Cavanaugh Katherine C.

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Katherine C.

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Now showing 1 - 4 of 4
  • Article
    Automated satellite remote sensing of giant kelp at the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)
    (Public Library of Science, 2022-01-06) Houskeeper, Henry F. ; Rosenthal, Isaac S. ; Cavanaugh, Katherine C. ; Pawlak, Camille ; Trouille, Laura ; Byrnes, Jarrett E. K. ; Bell, Tom W. ; Cavanaugh, Kyle C.
    Giant kelp populations that support productive and diverse coastal ecosystems at temperate and subpolar latitudes of both hemispheres are vulnerable to changing climate conditions as well as direct human impacts. Observations of giant kelp forests are spatially and temporally uneven, with disproportionate coverage in the northern hemisphere, despite the size and comparable density of southern hemisphere kelp forests. Satellite imagery enables the mapping of existing and historical giant kelp populations in understudied regions, but automating the detection of giant kelp using satellite imagery requires approaches that are robust to the optical complexity of the shallow, nearshore environment. We present and compare two approaches for automating the detection of giant kelp in satellite datasets: one based on crowd sourcing of satellite imagery classifications and another based on a decision tree paired with a spectral unmixing algorithm (automated using Google Earth Engine). Both approaches are applied to satellite imagery (Landsat) of the Falkland Islands or Islas Malvinas (FLK), an archipelago in the southern Atlantic Ocean that supports expansive giant kelp ecosystems. The performance of each method is evaluated by comparing the automated classifications with a subset of expert-annotated imagery (8 images spanning the majority of our continuous timeseries, cumulatively covering over 2,700 km of coastline, and including all relevant sensors). Using the remote sensing approaches evaluated herein, we present the first continuous timeseries of giant kelp observations in the FLK region using Landsat imagery spanning over three decades. We do not detect evidence of long-term change in the FLK region, although we observe a recent decline in total canopy area from 2017–2021. Using a nitrate model based on nearby ocean state measurements obtained from ships and incorporating satellite sea surface temperature products, we find that the area of giant kelp forests in the FLK region is positively correlated with the nitrate content observed during the prior year. Our results indicate that giant kelp classifications using citizen science are approximately consistent with classifications based on a state-of-the-art automated spectral approach. Despite differences in accuracy and sensitivity, both approaches find high interannual variability that impedes the detection of potential long-term changes in giant kelp canopy area, although recent canopy area declines are notable and should continue to be monitored carefully.
  • Article
    Using unoccupied aerial vehicles to map and monitor changes in emergent kelp canopy after an ecological regime shift
    (Wiley Open Access, 2022-09-21) Saccomanno, Vienna R. ; Bell, Tom W. ; Pawlak, Camille ; Stanley, Charlotte K. ; Cavanaugh, Katherine C. ; Hohman, Rietta ; Klausmeyer, Kirk R. ; Cavanaugh, Kyle ; Nickels, Abby ; Hewerdine, Waz ; Garza, Corey ; Fleener, Gary ; Gleason, Mary
    Kelp forests are complex underwater habitats that form the foundation of many nearshore marine environments and provide valuable services for coastal communities. Despite their ecological and economic importance, increasingly severe stressors have resulted in declines in kelp abundance in many regions over the past few decades, including the North Coast of California, USA. Given the significant and sustained loss of kelp in this region, management intervention is likely a necessary tool to reset the ecosystem and geospatial data on kelp dynamics are needed to strategically implement restoration projects. Because canopy‐forming kelp forests are distinguishable in aerial imagery, remote sensing is an important tool for documenting changes in canopy area and abundance to meet these data needs. We used small unoccupied aerial vehicles (UAVs) to survey emergent kelp canopy in priority sites along the North Coast in 2019 and 2020 to fill a key data gap for kelp restoration practitioners working at local scales. With over 4,300 hectares surveyed between 2019 and 2020, these surveys represent the two largest marine resource‐focused UAV surveys conducted in California to our knowledge. We present remote sensing methods using UAVs and a repeatable workflow for conducting consistent surveys, creating orthomosaics, georeferencing data, classifying emergent kelp and creating kelp canopy maps that can be used to assess trends in kelp canopy dynamics over space and time. We illustrate the impacts of spatial resolution on emergent kelp canopy classification between different sensors to help practitioners decide which data stream to select when asking restoration and management questions at varying spatial scales. Our results suggest that high spatial resolution data of emergent kelp canopy from UAVs have the potential to advance strategic kelp restoration and adaptive management.Despite their ecological and economic importance, kelp forest abundance has declined in many regions around the world including the North Coast of California. Given the significant loss of kelp in this region, management intervention is likely necessary and remotely sensed data on kelp dynamics can help inform strategic restoration projects. We used unoccupied aerial vehicles (UAVs) to survey emergent kelp canopy along the North Coast in 2019 and 2020 and present remote‐sensing based kelp survey methods using UAVs. Our results suggest that high spatial resolution data on local‐scale spatiotemporal patterns of emergent kelp canopy from UAVs have the potential to advance strategic kelp restoration and adaptive management.
