.; Melton, F. S.; Barker, C. M.

    2016-12-01

    The ongoing spread of the mosquitoes, Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus, in the continental United States leaves new areas at risk for local transmission of dengue, chikungunya, and Zika viruses. All three viruses have caused major disease outbreaks in the Americas with infected travelers returning regularly to the U.S. The expanding range of these mosquitoes raises questions about whether recent spread has been enabled by climate change or other anthropogenic influences. In this analysis, we used downscaled climate scenarios from the NASA Earth Exchange Global Daily Downscaled Projections (NEX GDDP) dataset to model Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus population growth rates across the United States. We used a stage-structured matrix population model to understand past and present climatic suitability for these vectors, and to project future suitability under CMIP5 climate change scenarios. Our results indicate that much of the southern U.S. is suitable for both Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus year-round. In addition, a large proportion of the U.S. is seasonally suitable for mosquito population growth, creating the potential for periodic incursions into new areas. Changes in climatic suitability in recent decades for Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus have occurred already in many regions of the U.S., and model projections of future climate suggest that climate change will continue to reshape the range of Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus in the U.S., and potentially the risk of the viruses they transmit.

  14. Mapping Past, Present, and Future Climatic Suitability for Invasive Aedes Aegypti and Aedes Albopictus in the United States: A Process-Based Modeling Approach Using CMIP5 Downscaled Climate Scenarios

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donnelly, Marisa Anne Pella; Marcantonio, Matteo; Melton, Forrest S.; Barker, Christopher M.

    2016-01-01

    The ongoing spread of the mosquitoes, Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus, in the continental United States leaves new areas at risk for local transmission of dengue, chikungunya, and Zika viruses. All three viruses have caused major disease outbreaks in the Americas with infected travelers returning regularly to the U.S. The expanding range of these mosquitoes raises questions about whether recent spread has been enabled by climate change or other anthropogenic influences. In this analysis, we used downscaled climate scenarios from the NASA Earth Exchange Global Daily Downscaled Projections (NEX GDDP) dataset to model Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus population growth rates across the United States. We used a stage-structured matrix population model to understand past and present climatic suitability for these vectors, and to project future suitability under CMIP5 climate change scenarios. Our results indicate that much of the southern U.S. is suitable for both Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus year-round. In addition, a large proportion of the U.S. is seasonally suitable for mosquito population growth, creating the potential for periodic incursions into new areas. Changes in climatic suitability in recent decades for Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus have occurred already in many regions of the U.S., and model projections of future climate suggest that climate change will continue to reshape the range of Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus in the U.S., and potentially the risk of the viruses they transmit.

  15. An integrated assessment of Porcupine caribou seasonal distribution, movements, and habitat preferences for regional land use planning in northern Yukon Territory, Canada

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John L. Ryder

    2007-04-01

    Full Text Available This study was undertaken to improve understanding of Porcupine caribou herd distribution, movements, and habitat preferences to assist with developing a regional land use plan for the North Yukon Planning Region, Yukon Territory. Three different methods were used to identify current and historical patterns of caribou distribution and habitat preferences within the region to prioritize conservation areas. Two of the approaches focused on incorporating information on caribou distribution and migrations from scientific and local knowledge, while the third focused on identifying and mapping habitats suitable for supporting caribou. Local knowledge dating back to the 1930s and two decades of satellite telemetry data confirmed that most of the planning region is used by the Porcupine caribou herd and highlighted areas of concentrated use. Maps of suitable winter habitat derived from expert opinion ratings of habitat use did not agree with the other information sources. The local knowledge and satellite telemetry analyses were used to identify spatially explicit priority areas for caribou conservation and the results were applied to develop conservation recommendations for a draft regional land use plan. The plan will be submitted to government approval bodies for review in the spring of 2007. The success in implementing conservation strategies for the Porcupine caribou herd will be reviewed and evaluated following adoption of a final approved plan.

  16. Analyzing the Correlation between Deer Habitat and the Component of the Risk for Lyme Disease in Eastern Ontario, Canada: A GIS-Based Approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dongmei Chen

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Lyme borreliosis, caused by the bacterium, Borrelia burgdorferi, is an emerging vector-borne infectious disease in Canada. According to the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC, by the year 2020, 80% of Canadians will live in Lyme endemic areas. An understanding of the association of Ixodes scapularis, the main vector of Lyme disease, with it hosts is a fundamental component in assessing changes in the spatial distribution of human risk for Lyme disease. Through the application of Geographic Information System (GIS mapping methods and spatial analysis techniques, this study examines the population dynamics of the black-legged Lyme tick and its primary host, the white-tailed deer, in eastern Ontario, Canada. By developing a habitat suitability model through a GIS-based multi-criteria decision making (MCDM analysis, the relationship of the deer habitat suitability map was generated and the results were compared with deer harvest data. Tick submission data collected from two public health units between 2006 and 2012 were used to explore the relationship between endemic ticks and deer habitat suitability in eastern Ontario. The positive correlation demonstrated between the deer habitat suitability model and deer harvest data allows us to further analyze the association between deer habitat and black-legged ticks in our study area. Our results revealed that the high tick submission number corresponds with the high suitability. These results are useful for developing management strategies that aim to prevent Lyme from becoming a threat to public health in Canada. Further studies are required to investigate how tick survival, behaviour and seasonal activity may change with projected climate change.

