Cavanaugh Kyle C.

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Last Name
Cavanaugh
First Name
Kyle C.
ORCID
0000-0002-3313-0878

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Now showing 1 - 9 of 9
  • 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
    Tail-dependent spatial synchrony arises from nonlinear driver-response relationships
    (Wiley, 2022-03-04) Walter, Jonathan A. ; Castorani, Max C. N. ; Bell, Tom W. ; Sheppard, Lawrence W. ; Cavanaugh, Kyle C. ; Reuman, Daniel C.
    Spatial synchrony may be tail-dependent, that is, stronger when populations are abundant than scarce, or vice-versa. Here, ‘tail-dependent’ follows from distributions having a lower tail consisting of relatively low values and an upper tail of relatively high values. We present a general theory of how the distribution and correlation structure of an environmental driver translates into tail-dependent spatial synchrony through a non-linear response, and examine empirical evidence for theoretical predictions in giant kelp along the California coastline. In sheltered areas, kelp declines synchronously (lower-tail dependence) when waves are relatively intense, because waves below a certain height do little damage to kelp. Conversely, in exposed areas, kelp is synchronised primarily by periods of calmness that cause shared recovery (upper-tail dependence). We find evidence for geographies of tail dependence in synchrony, which helps structure regional population resilience: areas where population declines are asynchronous may be more resilient to disturbance because remnant populations facilitate reestablishment.
  • 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
    Disturbance and nutrients synchronise kelp forests across scales through interacting Moran effects
    (Wiley, 2022-06-30) Castorani, Max C. N. ; Bell, Tom W. ; Walter, Jonathan A. ; Reuman, Daniel C. ; Cavanaugh, Kyle C. ; Sheppard, Lawrence W.
    Spatial synchrony is a ubiquitous and important feature of population dynamics, but many aspects of this phenomenon are not well understood. In particular, it is largely unknown how multiple environmental drivers interact to determine synchrony via Moran effects, and how these impacts vary across spatial and temporal scales. Using new wavelet statistical techniques, we characterised synchrony in populations of giant kelp Macrocystis pyrifera, a widely distributed marine foundation species, and related synchrony to variation in oceanographic conditions across 33 years (1987–2019) and >900 km of coastline in California, USA. We discovered that disturbance (storm-driven waves) and resources (seawater nutrients)—underpinned by climatic variability—act individually and interactively to produce synchrony in giant kelp across geography and timescales. Our findings demonstrate that understanding and predicting synchrony, and thus the regional stability of populations, relies on resolving the synergistic and antagonistic Moran effects of multiple environmental drivers acting on different timescales.
  • Article
    CubeSats show persistence of bull kelp refugia amidst a regional collapse in California
    (Elsevier, 2023-03-11) Cavanaugh, Katherine C. ; Cavanaugh, Kyle C. ; Pawlak, Camille C. ; Bell, Tom W. ; Saccomanno, Vienna R.
    Bull kelp populations in northern California declined drastically in response to the 2014–2016 marine heatwave, sea star wasting disease, and subsequently large increases in herbivorous purple urchin populations. Despite the regional kelp forest collapse, there were small, remnant populations where bull kelp was able to survive. Moderate resolution satellites (i.e., Landsat) have been important for creating long-term, large-scale time series of bull kelp forests, however, these have been shown to underestimate or entirely exclude refugia due to their low densities and proximity to the coastline. While measurements from Unoccupied Aerial Vehicles (UAV) are spatially detailed, they are temporally limited and difficult to collect over regional scales. The development of CubeSat constellations has enabled a workaround for these tradeoffs, with global imagery available near-daily at meter-scale.We developed a method for mapping bull kelp canopy across the different sensor cohorts in the PlanetScope constellation. This required correcting surface reflectance measurements to account for differences in the spectral response functions among the sensors and leveraging the temporal frequency of PlanetScope data to increase the automation of classifying kelp canopy in imagery with increased noise. Using the PlanetScope derived kelp canopy extents, we identified locations where bull kelp refugia have persisted in northern California. We found that bull kelp refugia occupied about 2% of the total available habitat in the region and about 9.4% of the average canopy area observed prior to 2014. These areas may be critical to the success of kelp forest re-establishment in northern California, which increases their importance for ongoing monitoring, conservation, and restoration efforts.•Developed the first bull kelp canopy time series from high resolution CubeSat data.•CubeSats can effectively detect kelp canopy at low population abundance and density.•Refugia persisted during historically low kelp abundance in northern California.
  • 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.