  • Article
    A review of the opportunities and challenges for using remote sensing for management of surface-canopy forming kelps
    (Frontiers Media, 2021-10-20) Cavanaugh, Kyle C. ; Bell, Tom W. ; Costa, Maycira ; Eddy, Norah E. ; Gendall, Lianna ; Gleason, Mary G. ; Hessing-Lewis, Margot ; Martone, Rebecca ; McPherson, Meredith L. ; Pontier, Ondine ; Reshitnyk, Luba ; Beas-Luna, Rodrigo ; Carr, Mark H. ; Caselle, Jennifer E. ; Cavanaugh, Katherine C. ; Flores Miller, Rebecca ; Hamilton, Sara L. ; Heady, Walter N. ; Hirsh, Heidi K. ; Hohman, Rietta ; Lee, Lynn Chi ; Lorda, Julio ; Ray, James ; Reed, Daniel C. ; Saccomanno, Vienna R. ; Schroeder, Sarah B.
    Surface-canopy forming kelps provide the foundation for ecosystems that are ecologically, culturally, and economically important. However, these kelp forests are naturally dynamic systems that are also threatened by a range of global and local pressures. As a result, there is a need for tools that enable managers to reliably track changes in their distribution, abundance, and health in a timely manner. Remote sensing data availability has increased dramatically in recent years and this data represents a valuable tool for monitoring surface-canopy forming kelps. However, the choice of remote sensing data and analytic approach must be properly matched to management objectives and tailored to the physical and biological characteristics of the region of interest. This review identifies remote sensing datasets and analyses best suited to address different management needs and environmental settings using case studies from the west coast of North America. We highlight the importance of integrating different datasets and approaches to facilitate comparisons across regions and promote coordination of management strategies.
  • Article
    Kelpwatch: a new visualization and analysis tool to explore kelp canopy dynamics reveals variable response to and recovery from marine heatwaves
    (Public Library of Science, 2023-03-23) Bell, Tom W. ; Cavanaugh, Kyle C. ; Saccomanno, Vienna R. ; Cavanaugh, Katherine C. ; Houskeeper, Henry F. ; Eddy, Norah ; Schuetzenmeister, Falk ; Rindlaub, Nathaniel ; Gleason, Mary
    Giant kelp and bull kelp forests are increasingly at risk from marine heatwave events, herbivore outbreaks, and the loss or alterations in the behavior of key herbivore predators. The dynamic floating canopy of these kelps is well-suited to study via satellite imagery, which provides high temporal and spatial resolution data of floating kelp canopy across the western United States and Mexico. However, the size and complexity of the satellite image dataset has made ecological analysis difficult for scientists and managers. To increase accessibility of this rich dataset, we created Kelpwatch, a web-based visualization and analysis tool. This tool allows researchers and managers to quantify kelp forest change in response to disturbances, assess historical trends, and allow for effective and actionable kelp forest management. Here, we demonstrate how Kelpwatch can be used to analyze long-term trends in kelp canopy across regions, quantify spatial variability in the response to and recovery from the 2014 to 2016 marine heatwave events, and provide a local analysis of kelp canopy status around the Monterey Peninsula, California. We found that 18.6% of regional sites displayed a significant trend in kelp canopy area over the past 38 years and that there was a latitudinal response to heatwave events for each kelp species. The recovery from heatwave events was more variable across space, with some local areas like Bahía Tortugas in Baja California Sur showing high recovery while kelp canopies around the Monterey Peninsula continued a slow decline and patchy recovery compared to the rest of the Central California region. Kelpwatch provides near real time spatial data and analysis support and makes complex earth observation data actionable for scientists and managers, which can help identify areas for research, monitoring, and management efforts.