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Robust, real-time and autonomous monitoring of ecosystems with an open, low-cost, networked device

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Title: Robust, real-time and autonomous monitoring of ecosystems with an open, low-cost, networked device
Authors: Sethi, S
Ewers, R
Jones, N
Orme, D
Picinali, L
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: 1. Automated methods of monitoring ecosystems provide a cost-effective way to track changes in natural system's dynamics across temporal and spatial scales. However, methods of recording and storing data captured from the field still require significant manual effort. 2. Here we introduce an open source, inexpensive, fully autonomous ecosystem monitoring unit for capturing and remotely transmitting continuous data streams from field sites over long time-periods. We provide a modular software framework for deploying various sensors, together with implementations to demonstrate proof of concept for continuous audio monitoring and time-lapse photography. 3. We show how our system can outperform comparable technologies for fractions of the cost, provided a local mobile network link is available. The system is robust to unreliable network signals and has been shown to function in extreme environmental conditions, such as in the tropical rainforests of Sabah, Borneo. 4. We provide full details on how to assemble the hardware, and the open-source software. Paired with appropriate automated analysis techniques, this system could provide spatially dense, near real-time, continuous insights into ecosystem and biodiversity dynamics at a low cost.
Issue Date: 1-Dec-2018
Date of Acceptance: 1-Sep-2018
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10044/1/63944
DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1111/2041-210X.13089
ISSN: 2041-210X
Publisher: Wiley
Start Page: 2383
End Page: 2387
Journal / Book Title: Methods in Ecology and Evolution
Volume: 9
Issue: 12
Copyright Statement: © 2018 Crown Copyright. Methods in Ecology and Evolution published by John Wiley and Sons Ltd on behalf of British Ecological Society. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Sponsor/Funder: Rainforest Research Sdn Bhd
Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)
Funder's Grant Number: LBEE_P34395
UCL Ref: 542177
Keywords: Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Environmental Sciences & Ecology
acoustic monitoring
autonomous monitoring
biodiversity monitoring
ecosystem monitoring
open-source software
real-time monitoring
0602 Ecology
0603 Evolutionary Biology
Publication Status: Published
Online Publication Date: 2018-09-07
Appears in Collections:Mathematics
Applied Mathematics and Mathematical Physics
Dyson School of Design Engineering
Faculty of Natural Sciences
Faculty of Engineering