Measuring changes to sea
turtle nesting beaches and
their effects on nesting
success using LiDAR data

Kristina Yamamoto, ...
Current Knowledge/Limitations
• Green turtles – like vegetation
• Leatherbacks and loggerheads – do not like
vegetation
• ...
LiDAR Background
pitch
roll

z

y
x

yaw

z

y
x

• Laser signals sent
as pulses from
typically in the
ultraviolet (UV),
v...
LiDAR Cloud

http://www.pobonline.com/POB/Home/Images/pob1009_woolpert03_LiDAR_Point.jpg
Study Species: Loggerhead
• Caretta caretta
• Big head

http://www.supergreenme.com/data/images/27/500x333_Loggerhead_Sea_...
Study Species: Green
• Chelonia mydas
• Soup turtle

http://greatescapetravel.com/
Study Species: Leatherback
• Dermochelys
coriacea
• Half the size of a
VW beetle

http://fwie.fw.vt.edu/VHS/reptiles/turtl...
Study Area

One of the largest loggerhead rookeries in the world, one of the largest
green turtle nesting areas in the Atl...
Study Data
Name

Dates

LiDAR topo: Airborne Topographic Mapper
(ATM) II

1999

LIDAR topo/bathy: Joint Airborne LiDAR
Bat...
Current Knowledge/Limitations
• Green turtles – like vegetation
• Leatherbacks and loggerheads – do not like
vegetation
• ...
Methods
• 1999, 2004, and 2006 LiDAR data compared
• How do sea turtle nesting beaches change
over time?
• How does this a...
Methods
Variables to be Compared Between Beaches
Volume
Elevation
Slope
Beach length, width, area
Orientation
Aspect
Surfa...
Change to Beach Variables
• How does the volume of beaches change over
time?
• Is there a geographic or morphologic patter...
Results: Changes to Beach Variables
Beach
Boca Raton Beaches
Deerfield/Hillsboro Beaches
Delray Beach
Ft Lauderdale Beach
...
2: Beach Change over Time

Change to Beach Variables
Is the difference in the amount of sand present
in a beach related to...
2: Beach Change over Time

Results: Changes to Beach Variables
• Weak correlations to change in volume with
change in othe...
2: Beach Change over Time

Results: Changes to Beach Variables
• For minimum elevation, 90% of the beaches
decreased their...
2: Beach Change over Time

Change to Beach Variables
How do changes to beach morphology affect
nesting success?

1999

200...
2: Beach Change over Time

Results: Change in nesting success
Caretta caretta
Variable

R2

Change in minimum elevation

V...
2: Beach Change over Time

Conclusion
• Broad generalizations about the effects of
beach volume changes to a beach’s
morph...
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2013 GISCO Track, Measuring Changes to Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches and Their Effects on Nesting Success Using LiDAR Data by Kristina Yamamoto

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2013 GISCO Track, Measuring Changes to Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches and Their Effects on Nesting Success Using LiDAR Data by Kristina Yamamoto