  17. A study on the carrying capacity of the available habitat for the Rhinopithecus bieti population at Mt. Laojun in Yunnan, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Li; Yu, Shixiao; Ren, Baoping; Li, Ming; Wu, Ruidong; Long, Yongcheng

    2009-06-01

    The Yunnan snub-nosed monkey is one of the most endangered primates in the world. It is experiencing a range of ongoing threats and the persisting effects of past disturbances. The prospects for this species are not very optimistic because habitat corridors are severely damaged by logging, grazing, and mining. Each group of the monkeys in different areas is facing a unique variety of threats. Based on genetic analysis, Rhinopithecus bieti should be separated into three management units for conservation, of which the Mt. Laojun management unit involves the most endangered primates. Despite the fact that the vegetation on Mt. Laojun is in a relatively pristine state, only two groups of monkeys, of a total of fewer than 300, survive in the area. With this paper, we aimed to address the capacity of the monkeys' habitat at the study site and the possible reasons for the small populations. Rapid ecological assessment based on a SPOT 5 image and field survey was used to simulate the vegetation of the whole area based on reference ecological factors of the GIS system. The vegetation map of the site was thus derived from this simulation. Based on the previous studies, the three vegetation types were identified as the suitable habitat of the monkeys. The confusion matrix-based field GPS points were applied to analyze the precision of the habitat map. Based on the map of suitable habitat of the monkeys, the utilization of the habitat and the carrying capacity were analyzed in the GIS. The confusion matrix-based field GPS points were applied to the habitat analysis process, and it was found that the habitat map was 81.3% precise. Then, with the current habitat map, we found that the mixed forest currently used by the monkeys is only a very small fraction (2.65%) of the overall potential habitat of the population, while the dark conifer forest is 4.09%. Poaching is the greatest short-term threat to this species, particularly in the southern range where local residents have a

  18. Oldman River Dam wildlife habitat mitigation program, Pincher Creek, Alberta: Final report. Summary of the implementation phase, 1987--1993

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1998-01-01

    This article summarizes the 1987--1993 implementation phase of the Oldman River Dam Wildlife Habitat Mitigation Program, intended to offset the negative impact of dam construction and operation on plant and animal species. Projects carried out during the program included creation of wetlands, tree and shrub planting, installation of snow and wildlife fences, and installation of replacement nesting sites for birds. Summaries are provided of the process that led to the final program design, the projects undertaken to complete the program, the design strategies, and the proposed habitat mitigation projects. Also included are an inventory of completed projects, an evaluation of the program's success in meeting its objectives and of the mitigation techniques used in the program, and a recommended strategy for future management of the program. Appendices include habitat suitability index models, summaries of related reports, vegetation maps, and a grazing management plan

  19. The Habitat Connection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naturescope, 1987

    1987-01-01

    Consists of activities which address the causes of habitat destruction and the effects of habitat loss on animals and plants. Identifies habitat loss as the major reason for the endangerment and extinction of plant and animal species. (ML)

  20. Integrated hard and soft bottom seafloor substrate map of Ofu-Olosega, American Samoa, combining NOAA Pacific Island Fisheries Science Center Coral Reef Ecosystem Division hard-soft substrate map with NOAA Center for Coastal Monitoring and Assessment Biogeography Program shallow-water benthic habitat map of American Samoa.

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Hard and soft seafloor substrate map, derived from integrating two existing map products: hard and soft seafloor substrate map derived from an unsupervised...

  1. Integrated hard and soft bottom seafloor substrate map of Rose Atoll, American Samoa combining NOAA Pacific Island Fisheries Science Center Coral Reef Ecosystem Division hard-soft substrate maps with NOAA Center for Coastal Monitoring and Assessment Biogeography Program shallow-water benthic habitat map of American Samoa.

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Hard and soft seafloor substrate map, derived from integrating two existing map products: hard and soft substrate maps derived from an unsupervised classification of...

  2. Niche suitability affects development: skull asymmetry increases in less suitable areas.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Renan Maestri

    Full Text Available For conservation purposes, it is important to take into account the suitability of a species to particular habitats; this information may predict the long-term survival of a species. In this sense, morphological measures of developmental stress, such as fluctuating asymmetry, can be proxies for an individual's performance in different regions. In this study, we conducted tests to determine whether areas with different levels of suitability for a species (generated by ecological niche models were congruent with morphological markers that reflect environmental stress and morphological variance. We generated a Maxent niche model and compared the suitability assessments of several areas with the skull morphology data (fluctuating asymmetry and morphological disparity of populations of the Atlantic forest endemic to Brazil rodent Akodon cursor. Our analyses showed a significant negative relationship between suitability levels and fluctuating asymmetry levels, which indicates that in less suitable areas, the individuals experience numerous disturbances during skull ontogeny. We have not found an association between morphological variance and environmental suitability. As expected, these results suggest that in environments with a lower suitability, developmental stress is increased. Such information is helpful in the understanding of the species evolution and in the selection of priority areas for the conservation of species.

  3. Fine-scale acoustic telemetry reveals unexpected lake trout, Salvelinus namaycush, spawning habitats in northern Lake Huron, North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Binder, Thomas; Farha, Steve A.; Thompson, Henry T.; Holbrook, Christopher; Bergstedt, Roger A.; Riley, Stephen; Bronte, Charles R.; He, Ji; Krueger, Charles C.

    2018-01-01

    Previous studies of lake trout, Salvelinus namaycush, spawning habitat in the Laurentian Great Lakes have used time- and labour-intensive survey methods and have focused on areas with historic observations of spawning aggregations and on habitats prejudged by researchers to be suitable for spawning. As an alternative, we used fine-scale acoustic telemetry to locate, describe and compare lake trout spawning habitats. Adult lake trout were implanted with acoustic transmitters and tracked during five consecutive spawning seasons in a 19–27 km2 region of the Drummond Island Refuge, Lake Huron, using the VEMCO Positioning System. Acoustic telemetry revealed discrete areas of aggregation on at least five reefs in the study area, subsequently confirmed by divers to contain deposited eggs. Notably, several identified spawning sites would likely not have been discovered using traditional methods because either they were too small and obscure to stand out on a bathymetric map or because they did not conform to the conceptual model of spawning habitat held by many biologists. Our most unique observation was egg deposition in gravel and rubble substrates located at the base of and beneath overhanging edges of large boulders. Spawning sites typically comprised <10% of the reef area and were used consistently over the 5-year study. Evaluation of habitat selection from the perspective of fish behaviour through use of acoustic transmitters offers potential to expand current conceptual models of critical spawning habitat.

