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Multi-Level, Multi-Scale Modeling and Predictive Mapping for Jaguars in the Brazilian Pantanal

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Document pages: 21 pages

Abstract: Multi-level multi-scale resource selection models using machine learning were compared and contrasted for generating predictive maps of jaguar habitat (Panthera onca) in the Brazilian Pantanal. Multiple spatial scales and temporal movement levels were run within several analytical modeling frameworks for comparison. Included in the analysis were multi-scale raster grains (30 m, 90 m, 180 m, 360 m, 720 m, 1440 m) and GPS collaring temporal movement levels (point, path, and step). Various analytical methods were used for comparison of models that could accommodate data structural levels (group, individual, case-control). Models compared included conditional logistic regression, generalized additive modeling (GAM), and classification regression trees, such as random forests (RF) and gradient boosted regression tree (GBM). The goals of the study were to discuss the potential and limitations for machine learning methods using GPS collaring data to produce predictive habitat suitability mapping using the various scales and levels available. Results indicated that choosing the appropriate temporal level and raster scale improved model outputs. Overall, larger level analytical modeling frameworks and those that used multi-scale raster grains showed the best model evaluation with the inherent condition that they predict a broader scale and subset of data. The identification of the appropriate spatial scale, temporal scale and statistical model need careful consideration in predictive mapping efforts.

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