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      Empirical analysis and modeling of Argos Doppler location errors in Romania

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          Abstract

          Background

          Advances in wildlife tracking technology have allowed researchers to understand the spatial ecology of many terrestrial and aquatic animal species. Argos Doppler is a technology that is widely used for wildlife tracking owing to the small size and low weight of the Argos transmitters. This allows them to be fitted to small-bodied species. The longer lifespan of the Argos units in comparison to units outfitted with miniaturized global positioning system (GPS) technology has also recommended their use. In practice, large Argos location errors often occur due to communication conditions such as transmitter settings, local environment, and the behavior of the tracked individual.

          Methods

          Considering the geographic specificity of errors and the lack of benchmark studies in Eastern Europe, the research objectives were: (1) to evaluate the accuracy of Argos Doppler technology under various environmental conditions in Romania, (2) to investigate the effectiveness of straightforward destructive filters for improving Argos Doppler data quality, and (3) to provide guidelines for processing Argos Doppler wildlife monitoring data. The errors associated with Argos locations in four geographic locations in Romania were assessed during static, low-speed and high-speed tests. The effectiveness of the Douglas Argos distance angle filter algorithm was then evaluated to ascertain its effect on the minimization of localization errors.

          Results

          Argos locations received in the tests had larger associated horizontal errors than those indicated by the operator of the Argos system, including under ideal reception conditions. Positional errors were similar to those obtained in other studies outside of Europe. The errors were anisotropic, with larger longitudinal errors for the vast majority of the data. Errors were mostly related to speed of the Argos transmitter at the time of reception, but other factors such as topographical conditions and orientation of antenna at the time of the transmission also contributed to receiving low-quality data. The Douglas Argos filter successfully excluded the largest errors while retaining a large amount of data when the threshold was set to the local scale (two km).

          Discussion

          Filter selection requires knowledge about the movement patterns and behavior of the species of interest, and the parametrization of the selected filter typically requires a trial and error approach. Selecting the proper filter reduces the errors while retaining a large amount of data. However, the post-processed data typically includes large positional errors; thus, we recommend incorporating Argos error metrics (e.g., error ellipse) or use complex modeling approaches when working with filtered data.

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          Most cited references 30

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            A general and simple method for obtainingR2from generalized linear mixed-effects models

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              Tracking apex marine predator movements in a dynamic ocean.

              Pelagic marine predators face unprecedented challenges and uncertain futures. Overexploitation and climate variability impact the abundance and distribution of top predators in ocean ecosystems. Improved understanding of ecological patterns, evolutionary constraints and ecosystem function is critical for preventing extinctions, loss of biodiversity and disruption of ecosystem services. Recent advances in electronic tagging techniques have provided the capacity to observe the movements and long-distance migrations of animals in relation to ocean processes across a range of ecological scales. Tagging of Pacific Predators, a field programme of the Census of Marine Life, deployed 4,306 tags on 23 species in the North Pacific Ocean, resulting in a tracking data set of unprecedented scale and species diversity that covers 265,386 tracking days from 2000 to 2009. Here we report migration pathways, link ocean features to multispecies hotspots and illustrate niche partitioning within and among congener guilds. Our results indicate that the California Current large marine ecosystem and the North Pacific transition zone attract and retain a diverse assemblage of marine vertebrates. Within the California Current large marine ecosystem, several predator guilds seasonally undertake north-south migrations that may be driven by oceanic processes, species-specific thermal tolerances and shifts in prey distributions. We identify critical habitats across multinational boundaries and show that top predators exploit their environment in predictable ways, providing the foundation for spatial management of large marine ecosystems. ©2011 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                PeerJ
                PeerJ
                PeerJ
                PeerJ
                PeerJ
                PeerJ Inc. (San Diego, USA )
                2167-8359
                31 January 2019
                2019
                : 7
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Center for Environmental Research and Impact Studies, University of Bucharest , Bucharest, Romania
                [2 ]Multidimension R&D , Bucharest, Romania
                [3 ]Department of Biological Sciences, Ohio University , Athens, OH, USA
                Article
                6362
                10.7717/peerj.6362
                6360076
                © 2019 Rozylowicz et al.

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, reproduction and adaptation in any medium and for any purpose provided that it is properly attributed. For attribution, the original author(s), title, publication source (PeerJ) and either DOI or URL of the article must be cited.

                Funding
                Funded by: Romanian National Authority for Scientific Research (www.uefiscdi.ro), PN-III-P2-2.1-PED-2016-0568—Argos based applications for real-time wildlife monitoring in Romania (BioMoveFix)
                The research was supported by a grant of the Romanian National Authority for Scientific Research (www.uefiscdi.ro), PN-III-P2-2.1-PED-2016-0568—Argos based applications for real-time wildlife monitoring in Romania (BioMoveFix). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
                Categories
                Biogeography
                Ecology
                Spatial and Geographic Information Science
                Population Biology

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