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Patterning Waterbird Assemblages on Rice Fields Using Self-Organizing Map and Random Forest
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 Title & Authors
Patterning Waterbird Assemblages on Rice Fields Using Self-Organizing Map and Random Forest
Nam, Hyung-Kyu; Choi, Seung-Hye; Yoo, Jeong-Chil;
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BACKGROUND: In recent year, there has been great concern regarding agricultural land uses and their importance for the conservation of biodiversity. Rice fields are managed unique wetland for wildlife, especially waterbirds. A comprehensive monitoring of the waterbird assemblage to understand patterning changes was attempted for rice ecosystem in South Korea. This rice ecosystem has been recognized as one of the most important for waterbirds conservation. METHODS AND RESULTS: Biweekly monitoring was implemented for the 4 years from April 2009 to March 2010, from April 2011 to March 2014. 32 species of waterbirds were observed. Self-organizing map (SOM) and random forest were applied to the waterbirds dataset to identify the characteristics in waterbirds distribution. SOM and random forest analysis clearly classified into four clusters and extract ecological information from waterbird dataset. Waterbird assemblages represented strong seasonality and habitat use according to waterbird group such as shorebirds, herons and waterfowl. CONCLUSION: Our results showed that the combination of SOM and random forest analysis could be useful for ecosystem assessment and management. Furthermore, we strongly suggested that a strict management strategy for the rice fields to conserve the waterbirds. The strategy could be seasonally and species specific.
Habitat clustering;Random forest;Rice fields;Self-organizing map;Waterbirds;
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