  1. 1. Measuring changes to sea turtle nesting beaches and their effects on nesting success using LiDAR data Kristina Yamamoto, PhD http://surfspots-gps.com
  2. 2. Current Knowledge/Limitations • Green turtles – like vegetation • Leatherbacks and loggerheads – do not like vegetation • Multiple beaches – rarity • Beach as a whole – rarity • Morphological features – rare • Studies over time - rare
  3. 3. LiDAR Background pitch roll z y x yaw z y x • Laser signals sent as pulses from typically in the ultraviolet (UV), visible, and near infrared (NIR)
  4. 4. LiDAR Cloud http://www.pobonline.com/POB/Home/Images/pob1009_woolpert03_LiDAR_Point.jpg
  5. 5. Study Species: Loggerhead • Caretta caretta • Big head http://www.supergreenme.com/data/images/27/500x333_Loggerhead_Sea_Turtle-Georgia-Aquarium.jpg /
  6. 6. Study Species: Green • Chelonia mydas • Soup turtle http://greatescapetravel.com/
  7. 7. Study Species: Leatherback • Dermochelys coriacea • Half the size of a VW beetle http://fwie.fw.vt.edu/VHS/reptiles/turtles/leatherback-sea-turtle/leatherback-seaturtle2.jpg/
  8. 8. Study Area One of the largest loggerhead rookeries in the world, one of the largest green turtle nesting areas in the Atlantic ,and the only continuously used nesting area in the continental United States for leatherbacks
  9. 9. Study Data Name Dates LiDAR topo: Airborne Topographic Mapper (ATM) II 1999 LIDAR topo/bathy: Joint Airborne LiDAR Bathymetry Technical Center of Expertise (JALBTX) using the Compact Hydrographic Airborne Rapid Total Survey (CHARTS) system 2004, 2006 Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission nesting data 1999-2008
  10. 10. Current Knowledge/Limitations • Green turtles – like vegetation • Leatherbacks and loggerheads – do not like vegetation • Multiple beaches – rarity • Beach as a whole – rarity • Morphological features – rare • Studies over time - rare
  11. 11. Methods • 1999, 2004, and 2006 LiDAR data compared • How do sea turtle nesting beaches change over time? • How does this affect sea turtle nesting success? 1999 2004 2006
  12. 12. Methods Variables to be Compared Between Beaches Volume Elevation Slope Beach length, width, area Orientation Aspect Surface roughness Pixel position
  13. 13. Change to Beach Variables • How does the volume of beaches change over time? • Is there a geographic or morphologic pattern? 1999 2004 2006
  14. 14. Results: Changes to Beach Variables Beach Boca Raton Beaches Deerfield/Hillsboro Beaches Delray Beach Ft Lauderdale Beach Golden Beach Gulfstream Gulfstream Park Hollywood/Hallandale Beach John U. Lloyd Beach State Park Kreusler Park Lake Worth Municipal Beach Lantana Macarthur State Park Ocean Inlet Park Ocean Reef Park Pompano/Lauderdale-by-the-Sea Singer Island Sloan's Curve 1999 Volume 0.656 0.654 0.607 0.988 0.143 0.101 0.005 0.626 0.268 0.040 0.022 0.009 0.134 0.025 0.001 1.418 0.102 0.040 2004 Volume 0.813 0.660 0.615 1.193 0.170 0.099 0.006 0.743 0.275 0.035 0.022 0.010 0.199 0.035 0.001 1.934 0.108 0.053 2006 Volume 0.881 0.035 0.708 1.006 0.146 0.136 0.006 0.411 0.284 0.025 0.021 0.007 0.265 0.038 0.011 1.916 0.213 0.079 • No geographic pattern or orientation correlation with beach change in volume
  15. 15. 2: Beach Change over Time Change to Beach Variables Is the difference in the amount of sand present in a beach related to change in other beach characteristics? 1999 2004 2006
  16. 16. 2: Beach Change over Time Results: Changes to Beach Variables • Weak correlations to change in volume with change in other variables Variable Change in minimum elevation Change in maximum elevation Change in maximum slope Change in average slope Change in minimum TPI Change in maximum TPI Change in standard deviation of TPI Change in standard deviation of rugosity R2 Variable coefficient 0.31 -88940.26 0.18 44982.07 0.21 8490.37 0.13 33350.83 0.22 -113775.60 0.20 55026.90 0.15 183321.30 0.16 3058584.90
  17. 17. 2: Beach Change over Time Results: Changes to Beach Variables • For minimum elevation, 90% of the beaches decreased their minimum elevation between 1999 and 2004 • 83% gained between 2004 and 2005 • Similar trends seen for standard deviation of elevation, maximum slope, and minimum and standard deviation of TPI
  18. 18. 2: Beach Change over Time Change to Beach Variables How do changes to beach morphology affect nesting success? 1999 2004 2006
  19. 19. 2: Beach Change over Time Results: Change in nesting success Caretta caretta Variable R2 Change in minimum elevation Variable coefficient Change in maximum slope 0.184 0.158 7.435 -0.809 Change in minimum TPI 0.113 8.919 Change in maximum TPI 0.229 6.400 Chelonia mydas Variable Change in mean TPI R2 Variable coefficient 0.210 645.121
  20. 20. 2: Beach Change over Time Conclusion • Broad generalizations about the effects of beach volume changes to a beach’s morphology cannot be made for this study area – beaches act as individuals • Nesting success for Chelonia mydas and Caretta caretta were not wholly affected by the observed changes to their nesting beaches

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