  4. Identifying Impacts of Hydropower Regulation on Salmonid Habitats to Guide River Restoration for Existing Schemes and Mitigate Adverse Effects of Future Developments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buddendorf, B.; Geris, J.; Malcolm, I.; Wilkinson, M.; Soulsby, C.

    2015-12-01

    A decrease in longitudinal connectivity in riverine ecosystems resulting from the construction of transverse barriers has been identified as a major threat to biodiversity. For example, Atlantic Salmon (Salmo salar) have a seasonal variety of hydraulic habitat requirements for their different life stages. However, hydropower impoundments impact the spatial and temporal connectivity of natural habitat along many salmon rivers in ways that are not fully understood. Yet, these changes may affect the sustainability of habitat at local and regional scales and so ultimately the conservation of the species. Research is therefore needed both to aid the restoration and management of rivers impacted by previous hydropower development and guide new schemes to mitigate potentially adverse effects. To this end we assessed the effects of hydropower development on the flow related habitat conditions for different salmon life stages in Scottish rivers at different spatial scales. We used GIS techniques to map the changes in structural connectivity at regional scales, applying a weighting for habitat quality. Next, we used hydrological models to simulate past and present hydrologic conditions that in turn drive reach-scale hydraulic models to assess the impacts of regulation on habitat suitability in both space and time. Preliminary results indicate that: 1) impacts on connectivity depend on the location of the barrier within the river network; 2) multiple smaller barriers may have a potentially lower impact than a single larger barrier; 3) there is a relationship between habitat and connectivity where losing less but more suitable habitat potentially has a disproportionally large impact; 4) the impact of flow regulation can lead to a deterioration of habitat quality, though the effects are spatially variable and the extent of the impact depends on salmon life stage. This work can form a basis for using natural processes to perform targeted and cost-effective restoration of rivers.

  5. Assessing Impacts of Hydropower Regulation on Salmonid Habitat Connectivity to Guide River Restoration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buddendorf, Bas; Geris, Josie; Malcolm, Iain; Wilkinson, Mark; Soulsby, Chris

    2016-04-01

    Anthropogenic activity in riverine ecosystems has led to a substantial divergence from the natural state of many rivers globally. Many of Scotland's rivers have been regulated for hydropower with increasing intensity since the 1890s. At the same time they sustain substantial populations of Atlantic Salmon (Salmo salar L.), which have a range of requirements in terms of flow and access to habitat, depending on the different life-stages. River barriers for hydropower regulation can change the spatial and temporal connectivity within river networks, the impacts of which on salmon habitat are not fully understood. Insight into such changes in connectivity, and the link with the distribution and accessibility of suitable habitat and areas of high productivity, are essential to aid restoration and/or conservation efforts. This is because they indicate where such efforts might have a higher chance of being successful in terms of providing suitable habitat and increasing river productivity. In this study we applied a graph theory approach to assess historic (natural) and contemporary (regulated) in-stream habitat connectivity of the River Lyon, an important UK salmon river that is moderately regulated for hydropower. Historic maps and GIS techniques were used to construct the two contrasting river networks (i.e., natural vs. regulated). Subsequently, connectivity metrics were used to assess the impacts of hydropower infrastructure on upstream and downstream migration possibilities for adults and juveniles, respectively. A national juvenile salmon production model was used to weight the importance of reaches for juvenile salmon production. Results indicate that the impact of barriers in the Lyon on the connectivity indices depends on the type of barrier and its location within the network, but is generally low for both adults and juveniles, and that compared to the historic river network the reduction in the amount of suitable habitat and juvenile production is most marked

  6. Predictive modeling and mapping of Malayan Sun Bear (Helarctos malayanus) distribution using maximum entropy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nazeri, Mona; Jusoff, Kamaruzaman; Madani, Nima; Mahmud, Ahmad Rodzi; Bahman, Abdul Rani; Kumar, Lalit

    2012-01-01

    One of the available tools for mapping the geographical distribution and potential suitable habitats is species distribution models. These techniques are very helpful for finding poorly known distributions of species in poorly sampled areas, such as the tropics. Maximum Entropy (MaxEnt) is a recently developed modeling method that can be successfully calibrated using a relatively small number of records. In this research, the MaxEnt model was applied to describe the distribution and identify the key factors shaping the potential distribution of the vulnerable Malayan Sun Bear (Helarctos malayanus) in one of the main remaining habitats in Peninsular Malaysia. MaxEnt results showed that even though Malaysian sun bear habitat is tied with tropical evergreen forests, it lives in a marginal threshold of bio-climatic variables. On the other hand, current protected area networks within Peninsular Malaysia do not cover most of the sun bears potential suitable habitats. Assuming that the predicted suitability map covers sun bears actual distribution, future climate change, forest degradation and illegal hunting could potentially severely affect the sun bear's population.

  7. Predictive modeling and mapping of Malayan Sun Bear (Helarctos malayanus distribution using maximum entropy.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mona Nazeri

    Full Text Available One of the available tools for mapping the geographical distribution and potential suitable habitats is species distribution models. These techniques are very helpful for finding poorly known distributions of species in poorly sampled areas, such as the tropics. Maximum Entropy (MaxEnt is a recently developed modeling method that can be successfully calibrated using a relatively small number of records. In this research, the MaxEnt model was applied to describe the distribution and identify the key factors shaping the potential distribution of the vulnerable Malayan Sun Bear (Helarctos malayanus in one of the main remaining habitats in Peninsular Malaysia. MaxEnt results showed that even though Malaysian sun bear habitat is tied with tropical evergreen forests, it lives in a marginal threshold of bio-climatic variables. On the other hand, current protected area networks within Peninsular Malaysia do not cover most of the sun bears potential suitable habitats. Assuming that the predicted suitability map covers sun bears actual distribution, future climate change, forest degradation and illegal hunting could potentially severely affect the sun bear's population.

