Animal abundance and diversity in coastal grasslands

<p><u>Meta data</u></p><p><b>Methods</b></p><p>Management history of Rancho Marino and Fiscalini Ranch were investigated by observing tilled/planted and untilled/unplanted grasslands. Two 100 m transects at each site were utilized. The coordinates of the transects are as follows: Fiscalini Ranch (transect 1 start: [N35.54944, E121.10043], stop: [N35.55009, E121.10102]), (transect 2 start [N35.55046, E121.10166], stop [N35.5517, E121.10227]) and Rancho Marino (transect 1 start [N35.53966, E121.09032], stop [N35.53896, E121.08968]), (transect 2 start [N35.52933, E121.07793], stop [N35.52862, E121.07728]). Each transect consisted of eight plots where animal cameras were deployed over the course of three nights. The plots on each transect were chosen by randomization of 25 numbers ranging from 1 to 100. Eight of these numbers were again randomly selected for each of the three nights. No two plots were repeated. From the transect line, the 0.5 m x 0.5 m quadrat was placed down at a distance of 3 m to avoid interference with other sampling plots. Percent coverage of Phalaris aquatica, invasive grasses, and bare ground was measured by estimation. A motion triggered animal camera was placed on the bottom right corner of the quadrat facing North. Plants obstructing the camera’s field of view were subsequently removed. The bait, consisting of peanut butter and oats, was placed 1 m away from the camera on a white paper plate and weighed down with a stone. Cameras were deployed at 4:00 PM and footage was collected from 5:00 PM to 9:00 AM. The following day, the SD cards were taken from each camera and were analyzed for the presence of animal activity. The pictures were organized based on site, transect, day, and camera. A positive hit was defined as animal presence in the capture frame. Two or more animals of the same species were considered independent positive hits if they were seen an hour apart. Total abundance and diversity of animals were counted and recorded for each location. All data was collected and recorded for further analysis of results.</p><p><b><br></b></p><p><b>Variables</b></p><p>Site: RM is Rancho Marino and FR is Fiscalini Ranch</p><p>Management History: If the land was planted with Phalaris aquatica/tilled or remained unplanted/untilled. </p><p>Transect: Distinguishes the two distinct lines in each site that were selected for sampling. Each transect within each site has it’s own coordinates. </p><p> The day that cameras were deployed   </p><p> The number of cameras deployed per transect each night</p><p>Harding cover: Coverage of Phalaris aquatica measured as a percentage of the quadrat </p><p>Exotic plant cover: Coverage of other exotic plant species measured as a percentage of the quadrat </p><p>Bare cover: Coverage of bare ground measured as a percentage of the quadrat</p><p>Animal sign: Evidence of animal activity noted near the quadrat such as scatt and burrowing. 1 indicates sign of animal while 0 indicates an absence   </p><p>Taxa: Specific taxa captured by camera</p><p>Method: Motion triggered animal cameras were used to calculate abundance and diversity of animals </p><p>Abundance: Total number of individual animals seen during footage time (a collective sum of all 8 cameras used per night) </p><p>Diversity: Total number of different animal species </p><p>Sample time: Total hours of footage collected between 5:00 PM and 9:00 AM</p><p>Rate: Number of positive hits/hour </p><div>*Authors are all equal contributors listed in alphabetical order</div>