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Michigan Tech Research Institute


The Arctic-Boreal zone (ABZ) covers over 26 million km2 and is home to numerous duck species; however, understanding the spatiotemporal distribution of their populations across this vast landscape is challenging, in part due to extent and data scarcity. Species abundance models for ducks in the ABZ commonly use static (time invariant) habitat covariates to inform predictions, such as wetland type and extent maps. For the first time in this region, we developed species abundance models using high-resolution, time-varying wetland inundation data produced using satellite remote sensing methods. This data captured metrics of surface water extent and inundated vegetation in the Peace Athabasca Delta, Canada, which is within the NASA Arctic Boreal Vulnerability Experiment core domain. We used generalized additive mixed models to demonstrate the improved predictive value of this novel data set over time-invariant data. Our findings highlight both the potential complementarity and efficacy of dynamic wetland inundation information for improving estimation of duck abundance and distribution at high latitudes. Further, these data can be an asset to spatial targeting of biodiversity conservation efforts and developing model-based metrics of their success under rapidly changing climatic conditions.

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Remote Sensing

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


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