A Spatially Explicit Habitat Model for the King Rail, Rallus Elegans, in Agricultural Wetlands

95th Ecological Society of America (ESA) Annual Meeting, Pittsburgh, PA, 01-06 August 2010

Bradley A. Pickens

“Background/Question/Methods: The southwest Louisiana rice agricultural region is critical for millions of wintering, migratory, and breeding waterbirds. Wetland birds of concern include a variety of secretive marsh birds, wading birds, shorebirds, wintering and breeding ducks, and cranes. Land use conversions and invasive species threaten wetland birds by reducing available rice habitat in the region. Yet, priority areas for wetland bird conservation have not been identified, and the spatial pattern of habitat variables on the landscape was also unknown. Our objective was to develop a spatially explicit habitat suitability model for the king rail, Rallus elegans, a secretive marsh bird of high conservation concern. We used geographic information systems (GIS) and readily available GIS data to build a habitat model to identify priority king rail habitat and to identify potential threats to the bird in southwest Louisiana. The habitat model was derived from GIS data layers of ditches/streams, rice density, and canopy cover. Canopy cover and ditches were previously found to be associated with king rails at a localized spatial scale, however our broad-scale spatial analysis included these variables measured within a 1-km radius of each cell.

“Results/Conclusions: We developed an empirical model based on presence/absence data obtained from call-back bird surveys in rice fields from 2007-2009. We used 50% of the data as training data for a logistic regression habitat model and used the other 50% of the data to validate the model. The analysis was conducted by using a receiver operating characteristic (ROC) statistic, and the results showed the model successfully distinguished the presence and absence of king rails on the landscape. The combination of canopy cover and ditches measured at a 1-km scale were important in predicting king rail presence/absence. The results also emphasized the importance of the southern parishes in southwest Louisiana for supporting a large king rail population. Recently, these parishes have been rapidly losing rice fields due to salt water intrusion and invasive woody species, posing a substantial threat to king rails in the region. This regional landscape approach can inform land use decisions and conservation programs in the region.”

Spatially Enabling Australia – The Next Decade

International Journal of Digital Earth, Volume 3, Issue 1 March 2010 , pages 91 – 107

Peter Woodgate

“A strategy for the development of the Australian spatial information industry called ‘Spatially Enabling Australia’ has recently been developed by the Cooperative Research Centre for Spatial Information. It comprises three fundamental research programs and an integrated applications program. Research Program 1, ‘Positioning,’ underpins a full framework of continuous operating reference stations to ultimately enable all of continental Australia to be capable of real-time precise positioning services based on global navigation satellite systems. Research Program 2, ‘Automated Spatial Information Generation,’ addresses complex processing of multiple remote sensing sources. Research Program 3, ‘Spatial Infrastructures,’ helps form the foundation for development of an Australian Spatial Marketplace that will make accessible vast amounts of government held data under a new licensing and access regime which supports combination with user-generated content from the mass market. The three core programs are integrated with Program 4, ‘Applications,’ to support users from the Health, Defense and Security, Energy and Utilities, Urban Development, and Agriculture-Natural Resources-Climate Change sectors. Program 4 drives outputs from the three core research programs in sector-specific deployments for high impact. This will see a rapid acceleration of the use and value adding of information products and services that utilize spatial information. There are considerable research and development challenges that must be met in order to achieve the strategic outcomes.”

Spatio-temporal Analysis of Precipitation and Temperature Distribution over Turkey


P. A. Bostan and Z. Akyürek

“In this study, mean annual precipitation and temperature values observed at 225 meteorological observations over Turkey are used to disclose spatial distribution of mean annual precipitation and temperature values. Data components were obtained from the Turkish State Meteorological Service for 34 years period (1970-2003). The basic objectives of the study are: to infer the nature of spatial variation of precipitation and temperature over Turkey based on meteorological observations and to model the pattern of variability of these data components by using secondary variables extracted from SRTM and river network. Modeling the spatial distribution of data sets is implemented with Co-kriging (COK), Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) and Geographically Weighted Regression (GWR) techniques with using secondary variables such as elevation, aspect, distance to river, roughness, drop (elevation differences between station and grid), sdgrid (standard deviation of 5*5 km grid), and plan-profile curvature. Correlations among the listed variables were analyzed and highly correlated ones were removed from the analysis. The study found a presence of high spatial non-stationary in the strength of relationships and regression parameters. The co-kriging interpolation method gave strong relationship for temperature (r2= 0.823) but comparatively weak relationship for precipitation (r2= 0.542). OLS method resulted with lower relationships for temperature (r2= 0.68) and for precipitation (r2= 0.3). The highest adjusted r2 values were obtained with GWR method; 0.96 for temperature and 0.66 for precipitation.”