  8. Fish habitat mitigation measures for hydrotechnical projects

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McPhail, G.D.; MacMillan, D.B.; Katopodis, C.

    1992-01-01

    In recent years, the identification and mitigation of environmental impacts of hydrotechnical projects, particularly on fish and fish habitats, have become a major component of project planning and design. Potential impacts to fish and fish habitat may include increased fish mortality, decreased species diversity, and loss or decreases in fish production due to loss of habitat or alteration of its suitability. These impacts arise from flooding of riverine habitat, alteration of flow quantity and distribution, changes in morphology, and alteration of water quality, including suspended sediments, temperature, dissolved oxygen, and mercury. The results of a study for the Canadian Federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans Central and Arctic Region, examining fish habitat mitigation techniques for their applicability to hydrotechnical projects in Canada are summarized. The requirements for achievement and verification of the no net loss policy for a project are discussed. 10 refs., 2 tabs

  9. Historical habitat connectivity affects current genetic structure in a grassland species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Münzbergová, Z; Cousins, S A O; Herben, T; Plačková, I; Mildén, M; Ehrlén, J

    2013-01-01

    Many recent studies have explored the effects of present and past landscape structure on species distribution and diversity. However, we know little about the effects of past landscape structure on distribution of genetic diversity within and between populations of a single species. Here we describe the relationship between present and past landscape structure (landscape connectivity and habitat size estimated from historical maps) and current genetic structure in a perennial herb, Succisa pratensis. We used allozymes as co-dominant markers to estimate genetic diversity and deviation from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium in 31 populations distributed within a 5 km(2) agricultural landscape. The results showed that current genetic diversity of populations was related to habitat suitability, habitat age, habitat size and habitat connectivity in the past. The effects of habitat age and past connectivity on genetic diversity were in most cases also significant after taking the current landscape structure into account. Moreover, current genetic similarity between populations was affected by past connectivity after accounting for current landscape structure. In both cases, the oldest time layer (1850) was the most informative. Most populations showed heterozygote excess, indicating disequilibrium due to recent gene flow or selection against homozygotes. These results suggest that habitat age and past connectivity are important determinants of distribution of genetic diversity between populations at a scale of a few kilometres. Landscape history may significantly contribute to our understanding of distribution of current genetic structure within species and the genetic structure may be used to better understand landscape history, even at a small scale. © 2012 German Botanical Society and The Royal Botanical Society of the Netherlands.

  10. Habitat and hydrology: assessing biological resources of the Suwannee River Estuarine System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raabe, Ellen A.; Edwards, Randy E.; McIvor, Carole C.; Grubbs, Jack W.; Dennis, George D.

    2007-01-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey conducted a pilot integrated-science study during 2002 and 2003 to map, describe, and evaluate benthic and emergent habitats in the Suwannee River Estuary on the Gulf Coast of Florida. Categories of aquatic, emergent, and terrestrial habitats were determined from hyperspectral imagery and integrated with hydrologic data to identify estuarine fish habitats. Maps of intertidal and benthic habitat were derived from 12-band, 4-m resolution hyperspectral imagery acquired in September 2002. Hydrologic data were collected from tidal creeks during the winter of 2002-03 and the summer-fall of 2003. Fish were sampled from tidal creeks during March 2003 using rivulet nets, throw traps, and seine nets. Habitat characteristics, hydrologic data, and fish assemblages were compared for tidal creeks north and south of the Suwannee River. Tidal creeks north of the river had more shoreline edge and shallow habitat than creeks to the south. Tidal creeks south of the river were generally of lower salinity (fresher) and supported more freshwater marsh and submerged aquatic vegetation. The southern creeks tended to be deeper but less sinuous than the northern creeks. Water quality and inundation were evaluated with hydrologic monitoring in the creeks. In-situ gauges, recording pressure and temperature, documented a net discharge of brackish to saline groundwater into the tidal creeks with pronounced flow during low tide. Groundwater flow into the creeks was most prominent north of the river. Combined fish-sampling results showed an overall greater abundance of organisms and greater species richness in the southern creeks, nominally attributed a greater range in water quality. Fish samples were dominated by juvenile spot, grass shrimp, bay anchovy, and silverside. The short time frame for hydrologic monitoring and the one-time fish-sampling effort were insufficient for forming definitive conclusions. However, the combination of hyperspectral imagery and

  11. [Study on ecological suitability regionalization of Corni Fructus based on Maxent and ArcGIS model].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Fei; Chen, Sui-Qing; Wang, Li-Li; Zhang, Tao; Zhang, Xiao-Bo; Zhu, Shou-Dong

    2017-08-01

    Through planting regionalization the scientific basis for planting area of high-quality medicinal materials was predicted. Through interview investigation and field survey, the distribution information of Corni Fructus in China was collected,and 89 sampling point from 14 producing areas were collected. Climate and topography of Corni Fructus were analyzed, the ecological adaptability of study was conducted based on ArcGIS and Maxent. Different suitability grade at potential areas and regionalization map were formulated. There are nine ecological factors affecting the growth of Corni Fructus, for example precipitation in November and March and vegetation type. The results showed that the most suitable habitats are Henan, Shaanxi, Zhejiang, Chongqing, Hubei, Sichuan, Anhui, Hunan and Shandong province. Using the spatial analysis method,the study not only illustrates the most suitable for the surroundings of Corni Fructus,but also provides a scientific reference for wild resource tending, introduction and cultivation, and artificial planting base and directing production layout. Copyright© by the Chinese Pharmaceutical Association.

  12. Physical Land Suitability for Civet Arabica Coffee: Case Study of Bandung and West Bandung Regencies, Indonesia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chairani, E.; Supriatna, J.; Koestoer, R.; Moeliono, M.

