Monitoring dynamic spatio-temporal ecological processes optimally

By: , and 



Population dynamics vary in space and time. Survey designs that ignore these dynamics may be inefficient and fail to capture essential spatio‐temporal variability of a process. Alternatively, dynamic survey designs explicitly incorporate knowledge of ecological processes, the associated uncertainty in those processes, and can be optimized with respect to monitoring objectives. We describe a cohesive framework for monitoring a spreading population that explicitly links animal movement models with survey design and monitoring objectives. We apply the framework to develop an optimal survey design for sea otters in Glacier Bay. Sea otters were first detected in Glacier Bay in 1988 and have since increased in both abundance and distribution; abundance estimates increased from 5 otters to >5,000 otters, and they have spread faster than 2.7 km/yr. By explicitly linking animal movement models and survey design, we are able to reduce uncertainty associated with forecasting occupancy, abundance, and distribution compared to other potential random designs. The framework we describe is general, and we outline steps to applying it to novel systems and taxa.

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Monitoring dynamic spatio-temporal ecological processes optimally
Series title Ecology
Subseries Concepts & Synthesis
DOI 10.1002/ecy.2120
Volume 99
Issue 3
Year Published 2018
Language English
Publisher Ecological Society of America
Contributing office(s) Coop Res Unit Seattle
Description 12 p.
First page 524
Last page 535
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