Remote sensing tools to improve species distribution models for birds in Alberta

Evaluating the benefits of using finer-scale LiDAR-derived vegetation metrics in species distribution models

Project Summary

Brendan Casey (PhD Student with Erin Bayne at the University of Alberta) is evaluating the use of finer-scale LiDAR-derived vegetation metrics in species distribution models, compared to the more common remotely sensed forest attributes included in Forest Resource Inventories. He is also evaluating how the time lag between LiDAR acquisition and survey date effects model robustness for songbirds belonging to different forested habitat guilds. LiDAR metrics related to canopy closure, vegetation height, and vertical vegetation density, were combined with data from the Common Attribute Schema for Forest Resource Inventories (CASFRI) and wet areas mapping products to build preliminary species distribution models for Canada Warbler. 

Project Partners

This project is a collaboration with the Alberta Department of Agriculture and Forestry. For more information please contact us.