    2017-12-01

    Indonesia has been widely known as the best Arabica coffee (Coffea arabica) producer, in terms of both aspects, quality and number of product. Currently, its production, however, declines to the 3rd rank internationally. Issues emerged in the coffee cultivation are: land unsuitability, low quality of seeds, and poor management. Among Arabica coffee types, wild civet coffee is the most expensive one and harvested from the coffee beans which have been digested naturally. The study aims to determine the physical suitability of land as well as the constraints related to land for civet Arabica coffee in selected study cases, e.g., Bandung and Bandung Barat. The research methods employ multi-criteria analysis, and combined with weighted overlaying techniques for mapping. The criteria include temperature, rainfall, humidity, duration of dry season, slope, altitude, type of soil, soil texture, and erosion potential. Parameters of civet (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus) are land use, altitude, and temperature. Local policy strongly supports the extensive management for land and the increase of coffee export. Processing data involved matching the comparison between guideline requirements for the land suitability classes, characteristics of Arabica coffee and civet habitat. The results covered the profile suitable land of the civet Arabica coffee in the study areas.

  13. Modeling Impacts of Climate Change on Giant Panda Habitat

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melissa Songer

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca are one of the most widely recognized endangered species globally. Habitat loss and fragmentation are the main threats, and climate change could significantly impact giant panda survival. We integrated giant panda habitat information with general climate models (GCMs to predict future geographic distribution and fragmentation of giant panda habitat. Results support a major general prediction of climate change—a shift of habitats towards higher elevation and higher latitudes. Our models predict climate change could reduce giant panda habitat by nearly 60% over 70 years. New areas may become suitable outside the current geographic range but much of these areas is far from the current giant panda range and only 15% fall within the current protected area system. Long-term survival of giant pandas will require the creation of new protected areas that are likely to support suitable habitat even if the climate changes.

  14. A Restoration Suitability Index Model for the Eastern Oyster (Crassostrea virginica) in the Mission-Aransas Estuary, TX, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beseres Pollack, Jennifer; Cleveland, Andrew; Palmer, Terence A.; Reisinger, Anthony S.; Montagna, Paul A.

    2012-01-01

    Oyster reefs are one of the most threatened marine habitats on earth, with habitat loss resulting from water quality degradation, coastal development, destructive fishing practices, overfishing, and storm impacts. For successful and sustainable oyster reef restoration efforts, it is necessary to choose sites that support long-term growth and survival of oysters. Selection of suitable sites is critically important as it can greatly influence mortality factors and may largely determine the ultimate success of the restoration project. The application of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) provides an effective methodology for identifying suitable sites for oyster reef restoration and removes much of the uncertainty involved in the sometimes trial and error selection process. This approach also provides an objective and quantitative tool for planning future oyster reef restoration efforts. The aim of this study was to develop a restoration suitability index model and reef quality index model to characterize locations based on their potential for successful reef restoration within the Mission-Aransas Estuary, Texas, USA. The restoration suitability index model focuses on salinity, temperature, turbidity, dissolved oxygen, and depth, while the reef quality index model focuses on abundance of live oysters, dead shell, and spat. Size-specific Perkinsus marinus infection levels were mapped to illustrate general disease trends. This application was effective in identifying suitable sites for oyster reef restoration, is flexible in its use, and provides a mechanism for considering alternative approaches. The end product is a practical decision-support tool that can be used by coastal resource managers to improve oyster restoration efforts. As oyster reef restoration activities continue at small and large-scales, site selection criteria are critical for assisting stakeholders and managers and for maximizing long-term sustainability of oyster resources. PMID:22792410

  15. Fish habitat regression under water scarcity scenarios in the Douro River basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Segurado, Pedro; Jauch, Eduardo; Neves, Ramiro; Ferreira, Teresa

    2015-04-01

    Climate change will predictably alter hydrological patterns and processes at the catchment scale, with impacts on habitat conditions for fish. The main goals of this study are to identify the stream reaches that will undergo more pronounced flow reduction under different climate change scenarios and to assess which fish species will be more affected by the consequent regression of suitable habitats. The interplay between changes in flow and temperature and the presence of transversal artificial obstacles (dams and weirs) is analysed. The results will contribute to river management and impact mitigation actions under climate change. This study was carried out in the Tâmega catchment of the Douro basin. A set of 29 Hydrological, climatic, and hydrogeomorphological variables were modelled using a water modelling system (MOHID), based on meteorological data recorded monthly between 2008 and 2014. The same variables were modelled considering future climate change scenarios. The resulting variables were used in empirical habitat models of a set of key species (brown trout Salmo trutta fario, barbell Barbus bocagei, and nase Pseudochondrostoma duriense) using boosted regression trees. The stream segments between tributaries were used as spatial sampling units. Models were developed for the whole Douro basin using 401 fish sampling sites, although the modelled probabilities of species occurrence for each stream segment were predicted only for the Tâmega catchment. These probabilities of occurrence were used to classify stream segments into suitable and unsuitable habitat for each fish species, considering the future climate change scenario. The stream reaches that were predicted to undergo longer flow interruptions were identified and crossed with the resulting predictive maps of habitat suitability to compute the total area of habitat loss per species. Among the target species, the brown trout was predicted to be the most sensitive to habitat regression due to the

  16. A smartphone app and analysis framework for rapidly characterizing and predicting shorebird habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thieler, E. R.; Zeigler, S. L.; Plant, N. G.; Gutierrez, B.; Winslow, L. A.; Hines, M. K.; Read, J. S.; Walker, J. I.

