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ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2019, 8(3), 123;

Predicting Presence of Amphibian Species Using Features Obtained from GIS and Satellite Images

Department of Industrial Informatics, Silesian University of Technology, Katowice 43-100, Poland
Faculty of Earth Sciences, University of Silesia, Sosnowiec 41-200, Poland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 17 January 2019 / Revised: 14 February 2019 / Accepted: 24 February 2019 / Published: 1 March 2019
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The construction of transport infrastructure is often preceded by an environmental impact assessment procedure, which should identify amphibian breeding sites and migration routes. However, the assessment is very difficult to conduct because of the large number of habitats spread out over a vast expanse, and the limited amount of time available for fieldwork. We propose utilizing local environmental variables that can be gathered remotely using only GIS systems and satellite images together with machine learning methods. In this article, we introduce six new and easily extractable types of environmental features. Most of the features we propose can be easily obtained from satellite imagery and spatial development plans. The proposed feature space was evaluated using four machine learning algorithms, namely: a C4.5 decision tree, AdaBoost, random forest and gradient-boosted trees. The obtained results indicated that the proposed feature space facilitated prediction and was comparable to other solutions. Moreover, three of the new proposed features are ranked most important; these are the three dominant properties of the surroundings of water reservoirs. One of the new features is the percentage access from the edges of the reservoir to open areas, but it affects only a few species. Furthermore, our research confirmed that the gradient-boosted trees were the best method for the analyzed dataset. View Full-Text
Keywords: amphibians; water reservoirs; GIS; machine learning amphibians; water reservoirs; GIS; machine learning

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Blachnik, M.; Sołtysiak, M.; Dąbrowska, D. Predicting Presence of Amphibian Species Using Features Obtained from GIS and Satellite Images. ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2019, 8, 123.

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