Effects of industrial sectors on species abundance in Alberta

November 05, 2016 Etc monitoring ABMI footprint species biodiversity sector effects

Transformation of native habitat by human activity is the main cause of global biodiversity loss. Humans have visibly transformed 27% of Alberta to date. The effects of these changes depend on the species, and the nature and extent of the human activities in question. Teasing apart these factors in a cumulative effects framework are of the focus of several initiatives and organizations in Alberta. The Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute (ABMI) collects data and produces information that helps attributing the effects of human activities on species to different industrial sectors, or as we call them, sector effects.

Science Letter cover

The latest issue of the ABMI Science Letters, Effects of Industrial Sectors on Species Abundance in Alberta, presents sector effect estimates take into account not only the amount of footprint, but also what habitat types the sector’s footprint impacts the most. These estimates thus provide tools for exploring alternative management options in land-use planning.

The document shows the example of the Boreal Chickadee from northern Alberta to illustrate how various types of industrial development influence a species. Forestry had the largest effect on Chickadee relative abundance, followed by energy and agriculture. Information on other species are freely available at species.abmi.ca, can help managers understand how activities by each industrial sector affect habitat suitability for many species.

Statistical computing meets biodiversity conservation and natural resource management

Phylogeny and species traits predict bird detectability

It all started with this paper in Methods in Ecol. Evol. where we looked at detectability of many species. So we wanted to use life history traits to validate our results. But we had to cut the manuscript, and there was this leftover with some neat patterns, but without much focus. It took a few years, and the most positive peer-review experience ever, and the paper is now early view in Ecography. This post is a quick summary of the goodies stuffed inside the lhreg R package that makes the whole analysis reproducible, and provides some functions for similar PGLMM models.

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