    2016-12-01

    We developed a smartphone application called iPlover as a distributed data collection system to gather synoptic observations of shorebird habitat selection preferences, and a Bayesian network that exploits the data to predict habitat suitability. We tested this approach to modeling habitat suitability for the federally listed piping plover (Charadrius melodus) on coastal beaches and barrier islands along 1500 km of coast from North Carolina to Maine, USA. Using agile software development approaches, the iPlover application was conceived, developed and deployed in just a few months following Hurricane Sandy in 2012. This application supported collaborative efforts of nearly 100 stakeholders, resulting in over 2000 data points describing piping plover habitat selection patterns. The data were analyzed in a Bayesian network to evaluate the probability that a specific combination of habitat variables is associated with a nesting site. Subsequent testing shows that iPlover data are robust to variability in user classification and that the Bayesian network has a high level of predictive accuracy. Our work addresses a variety of scientific problems in understanding and managing dynamic coastal landscapes for beach-dependent species that require biological and geological data that (1) span the range of relevant environments and habitats, (2) can be updated seasonally to interannually, and (3) capture spatial detail. It is difficult to acquire such data; the data often have limited focus due to resource constraints, can be challenging to coordinate between different regions, are collected by non-specialists, or lack observational uniformity. Furthermore, associated data analysis techniques are often limited in their ability to consider new information as data are collected from additional study sites and updated. We present examples of how this approach can be used to map past, present, and future habitat suitability for sites of interest. We also describe lessons learned

  17. Present and future potential habitat distribution of Carcharhinus falciformis and Canthidermis maculata by-catch species in the tropical tuna purse-seine fishery under climate change

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nerea eLezama Ochoa

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available By-catch species from tropical tuna purse seine fishery have been affected by fishery pressures since the last century; however, the habitat distribution and the climate change impacts on these species are poorly known. With the objective of predicting the potential suitable habitat for a shark (Carcharhinus falciformis and a teleost (Canthidermis maculata in the Indian, Atlantic and Eastern Pacific Oceans, a MaxEnt species distribution model (SDM was developed using data collected by observers in tuna purse seiners. The relative percentage of contribution of some environmental variables (depth, sea surface temperature, salinity and primary production and the potential impact of climate change on species habitat by the end of the century under the A2 scenario (scenario with average concentrations of carbon dioxide of 856 ppm by 2100 were also evaluated. Results showed that by-catch species can be correctly modelled using observed occurrence records and few environmental variables with SDM. Results from projected maps showed that the equatorial band and some coastal upwelling regions were the most suitable areas for both by-catch species in the three oceans in concordance with the main fishing grounds. Sea surface temperature was the most important environmental variable which contributed to explain the habitat distribution of the two species in the three oceans in general. Under climate change scenarios, the largest change in present habitat suitability is observed in the Atlantic Ocean (around 16% of the present habitat suitability area of Carcharhinus falciformis and Canthidermis maculata, respectively whereas the change is less in the Pacific (around 10% and 8% and Indian Oceans (around 3% and 2 %. In some regions such as Somalia, the Atlantic equatorial band or Peru’s coastal upwelling areas, these species could lose potential habitat whereas in the south of the equator in the Indian Ocean, the Benguela System and in the Pacific coast of

  18. Habitat quality influences population distribution, individual space use and functional responses in habitat selection by a large herbivore.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bjørneraas, Kari; Herfindal, Ivar; Solberg, Erling Johan; Sæther, Bernt-Erik; van Moorter, Bram; Rolandsen, Christer Moe

    2012-01-01

    Identifying factors shaping variation in resource selection is central for our understanding of the behaviour and distribution of animals. We examined summer habitat selection and space use by 108 Global Positioning System (GPS)-collared moose in Norway in relation to sex, reproductive status, habitat quality, and availability. Moose selected habitat types based on a combination of forage quality and availability of suitable habitat types. Selection of protective cover was strongest for reproducing females, likely reflecting the need to protect young. Males showed strong selection for habitat types with high quality forage, possibly due to higher energy requirements. Selection for preferred habitat types providing food and cover was a positive function of their availability within home ranges (i.e. not proportional use) indicating functional response in habitat selection. This relationship was not found for unproductive habitat types. Moreover, home ranges with high cover of unproductive habitat types were larger, and smaller home ranges contained higher proportions of the most preferred habitat type. The distribution of moose within the study area was partly related to the distribution of different habitat types. Our study shows how distribution and availability of habitat types providing cover and high-quality food shape ungulate habitat selection and space use.

  19. Global patterns of fragmentation and connectivity of mammalian carnivore habitat

    OpenAIRE

    Crooks, Kevin R.; Burdett, Christopher L.; Theobald, David M.; Rondinini, Carlo; Boitani, Luigi

    2011-01-01

    Although mammalian carnivores are vulnerable to habitat fragmentation and require landscape connectivity, their global patterns of fragmentation and connectivity have not been examined. We use recently developed high-resolution habitat suitability models to conduct comparative analyses and to identify global hotspots of fragmentation and connectivity for the world's terrestrial carnivores. Species with less fragmentation (i.e. more interior high-quality habitat) had larger geographical ranges...

  20. Niihau Benthic Habitats - Interactive Map Viewer

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This project was a cooperative effort among the National Ocean Service, National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, Center for Coastal Monitoring and Assessment; the...

  1. Kauai Benthic Habitats - Interactive Map Viewer

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This project was a cooperative effort among the National Ocean Service, National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, Center for Coastal Monitoring and Assessment; the...

  2. Hawaii Benthic Habitats - Interactive Map Viewer

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This project was a cooperative effort among the National Ocean Service, National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, Center for Coastal Monitoring and Assessment; the...

  3. Oahu Benthic Habitats - Interactive Map Viewer

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This project was a cooperative effort among the National Ocean Service, National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, Center for Coastal Monitoring and Assessment; the...

  4. Maui Benthic Habitats - Interactive Map Viewer

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This project was a cooperative effort among the National Ocean Service, National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, Center for Coastal Monitoring and Assessment; the...

