Quantitative Aquatic Vegetation Management

Aquatic plants are often integral components of lake ecosystems and invasive species often disrupt the ecological balance of lakes.  Past aquatic plant assessments were qualitative and imprecise leading to poorly informed management decisions and prescriptions which have carried significant environmental and economic costs.  New acoustic and cloud computing technologies have revolutionized the aquatic industry and now highly precise estimates of aquatic plant abundance, growth patterns, and response to management can be quantitatively assessed.  New BioBase reports take this into consideration in multiple areas:

Aquatic plant management and monitoring
Aquatic plant management and habitat assessments with quantitative metrics

BioBase creates a standard report for each file that is uploaded to the system.  One section of the standard report (Biovolume by Quantity) identifies the relationship between data collected and % of data points that fall within a certain biovolume (% of the water column occupied by plants) range.  For example, in the image above 6.8% of data points collected and processed had plant biovolume above 80%, 5.19% of points had biovolume between 60-80% and 11.99% of data points showed biovoume above 60% (5.19+6.80).  If a management technique was used it would be very easy to identify, with quantitative plant management metrics, that objectives were met.  This may mean that nuisance plants above 60% biovolume were reduced by 90%.  Now we know if this is the case.

Using qualitative or subjective determinations of plant growth with only periodic surveys has led to problems of repeatability by other surveyors, lack of precise understanding of how much growth has changed over time, and an inability to rapidly detect change in lake conditions.  Now we can objectively determine if management techniques are having their desired effect.

Lake managers and plant monitoring groups can now take data to the next level with the three dimensional aspect of plant delineation using water column percent biovolume and BioBase standard reports.

v2.0 Reports Are Live!

Despite the amazing mapping and visualization tools of BioBase and the questions they spark and help answer, the numbers and old fashioned summary data reports are often tough to beat.  Indeed, many of our users have found our automated summary v1.0 Report of BioBase outputs very helpful for objectively evaluating their aquatic plant management activities.  However, the focus of the version 1 Report was to produce a simple and uniform summary of data collected along users’ trip paths, which often occurred in the form of linear transects.  Sometimes the v1.0 Reports didn’t support an apples to apples comparison.

As our user base expands into system mapping and crowd-sourcing efforts, where trip paths often resemble a bowl of spaghetti, leveraging the power of kriging interpolation becomes even more important.  As such, we’ve just released new automated summary Reporting (v2.0) that will publish both point (i.e., for classic transects) and grid (passive mapping or crowd-sourcing) summary statistics.  The version 2 Reports also output biovolume details in the vegetated areas only as well as within the complete survey zone.   Further, you will find statistics grouped by areas of interest and not only a summary of all data within the merged trips but a uniform summary of each transect that make up the merge!   They’re pretty slick!

Our team has used their previous work experience and interaction with our users to develop reports that are relevant to a wide range of users including lake associations, lake service providers, agency biologists, or university researchers.  We hope you find these reports useful for your work.  Please let us know if you have any questions about how these Reports and data can be used.

You can view the full interactive report with collapsible sections and zoom by clicking here: REPORT SAMPLE   Each report gets a unique URL that can be emailed to customers,  or collaborators.

  Get the v2.0 Reports For Your Past Trips!

This is another great example of how a new feature can be associated to each of your previous uploads.  To get the new v2.0 Report for your previously uploaded trips, click on the Trip Reprocessing tab of the interactive viewer and select “Report” before clicking reprocess.   Try a merged trip first and let us know what you think!  Not a ciBioBase customer yet and don’t have any trips to reprocess?? Why not?  Give us a call and you can join the revolution!