Marco Heurich

Marco Heurich
University of Freiburg | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg · Chair in Wildlife Ecology and Management

Professor

About

469
Publications
162,404
Reads
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8,745
Citations
Introduction
My fields of expertise are terrestrial ecology, conservation and remote sensing. The focus of my research is to link these disciplines to address ecological questions by using remote sensing data to solve conservation problems. Particularly I am interested in linking remote sensing, movement ecology and biodiversity. In this process remote sensing is delivering the environmental description of habitat type and structure and tracking data provides the information about the movement of animals, which influence the processes and biodiversity patterns in the ecosystems. Also the direct linkage of remote sensing and ecosystem patterns, especially biodiversity, in the context of Essential Biodiversity Variables (EBV´s) is a key focus of my research
Additional affiliations
January 2018 - present
University of Freiburg
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
Description
  • Protected Area Management
December 2016 - December 2017
University of Freiburg
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
December 2016 - July 2019
University of Freiburg
Position
  • Professor (Associate)

Publications

Publications (469)
Article
Full-text available
The ecology and evolution of reproductive timing and synchrony has been a topic of great interest in evolutionary ecology for decades. Originally motivated by questions related to behavioural and reproductive adaptation to environmental conditions, the topic has acquired new relevance in the face of climate change. However, there has been relativel...
Conference Paper
Polarimetric signatures in L-band data measured by the spaceborne SAR sensor ALOS-2 are correlated with typical forest parameters derived by airborne laser scanning via single-tree segmentation and classification over a test site within the Bavarian Forest National Park. Forest parameters like tree species, tree height, crown volume, or crown base...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Single tree detection has been a major research topic concerning automatic forest inventory using remote sensing data. Recently, deep learning-based approaches in remote sensing forestry have gained attention because of the prospect of improved accuracy. In this study, we present a novel tree detection method based on the detection transformer (DET...
Data
The zip-file ” Mammal responses to predator scents across multiple study areas_data, scripts and outputs.zip” contains raw data, scripts and outputs (with explanations) for the paper: P. Sunde, F. Böcker, G-R. Rauset, P. Kjellander, M. Chrenkova, T. M. Skovdal, S. van Beeck Calkoen, M. Mayer & M. Heurich (2022). Mammal responses to predator scents...
Preprint
ContextBehavioral adjustments by large carnivores can be a key factor facilitating their coexistence with people in shared landscapes. Landscape composition might be a key factor determining how large carnivores can adapt to occurring alongside humans, yet broad-scale analyses investigating adjustments of habitat use across large gradients of human...
Article
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Density is a key trait of populations and an essential parameter in ecological research, wildlife conservation and management. Several models have been developed to estimate population density based on camera trapping data, including the random encounter model (REM) and camera trap distance sampling (CTDS). Both models need to account for variation...
Article
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Freshwater ecosystems are among the most threatened ecosystems on the planet. Beavers are important engineers in freshwater ecosystems and reintroduction programs have enabled the recovery of beaver populations in several European countries, but the impact on biodiversity conservation is still unclear. We studied the effects of beavers on the terre...
Article
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Context Diel use of forest and open habitats by large herbivores is linked to species-specific needs of multiple and heterogeneous resources. However, forest cover layers might deviate considerably for a given landscape, potentially affecting evaluations of animals’ habitat use. Objectives We assessed inconsistency in the estimates of diel forest...
Article
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Macroecological studies that require habitat suitability data for many species often derive this information from expert opinion. However, expert‐based information is inherently subjective and thus prone to errors. The increasing availability of GPS tracking data offers opportunities to evaluate and supplement expert‐based information with detailed...
Article
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Large carnivores play key roles in their ecosystems, but their protection is a major challenge in biodiversity conservation due to conflicts with human interests. The snow leopard (Panthera uncia) is the top predator of Asian high-altitude landscapes and faces various threats including wild prey depletion and illegal killings as a consequence of li...
Preprint
Context The Complementary Habitat Hypothesis posits that animals access resources for different needs by moving between complementary habitats that can be seen as ‘resource composites’. These movements can occur on a range of temporal scales, from diurnal to seasonal, responding to multiple drivers, such as access to food, weather constraints, risk...
Article
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Reconciling conservation and socioeconomic development goals is key to sustainability but remains a source of fierce debate. Protected areas (PAs) are believed to play an essential role in achieving these seemingly conflicting goals. Yet, there is limited evidence as to whether PAs are actually achieving the two goals simultaneously. Here, we inves...
Article
The increasing deterioration of environmental conditions is jeopardizing the existence of animals and plants. As a consequence, their population sizes are decreasing and some populations are becoming extinct. Before a population size starts to decline, it is single individuals that are affected first. In this context, physiology, which is defined a...
Article
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NASAs Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation (GEDI) is collecting space-borne full waveform lidar data with a primary science goal of producing accurate estimates of forest aboveground biomass density (AGBD). This paper presents the development of the models used to create GEDIs footprint-level (~25 m) AGBD (GEDI04_A) product, including a descript...
Article