  5. Molokai Benthic Habitats - Interactive Map Viewer

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This project was a cooperative effort among the National Ocean Service, National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, Center for Coastal Monitoring and Assessment; the...

  6. Identifying western yellow-billed cuckoo breeding habitat with a dual modelling approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Matthew J.; Hatten, James R.; Holmes, Jennifer A.; Shafroth, Patrick B.

    2017-01-01

    The western population of the yellow-billed cuckoo (Coccyzus americanus) was recently listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act. Yellow-billed cuckoo conservation efforts require the identification of features and area requirements associated with high quality, riparian forest habitat at spatial scales that range from nest microhabitat to landscape, as well as lower-suitability areas that can be enhanced or restored. Spatially explicit models inform conservation efforts by increasing ecological understanding of a target species, especially at landscape scales. Previous yellow-billed cuckoo modelling efforts derived plant-community maps from aerial photography, an expensive and oftentimes inconsistent approach. Satellite models can remotely map vegetation features (e.g., vegetation density, heterogeneity in vegetation density or structure) across large areas with near perfect repeatability, but they usually cannot identify plant communities. We used aerial photos and satellite imagery, and a hierarchical spatial scale approach, to identify yellow-billed cuckoo breeding habitat along the Lower Colorado River and its tributaries. Aerial-photo and satellite models identified several key features associated with yellow-billed cuckoo breeding locations: (1) a 4.5 ha core area of dense cottonwood-willow vegetation, (2) a large native, heterogeneously dense forest (72 ha) around the core area, and (3) moderately rough topography. The odds of yellow-billed cuckoo occurrence decreased rapidly as the amount of tamarisk cover increased or when cottonwood-willow vegetation was limited. We achieved model accuracies of 75–80% in the project area the following year after updating the imagery and location data. The two model types had very similar probability maps, largely predicting the same areas as high quality habitat. While each model provided unique information, a dual-modelling approach provided a more complete picture of yellow-billed cuckoo habitat

  7. Loss and modification of habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lemckert, Francis; Hecnar, Stephen; Pilliod, David S.; Wilkinson, John W.; Heatwole, Harold

    2012-01-01

    Amphibians live in a wide variety of habitats around the world, many of which have been modified or destroyed by human activities. Most species have unique life history characteristics adapted to specific climates, habitats (e.g., lentic, lotic, terrestrial, arboreal, fossorial, amphibious), and local conditions that provide suitable areas for reproduction, development and growth, shelter from environmental extremes, and predation, as well as connectivity to other populations or habitats. Although some species are entirely aquatic or terrestrial, most amphibians, as their name implies, lead a dual life and require a mosaic of habitats in both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. With over 6 billion people on Earth, most species are now persisting in habitats that have been directly or indirectly influenced by human activities. Some species have disappeared where their habitats have been completely destroyed, reduced, or rendered unsuitable. Habitat loss and degradation are widely considered by most researchers as the most important causes of amphibian population decline globally (Barinaga 1990; Wake and Morowitz 1991; Alford and Richards 1999). In this chapter, a background on the diverse habitat requirements of amphibians is provided, followed by a discussion of the effects of urbanization, agriculture, livestock grazing, timber production and harvesting, fire and hazardous fuel management, and roads on amphibians and their habitats. Also briefly discussed is the influence on amphibian habitats of natural disturbances, such as extreme weather events and climate change, given the potential for human activities to impact climate in the longer term. For amphibians in general, microhabitats are of greater importance than for other vertebrates. As ectotherms with a skin that is permeable to water and with naked gelatinous eggs, amphibians are physiologically constrained to be active during environmental conditions that provide appropriate body temperatures and adequate

  8. Habitat hydraulic models - a tool for Danish stream quality assessment?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Olsen, Martin

    and hydromorphological and chemical characteristics has to be enlightened (EUROPA, 2005). This study links catchment hydrology, stream discharge and physical habitat in a small Danish stream, the stream Ledreborg, and discusses the utility of habitat hydraulic models in relation to the present criteria and methods used......).  Hydromorphological conditions in the stream are measured through field study, using a habitat mapping approach and modelled using a habitat hydraulic model (RHYHABSIM). Using RHYHABSIM and both "site-specific" and general HSI's, Weighted Usable Area (WUA) for the trout population at different discharges is assessed...... and differences between simulated WUA using "site-specific" and general habitat preferences are discussed. In RHYHABSIM it is possible to use two different approaches to investigate the hydromorphological conditions in a river, the habitat mapping approach used in this project and the representative reach...

  9. Scale dependence in habitat selection: The case of the endangered brown bear (Ursus arctos) in the Cantabrian Range (NW Spain)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maria C. Mateo Sanchez; Samuel A. Cushman; Santiago Saura

    2013-01-01

    Animals select habitat resources at multiple spatial scales. Thus, explicit attention to scale dependency in species-habitat relationships is critical to understand the habitat suitability patterns as perceived by organisms in complex landscapes. Identification of the scales at which particular environmental variables influence habitat selection may be as important as...

  10. Spatially explicit modeling of annual and seasonal habitat for greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) in Nevada and Northeastern California—An updated decision-support tool for management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coates, Peter S.; Casazza, Michael L.; Brussee, Brianne E.; Ricca, Mark A.; Gustafson, K. Benjamin; Sanchez-Chopitea, Erika; Mauch, Kimberly; Niell, Lara; Gardner, Scott; Espinosa, Shawn; Delehanty, David J.

