Aerial photography based census of Adélie Penguin and its application in CH4 and N2O budget estimation in Victoria Land, Antarctic

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He, Hong
Cheng, Xiao
Li, Xianglan
Zhu, Renbin
Hui, Fengming
Wu, Wenhui
Zhao, Tiancheng
Kang, Jing
Tang, Jianwu
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Penguin guano provides favorable conditions for production and emission of greenhouse gases (GHGs). Many studies have been conducted to determine the GHG fluxes from penguin colonies, however, at regional scale, there is still no accurate estimation of total GHG emissions. We used object-based image analysis (OBIA) method to estimate the Adélie penguin (Pygoscelis adeliae) population based on aerial photography data. A model was developed to estimate total GHG emission potential from Adélie penguin colonies during breeding seasons in 1983 and 2012, respectively. Results indicated that OBIA method was effective for extracting penguin information from aerial photographs. There were 17,120 and 21,183 Adélie penguin breeding pairs on Inexpressible Island in 1983 and 2012, respectively, with overall accuracy of the estimation of 76.8%. The main reasons for the increase in Adélie penguin populations were attributed to increase in temperature, sea ice and phytoplankton. The average estimated CH4 and N2O emissions tended to be increasing during the period from 1983 to 2012 and CH4 was the main GHG emitted from penguin colonies. Total global warming potential (GWP) of CH4 and N2O emissions was 5303 kg CO2-eq in 1983 and 6561 kg CO2-eq in 2012, respectively.
© The Author(s), 2017. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. The definitive version was published in Scientific Reports 7 (2017): 12942, doi:10.1038/s41598-017-13380-6.
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Scientific Reports 7 (2017): 12942
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