Understanding jellyfish ecology and roles in the coastal ecosystems is challenging due to their patchy distribution. While standard net sampling or manned aircraft surveys become inefficient, UAVs offer promising alternative data collection techniques. We used pictures taken from drones to estimate the density of Aurelia sp. in a shallow water area, and investigated the potential of an image processing software. Software-automated counting estimated similar densities of Aurelia sp. compared to net sampling at three measurements. Further image enhancement may correct for surface reflections and highlight the medusae from the background in order to discard false detections of items unlikely to be jellyfish (e.g., seagrass). Our study demonstrates that drone techniques represent a non-invasive approach to monitor jellyfish abundance over time, enabling to collect a large amount of data in a short time. Software development may be useful to measure jellyfish sizes and even population biomass.
|Tidsskrift||Journal of Marine Science and Engineering|
|Status||Afsendt - 12. jan. 2021|