Unoccupied aerial vehicles as a tool to map lizard operative temperature in tropical environments

Emma A. Higgins, Doreen S. Boyd*, Tom W. Brown, Sarah C. Owen, Geertje M.F. Van der Heijden, Adam C. Algar

*Awdur cyfatebol y gwaith hwn

Allbwn ymchwil: Cyfraniad at gyfnodolynErthygladolygiad gan gymheiriaid

9 Wedi eu Llwytho i Lawr (Pure)

Crynodeb

To understand how ectotherms will respond to warming temperatures, we require information on thermal habitat quality at spatial resolutions and extents relevant to the organism. Measuring thermal habitat quality is either limited to small spatial extents, such as with ground-based 3D operative temperature (Te) replicas, representing the temperature of the animal at equilibrium with its environment, or is based on microclimate derived from physical models that use land cover variables and downscale coarse climate data. We draw on aspects of both these approaches and test the ability of unoccupied aerial vehicle (UAV) data (optical RGB) to predict fine-scale heterogeneity in sub-canopy lizard (Anolis bicaorum) Te in tropical forest using random forest models. Anolis bicaorum is an endemic, critically endangered, species, facing significant threats of habitat loss and degradation, and work was conducted as part of a larger project. Our findings indicate that a model incorporating solely air temperature, measured at the centre of the 20 × 20 m plot, and ground-based leaf area index (LAI) measurements, measured at directly above the 3D replica, predicted Te well. However, a model with air temperature and UAV-derived canopy metrics performed slightly better with the added advantage of enabling the mapping of Te with continuous spatial extent at high spatial resolutions, across the whole of the UAV orthomosaic, allowing us to capture and map Te across the whole of the survey plot, rather than purely at 3D replica locations. Our work provides a feasible workflow to map sub-canopy lizard Te in tropical environments at spatial scales relevant to the organism, and across continuous areas. This can be applied to other species and can represent species within the same community that have evolved a similar thermal niche. Such methods will be imperative in risk modelling of such species to anthropogenic land cover and climate change.
Iaith wreiddiolSaesneg
Rhif yr erthygl393
Nifer y tudalennau13
CyfnodolynRemote Sensing in Ecology and Conservation
Dyddiad ar-lein cynnar25 Ebr 2024
Dynodwyr Gwrthrych Digidol (DOIs)
StatwsE-gyhoeddi cyn argraffu - 25 Ebr 2024

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