The application of the virtual ecologist approach to evaluating the effects of uncertainty in plot based monitoring schemes due to landscape spatial and temporal heterogeneity

Lechner, Alex, Clarke, Daniel, Weatherley, Dion, Fletcher, Andrew, Erskine, Peter and Comber, Alexis (2012). The application of the virtual ecologist approach to evaluating the effects of uncertainty in plot based monitoring schemes due to landscape spatial and temporal heterogeneity. In: R. Seppelt, A. A. Voinov, S. Lange and D. Bankamp, Proceedings of the sixth biannial meeting of the International Environmental Modelling and Software Society. 6th International Congress on Environmental Modelling and Software (iEMSs 2012), Leipzig, Germany, (942-949). 1 - 5 July 2012.

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Author Lechner, Alex
Clarke, Daniel
Weatherley, Dion
Fletcher, Andrew
Erskine, Peter
Comber, Alexis
Title of paper The application of the virtual ecologist approach to evaluating the effects of uncertainty in plot based monitoring schemes due to landscape spatial and temporal heterogeneity
Conference name 6th International Congress on Environmental Modelling and Software (iEMSs 2012)
Conference location Leipzig, Germany
Conference dates 1 - 5 July 2012
Proceedings title Proceedings of the sixth biannial meeting of the International Environmental Modelling and Software Society
Place of Publication Leipzig, Germany
Publisher International Environmental Modelling and Software Society
Publication Year 2012
Sub-type Fully published paper
ISBN 9788890357428
Editor R. Seppelt
A. A. Voinov
S. Lange
D. Bankamp
Start page 942
End page 949
Total pages 8
Collection year 2013
Language eng
Abstract/Summary Monitoring programs that can detect changes in ecosystem condition are critical to assessing the success of rehabilitation and detecting negative anthropogenic impacts from activities such as mining. However, vegetation communities vary considerably and may exhibit short-term condition changes that mask long-term trends. This paper describes the development of a virtual ecologist (VE) landscape and observation simulation model for time-series data (VELOS_t). VELOS_t can be used to quantify the relationship between vegetation temporal and spatial variability, measurement uncertainty and sampling design to evaluate the robustness of a particular monitoring strategy. The model has four components: i) a landscape model that uses synthetic data to describe vegetation condition; ii) a natural variation model; iii) an environmental impact model and iv) a sampling model to describe plot-based monitoring schemes. The VE model allows users to estimate the expected performance of a range of sampling designs a priori and thus estimate detection sensitivity. Using simulated vegetation data, the model assesses whether statistical analyses can distinguish patterns of vegetation abundance from the effects of the observation of these patterns. Furthermore, the VE approach is a useful in testing the uncertainty sources such as imprecise measurement of vegetation cover are easily modelled using the VE approach in comparison to analytical approaches. This paper introduces the virtual ecologist model and provides a simple example of its use to assess the robustness of monitoring scheme design for long-term trend analysis.
Keyword Virtual ecologist
Monitoring
Simulation modelling
Synthetic landscapes
Q-Index Code E1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Conference theme - Managing Resources of a Limited Planet: Pathways and Visions under Uncertainty

 
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Created: Sun, 22 Jul 2012, 18:11:47 EST by Mr Alex Lechner on behalf of Centre For Mined Land Rehabilitation