Full-text available
Assessing the environmental status of Protected Areas (PAs) is a challenging issue. To indicate that status, the identification of a common set of variables that are scientifically sound, and easy to assess and monitor by the PA practitioners, is particularly important. In this study, a set of 27 Essential Variables (EVs) for PA management was sele...
Article
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The recolonization of human-dominated landscapes by large carnivores has been followed with considerable scientific interest; however, little is known about their interactive effect on ungulate foraging behavior. This study compared the risks imposed by humans and lynx on ungulate foraging behavior by examining the effects of browsing intensity (at...
Article
Habitat selection is a multi-scale process driven by trade-offs between benefits, such as resource abundance, and disadvantages, such as the avoidance of risk. The latter includes human disturbances, to which large carnivores, with their large spatial requirements, are especially sensitive. We investigated the ecological processes underlying multi-...
Article
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Recovery of predator populations triggers conflicts due to livestock depredation losses, particularly in Germany where the wolf (Canis lupus) population grows exponentially and livestock (especially sheep) losses raise public concerns and motivate the authorities to control wolf numbers. Yet, the effects of wolf numbers and alternative factors, suc...
Article
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Forest set‐aside is a commonly employed conservation strategy, but large‐scale disturbances regularly evoke discussions on its utility for biodiversity conservation in former production forests. In this study, we reconstructed the return of a primeval forest specialist, the beetle Peltis grossa (Linnaeus, 1758) of the family Trogossitidae, to two n...
Article
is collecting spaceborne full waveform lidar data with a primary science goal of producing accurate estimates of forest aboveground biomass density (AGBD). This paper presents the development of the models used to create GEDI's footprint-level (~25 m) AGBD (GEDI04_A) product, including a description of the datasets used and the procedure for final...
Article
Context. Large carnivores are increasingly threatened by anthropogenic activities, and their protection is among the main goals of biodiversity conservation. The snow leopard (Panthera uncia) inhabits high-mountain landscapes where livestock depredation drives it into conflicts with local people and poses an obstacle for its conservation. Aims. Th...
Preprint
Full-text available
Convolutional neural networks (CNNs) and deep learning are powerful and robust tools for ecological applications. CNNs can perform very well in various tasks, especially for visual tasks and image data. Image segmentation (the classification of all pixels in images) is one such task and can for example be used to assess forest vertical and horizont...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The stability and ability of an ecosystem to withstand climate change is directly linked to its biodiversity. Dead trees are a key indicator of overall forest health, housing one-third of forest ecosystem biodiversity, and constitute 8% of the global carbon stocks. They are decomposed by several natural factors, e.g. climate, insects and fungi. Acc...
Preprint
Full-text available
The stability and ability of an ecosystem to withstand climate change is directly linked to its biodiversity. Dead trees are a key indicator of overall forest health, housing one-third of forest ecosystem biodiversity, and constitute 8%of the global carbon stocks. They are decomposed by several natural factors, e.g. climate, insects and fungi. Accu...
Article
Visibility is a key factor influencing animal behavior in forest ecosystems. Fine-scale visibility in forested areas has been measured by ground-based approaches at the plot level, using site-specific methods that have limited spatial coverage. Here we examine airborne laser scanning (ALS) as a novel tool to quantify fine-scale visibility in the te...
Article
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Species assemblages often have a non‐random nested organization, which in vertebrate scavenger (carrion‐consuming) assemblages is thought to be driven by facilitation in competitive environments. However, not all scavenger species play the same role in maintaining assemblage structure, as some species are obligate scavengers (i.e., vultures) and ot...
Article
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The fitting of tracking devices to wild animals requires capture and handling which causes stress and can potentially cause injury, behavioural modifications that can affect animal welfare and the output of research. We evaluated post capture and release ranging behaviour responses of roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) for five different capture method...
Article
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Background Human disturbance alters animal movement globally and infrastructure, such as roads, can act as physical barriers that impact behaviour across multiple spatial scales. In ungulates, roads can particularly hamper key ecological processes such as dispersal and migration, which ensure functional connectivity among populations, and may be pa...
Article
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Die Nationalparke in Deutschland sind im Vergleich zu den Streifgebieten und Wanderbewegungen von Huftieren sehr klein, zudem fehlen meist Raubtiere, die Huftierbestände limitieren könnten. Um Konflikte mit Land- und Forstwirtschaft im Umland zu begrenzen, wird daher auch in den Nationalparken jagdlich in die Huftierpopulationen eingegriffen. Um di...
Preprint
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Persistence of viable populations may be uncertain for large carnivore species, especially for those established in human-dominated landscapes. Here, we studied the Eurasian lynx in Western Europe established in the Upper Rhine metapopulation (i.e., Jura, Vosges-Palatinian and Black Forest populations) and in the Alpine population. These population...
Article
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Large carnivores promote crucial ecosystem processes but are increasingly threatened by human persecution and habitat destruction. Successful conservation of this guild requires information on long-term population dynamics obtained through demographic surveys. We used camera traps to monitor Eurasian lynx between 2009 and 2018 in a strictly protect...
Article
Full-text available
EUROLYNX (European Lynx Information System) is an open, collaborative project based on a spatial database that stores shared Eurasian lynx Lynx lynx data to investigate variation in behavioural ecology along environmental gradients or population responses to specific conditions, such as habitat changes, impact of human activities, prey densities, o...