  • Article
    Satellite sensor requirements for monitoring essential biodiversity variables of coastal ecosystems
    (John Wiley & Sons, 2018-03-06) Muller-Karger, Frank E. ; Hestir, Erin ; Ade, Christiana ; Turpie, Kevin ; Roberts, Dar A. ; Siegel, David A. ; Miller, Robert J. ; Humm, David ; Izenberg, Noam ; Keller, Mary ; Morgan, Frank ; Frouin, Robert ; Dekker, Arnold G. ; Gardner, Royal ; Goodman, James ; Schaeffer, Blake ; Franz, Bryan A. ; Pahlevan, Nima ; Mannino, Antonio ; Concha, Javier A. ; Ackleson, Steven G. ; Cavanaugh, Kyle C. ; Romanou, Anastasia ; Tzortziou, Maria ; Boss, Emmanuel S. ; Pavlick, Ryan ; Freeman, Anthony ; Rousseaux, Cecile S. ; Dunne, John P. ; Long, Matthew C. ; Salas, Eduardo Klein ; McKinley, Galen A. ; Goes, Joachim I. ; Letelier, Ricardo M. ; Kavanaugh, Maria T. ; Roffer, Mitchell ; Bracher, Astrid ; Arrigo, Kevin R. ; Dierssen, Heidi M. ; Zhang, Xiaodong ; Davis, Frank W. ; Best, Benjamin D. ; Guralnick, Robert P. ; Moisan, John R. ; Sosik, Heidi M. ; Kudela, Raphael M. ; Mouw, Colleen B. ; Barnard, Andrew H. ; Palacios, Sherry ; Roesler, Collin S. ; Drakou, Evangelia G. ; Appeltans, Ward ; Jetz, Walter
    The biodiversity and high productivity of coastal terrestrial and aquatic habitats are the foundation for important benefits to human societies around the world. These globally distributed habitats need frequent and broad systematic assessments, but field surveys only cover a small fraction of these areas. Satellite‐based sensors can repeatedly record the visible and near‐infrared reflectance spectra that contain the absorption, scattering, and fluorescence signatures of functional phytoplankton groups, colored dissolved matter, and particulate matter near the surface ocean, and of biologically structured habitats (floating and emergent vegetation, benthic habitats like coral, seagrass, and algae). These measures can be incorporated into Essential Biodiversity Variables (EBVs), including the distribution, abundance, and traits of groups of species populations, and used to evaluate habitat fragmentation. However, current and planned satellites are not designed to observe the EBVs that change rapidly with extreme tides, salinity, temperatures, storms, pollution, or physical habitat destruction over scales relevant to human activity. Making these observations requires a new generation of satellite sensors able to sample with these combined characteristics: (1) spatial resolution on the order of 30 to 100‐m pixels or smaller; (2) spectral resolution on the order of 5 nm in the visible and 10 nm in the short‐wave infrared spectrum (or at least two or more bands at 1,030, 1,240, 1,630, 2,125, and/or 2,260 nm) for atmospheric correction and aquatic and vegetation assessments; (3) radiometric quality with signal to noise ratios (SNR) above 800 (relative to signal levels typical of the open ocean), 14‐bit digitization, absolute radiometric calibration <2%, relative calibration of 0.2%, polarization sensitivity <1%, high radiometric stability and linearity, and operations designed to minimize sunglint; and (4) temporal resolution of hours to days. We refer to these combined specifications as H4 imaging. Enabling H4 imaging is vital for the conservation and management of global biodiversity and ecosystem services, including food provisioning and water security. An agile satellite in a 3‐d repeat low‐Earth orbit could sample 30‐km swath images of several hundred coastal habitats daily. Nine H4 satellites would provide weekly coverage of global coastal zones. Such satellite constellations are now feasible and are used in various applications.
  • Article
    Shortfalls in the protection of persistent bull kelp forests in the USA
    (Elsevier, 2023-06-03) Arafeh-Dalmau, Nur ; Olguín-Jacobson, Carolina ; Bell, Tom W. ; Micheli, Fiorenza ; Cavanaugh, Kyle C.
    Kelp forests are one of the most productive ecosystems on earth, providing critical ecosystem services. Despite their global importance, their persistence in the face of human pressure and climate change is uncertain. We present a 38-year quarterly time series of satellite imagery that maps the distribution and persistence of surface canopy-forming kelp (dominated by the bull kelp, Nereocystis leutkeana) forests along eleven degrees of latitude in the western Pacific of the USA. We estimate kelp persistence as the fraction of years occupied by kelp canopy in the time series and evaluate the representation of kelp in marine protected areas (MPAs). While 3.6 % of kelp habitat is fully protected and 10.1 % is partially protected, only 0.7 % of the highly persistent kelp which may be indicative of climate refugia are fully protected. Regionally, the amount of kelp fully protected inside MPAs decreases from Central Northern California (8.0 %) to Oregon (5.9 %), Northern California (1.7 %), and Washington (0 %). Five years after the 2014–2016 marine heatwaves, kelp forests did not recover in California (∼90 % loss for both regions), while Oregon and Washington remained near pre-heatwave values. The low amount of protection in Northern California is concerning and likely exacerbates the vulnerability of kelp and associated species to marine heatwaves. Meeting a target of protecting 10 % of existing kelp habitat will require a 2.5-fold increase in kelp representation in MPAs. Moreover, we propose protecting highly persistent kelp is a cost-effective approach to increase representation and efficacy of MPAs to support climate resilience of kelp forest ecosystems.