Macroecology and Species Distribution

Coastal algal biomass and distribution survey using a UAVr

Traditional survey methods of algal forest using transect taps and quadrats can be extremely laborious, costly, and even dangerous depending on dive locations. Using an unmanned aviation vehicle (a.k.a drone), we can easily cover large area of coastline and capture high definition pictures, data that would otherwise take up to at least a day and intensive preparation work to collect. Using this method, we stitch geo-tagged pictures in a computer software, categorize components of pictures (e.g algae, water, rocks), and run it through a computer program to generate algal coverage along the coast.

Paired with simple random sampling in the forest at various locations the algal biomass within a unit area, we can roughly calculate algal biomass on the stitched image.