Article
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Following the reintroduction and natural expansion of various Eurasian lynx Lynx lynx populations, new challenges are being faced. The current lack of genetic exchange between small populations due to restricted dispersal caused by human activities (i.e. habitat fragmentation, persecution, vehicle collisions) puts them at risk of stochastic demogra...
Article
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Background Holling (Can Entomol 91(5):293–320, 1959) was the first to describe a functional response between a predator’s consumption-rate and the density of its prey. The same concept can be applied to the habitat selection of herbivores, specifically, the change in relative habitat use with the change in habitat availability. Functional responses...
Article
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Dung beetles are a functionally important group of species, and the effects of large wild herbivores on these species are not well understood. Management of wild herbivores could, therefore, have considerable consequences for dung beetle assemblages and the ecosystem services they provide. Here, we analysed how species richness, biomass, abundance,...
Article
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Humans have transformed most landscapes across the globe, forcing other species to adapt in order to persist in increasingly anthropogenic landscapes. Wide-ranging solitary species, such as wild felids, struggle particularly in such landscapes. Conservation planning and management for their long-term persistence critically depends on understanding...
Article
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p>Protected Area (PA) managers and policy makers need to determine and demonstrate the effectiveness of PA management and keep track of the conservation status in ways that are practical, scientifically sound and comparable among PAs in various terrestrial and aquatic environments. As most existing methods for measuring the managerial efficiency of...
Article
Full-text available
The in situ leaf area index (LAI) measurement plays a vital role in calibrating and validating satellite LAI products. Digital hemispherical photography (DHP) is a widely used in situ forest LAI measurement method. There have been many software programs encompassing a variety of algorithms to estimate LAI from DHP. However, there is no conclusive s...
Article
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Aim Knowledge concerning species distribution is important for biodiversity conservation and environmental management. Fungi form a large and diverse group of species and play a key role in nutrient cycling and carbon storage. However, our understanding of fungal diversity and distribution remains limited, particularly at large spatial scales. Here...
Article
Full-text available
Ungulate browsing has a major impact on the composition and structure of forests. Repeatedly conducted, large-scale regeneration inventories can monitor the extent of browsing pressure and its impacts on forest regeneration development. Based on the respective results, the necessity and extent of wildlife management activities such as hunting, fenc...
Article
Over the last several years, semantic image segmentation based on deep neural networks has been greatly advanced. On the other hand, single-instance segmentation still remains a challenging problem. In this paper, we introduce a framework for segmenting instances of a common object class by multiple active contour evolution over semantic segmentati...
Article
Full-text available
This study examined the effect of perceived predation risk imposed by lynx (Lynx lynx) and wolf (Canis lupus) on red deer (Cervus elaphus) foraging behavior under experimental conditions. We hypothesized that in response to large carnivore scent red deer would increase their vigilance, although reducing the frequency and duration of visits to forag...
Article
Full-text available
Effects of climate change-induced events on forest ecosystem dynamics of composition, function and structure call for increased long-term, interdisciplinary and integrated research on biodiversity indicators, in particular within strictly protected areas with extensive non-intervention zones. The long-established concept of forest supersites genera...
Preprint
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Red deer is an important game species in Europe and of interest to ecotourism. However, as a major ecosystem engineer, red deer not only have positive effects on biodiversity, but also cause economic damage to managed forests and agriculture. Data obtained from effective and precise monitoring of red deer populations are therefore needed to provide...
Article
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The filtering of gut microbial datasets to retain high prevalence taxa is often performed to identify a common core gut microbiome that may be important for host biological functions. However, prevalence thresholds used to identify a common core are highly variable, and it remains unclear how they affect diversity estimates and whether insights ste...
Article
Monitoring global biodiversity from space through remotely sensing geospatial patterns has high potential to add to our knowledge acquired by field observation. Although a framework of essential biodiversity variables (EBVs) is emerging for monitoring biodiversity, its poor alignment with remote sensing products hinders interpolation between field...
Article
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Migration of ungulates (hooved mammals) is a fundamental ecological process that promotes abundant herds, whose effects cascade up and down terrestrial food webs. Migratory ungulates provide the prey base that maintains large carnivore and scavenger populations and underpins terrestrial biodiversity (fig. S1). When ungulates move in large aggregati...
Preprint
Full-text available
In this paper, we introduce a framework for segmenting instances of a common object class by multiple active contour evolution over semantic segmentation maps of images obtained through fully convolutional networks. The contour evolution is cast as an energy minimization problem, where the aggregate energy functional incorporates a data fit term, a...
Article
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The European spruce bark beetle (Ips typographus, L.) is an invasive species resulting in a high degree of fragmentation, forest productivity, and phenology. Understanding its biology and its early detection based on its behaviour is essential for its successful management and eradication. This study demonstrates the potential of the canopy chlorop...