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Airflow modelling predicts seabird breeding habitat across islands

Citation

Lempidakis, Emmanouil; Ross, Andrew; Börger, Luca; Shepard, Emily (2021), Airflow modelling predicts seabird breeding habitat across islands, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.h9w0vt4jk

Abstract

Wind is fundamentally related to shelter and flight performance: two factors that are critical for birds at their nest sites. Despite this, airflows have never been fully integrated into models of breeding habitat selection, even for well-studied seabirds. Here we use computational fluid dynamics to provide the first assessment of whether flow characteristics (including wind speed and turbulence) predict the distribution of seabird colonies, taking common guillemots (Uria aalge) breeding on Skomer island as our study system. This demonstrates that occupancy is driven by the need to shelter from both wind and rain/ wave action, rather than airflow characteristics alone. Models of airflows and cliff orientation both performed well in predicting high quality habitat in our study site, identifying 80% of colonies and 93% of avoided sites, as well as 73% of the largest colonies on a neighbouring island. This suggests generality in the mechanisms driving breeding distributions, and provides an approach for identifying habitat for seabird reintroductions considering current and projected wind speeds and directions.

Methods

Methods detailed in manuscript: https://doi.org/10.1111/ecog.05733.

Usage Notes

Variable list for files:

SW wind - Section table on Skomer (Standardised).csv / NW wind - Section table on Skomer (Standardised).csv / SE wind - Section table on Skomer (Standardised).csv /NE wind - Section table on Skomer (Standardised).csv and SW wind - Sections on Skokholm (Standardised).csv

FID: Row ID (for use in ArcGIs)

Count: Number of guillemots per section

Area: Total area of each section ()    

Density: Density of guillemots per section (number of birds/ Area)    

X_Centre: X coordinate of the central point of each section

Y_Centre: Y coordinate of the central point of each section    

Sector: Section ID   

MeanUMedian; MeanUIQR, MeanUSkewness, MeanUCV: Median, interquartile range,skewness and coefficient of variation of mean wind speed per section    

HorizontalMedian;HorizontalIQR,HorizontalSkewness,HorizontalCV: Median, interquartile range,skewness and coefficient of variation of horizontal wind speed per section   

PMedian;PIQR,PSkewness,PCV: Median, interquartile range,skewness and coefficient of variation of preessure per section

TKEMedian;TKEIQR,TKESkewness,TKECV: Median, interquartile range,skewness and coefficient of variation of turbulent kinetic energy per section    

TIMedian;TIIQR,TISkewness,TICV: Median, interquartile range,skewness and coefficient of variation of turbulence intensity per section    

U_2Median;lU_2IQR;U_2Skewness;U_2CV: Median, interquartile range,skewness and coefficient of variation of vertical wind speed per section    

EpsilonMedian;EpsilonIQR,EpsilonSkewness,EpsilonCV: Median, interquartile range,skewness and coefficient of variation of turbulent dissipation rate per section    

NutMedian;NutIQR,NutSkewness,NutCV: Median, interquartile range,skewness and coefficient of variation of kinematic viscosity per section    

GustsMedian;GustsIQR,GustsSkewness,GustsCV: Median, interquartile range,skewness and coefficient of variation of instataneous gusts per section    

MeanSectorSlope: Mean slope per section    

ColPresence: Binomial variable, indicating whether a section has birds or not. This variable varies with classification, based on either the count of birds or the density per section

Variable list for file: 

Section table on Skomer - with Mean cliff orientation and Slope (NOT-Standardised).csv

FID: Row ID (for use in ArcGIs)

Count: Number of guillemots per section

Area: Total area of each section ()    

Density: Density of guillemots per section (number of birds/ Area)    

X_Centre: X coordinate of the central point of each section

Y_Centre: Y coordinate of the central point of each section    

Sector: Section ID   

MeanSectorSlope: Mean slope per section   

MeanSectorAspectCircular: Mean cliff orientation per section

ApsectClass: Factor indicating whether the mean cliff orientation is lee- or windward to the SW wind

ColPresence:  Binomial variable, indicating whether a section has birds or not. This variable varies with classification, based on either the count of birds or the density per section

Variable list for file: 

SW wind - Sections on Skokholm to predict colonies using cliff orientation and slope model from Skomer (NON - Standardised).csv

FID: Row ID (for use in ArcGIs)

Count: Number of guillemots per section

Area: Total area of each section ()    

Density: Density of guillemots per section (number of birds/ Area)    

Sector: Section ID   

MeanSectorSlope: Mean slope per section   

MeanSectorAspectCircular: Mean cliff orientation per section

Funding

H2020 European Research Council, Award: 715874