    2016-05-20

    Successful adaptive management hinges largely upon integrating new and improved sources of information as they become available. As a timely example of this tenet, we updated a management decision support tool that was previously developed for greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus, hereinafter referred to as “sage-grouse”) populations in Nevada and California. Specifically, recently developed spatially explicit habitat maps derived from empirical data played a key role in the conservation of this species facing listing under the Endangered Species Act. This report provides an updated process for mapping relative habitat suitability and management categories for sage-grouse in Nevada and northeastern California (Coates and others, 2014, 2016). These updates include: (1) adding radio and GPS telemetry locations from sage-grouse monitored at multiple sites during 2014 to the original location dataset beginning in 1998; (2) integrating output from high resolution maps (1–2 m2) of sagebrush and pinyon-juniper cover as covariates in resource selection models; (3) modifying the spatial extent of the analyses to match newly available vegetation layers; (4) explicit modeling of relative habitat suitability during three seasons (spring, summer, winter) that corresponded to critical life history periods for sage-grouse (breeding, brood-rearing, over-wintering); (5) accounting for differences in habitat availability between more mesic sagebrush steppe communities in the northern part of the study area and drier Great Basin sagebrush in more southerly regions by categorizing continuous region-wide surfaces of habitat suitability index (HSI) with independent locations falling within two hydrological zones; (6) integrating the three seasonal maps into a composite map of annual relative habitat suitability; (7) deriving updated land management categories based on previously determined cut-points for intersections of habitat suitability and an updated index of sage

  11. Habitat features and predictive habitat modeling for the Colorado chipmunk in southern New Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rivieccio, M.; Thompson, B.C.; Gould, W.R.; Boykin, K.G.

    2003-01-01

    Two subspecies of Colorado chipmunk (state threatened and federal species of concern) occur in southern New Mexico: Tamias quadrivittatus australis in the Organ Mountains and T. q. oscuraensis in the Oscura Mountains. We developed a GIS model of potentially suitable habitat based on vegetation and elevation features, evaluated site classifications of the GIS model, and determined vegetation and terrain features associated with chipmunk occurrence. We compared GIS model classifications with actual vegetation and elevation features measured at 37 sites. At 60 sites we measured 18 habitat variables regarding slope, aspect, tree species, shrub species, and ground cover. We used logistic regression to analyze habitat variables associated with chipmunk presence/absence. All (100%) 37 sample sites (28 predicted suitable, 9 predicted unsuitable) were classified correctly by the GIS model regarding elevation and vegetation. For 28 sites predicted suitable by the GIS model, 18 sites (64%) appeared visually suitable based on habitat variables selected from logistic regression analyses, of which 10 sites (36%) were specifically predicted as suitable habitat via logistic regression. We detected chipmunks at 70% of sites deemed suitable via the logistic regression models. Shrub cover, tree density, plant proximity, presence of logs, and presence of rock outcrop were retained in the logistic model for the Oscura Mountains; litter, shrub cover, and grass cover were retained in the logistic model for the Organ Mountains. Evaluation of predictive models illustrates the need for multi-stage analyses to best judge performance. Microhabitat analyses indicate prospective needs for different management strategies between the subspecies. Sensitivities of each population of the Colorado chipmunk to natural and prescribed fire suggest that partial burnings of areas inhabited by Colorado chipmunks in southern New Mexico may be beneficial. These partial burnings may later help avoid a fire

  12. Coastal Critical Habitat Designations

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Endangered Species Act (ESA) requires the Federal government to designate critical habitat, areas of habitat essential to the species' conservation, for ESA...

  13. California Condor Critical Habitat

    Data.gov (United States)

    California Natural Resource Agency — These Data identify (in general) the areas where critical habitat for the California Condor occur. Critical habitat for the species consists of the following 10...

  14. Indicators: Physical Habitat Complexity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Physical habitat complexity measures the amount and variety of all types of cove at the water’s edge in lakes. In general, dense and varied shoreline habitat is able to support more diverse communities of aquatic life.

  15. Mapping spatial and temporal variation of stream water temperature in the upper Esopus Creek watershed

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chien, H.; McGlinn, L.

    2017-12-01

    The upper Esopus Creek and its tributary streams located in the Catskill Mountain region of New York State provide habitats for cold-adapted aquatic species. However, ongoing global warming may change the stream water temperature within a watershed and disturb the persistence of coldwater habitats. Characterizing thermal regimes within the upper Esopus Creek watershed is important to provide information of thermally suitable habitats for aquatic species. The objectives of this study are to measure stream water temperature and map thermal variability among tributaries to the Esopus Creek and within Esopus Creek. These objectives will be achieved by measuring stream water temperature for at least two years. More than 100 water temperature data loggers have been placed in the upper Esopus Creek and their tributaries to collect 30-minute interval water temperatures. With the measured water temperature, we will use spatial interpolation in ArcGIS to create weekly and monthly water temperature surface maps to evaluate the thermal variation over time and space within the upper Esopus Creek watershed. We will characterize responsiveness of water temperature in tributary streams to air temperature as well. This information of spatial and temporal variation of stream water temperature will assist stream managers with prioritizing management practices that maintain or enhance connectivity of thermally suitable habitats in high priority areas.

  16. An evaluation of the use of ERTS-1 satellite imagery for grizzly bear habitat analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Varney, J. R.; Craighead, J. J.; Sumner, J.

    1973-01-01

    Multispectral scanner images taken by the ERTS-1 satellite in August and October, 1972, were examined to determine if they would be useful in identifying and mapping favorable habitat for grizzly bears. It was possible to identify areas having a suitable mixture of alpine meadow and timber, and to eliminate those which did not meet the isolation requirements of grizzlies because of farming or grazing activity. High altitude timbered areas mapped from satellite imagery agreed reasonably well with the distribution of whitebark pine, an important food species. Analysis of satellite imagery appears to be a valuable supplement to present ground observation methods, since it allows the most important areas to be identified for intensive study and many others to be eliminated from consideration. A sampling plan can be developed from such data which will minimize field effort and overall program cost.

  17. Shallow-Water Benthic Habitats of Southwest Puerto Rico

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Shallow-water (<30m) benthic habitat maps of the nearshore marine environment of two areas in Southwest Puerto Rico (PR), including the Guanica Bay/La Parguera...

  18. NEFSC Benthic