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Movement Ecology

, 4:26

First Online: 18 November 2016Received: 02 May 2016Accepted: 04 November 2016


BackgroundThe use of light level loggers geolocators to understand movements and distributions in terrestrial and marine vertebrates, particularly during the non-breeding period, has increased dramatically in recent years. However, inferring positions from light data is not straightforward, often relies on assumptions that are difficult to test, or includes an element of subjectivity.

ResultsWe present an intuitive framework to compute locations from twilight events collected by geolocators from different manufacturers. The procedure uses an iterative forward step selection, weighting each possible position using a set of parameters that can be specifically selected for each analysis.

The approach was tested on data from two wide-ranging seabird species - black-browed albatross Thalassarche melanophris and wandering albatross Diomedea exulans – tracked at Bird Island, South Georgia, during the two most contrasting periods of the year in terms of light regimes solstice and equinox. Using additional information on travel speed, sea surface temperature and land avoidance, our approach was considerably more accurate than the traditional threshold method errors reduced to medians of 185 km and 145 km for solstice and equinox periods, respectively.

ConclusionsThe algorithm computes stable results with uncertainty estimates, including around the equinoxes, and does not require calibration of solar angles. Accuracy can be increased by assimilating information on travel speed and behaviour, as well as environmental data. This framework is available through the open source R package probGLS, and can be applied in a wide range of biologging studies.

KeywordsAnimal tracking Global Location Sensors GLS Method assessment Sea surface temperature Probability sampling probGLS Threshold method AbbreviationsGLSglobal location sensor

GPSglobal positioning system

SSMstate space model

SSTsea surface temperature

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-s40462-016-0091-8 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Autor: Benjamin Merkel - Richard A. Phillips - Sébastien Descamps - Nigel G. Yoccoz - Børge Moe - Hallvard Strøm

Fuente: https://link.springer.com/

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