Metadata

Title

Acoustic monitoring data of avian species inside and outside the evacuation zone of the Fukushima Daiichi power plant accident

Running title

Bird acoustic monitoring data in Fukushima

Name of authors

Fukasawa, Keita12*; Mishima, Yoshio1; Yoshioka, Akira21; Kumada, Nao1; Totsu, Kumiko1

Affiliations

  • 1: Center for Environmental Biology and Ecosystem Studies, National Institute for Environmental Studies
  • 2: Fukushima Branch, National Institute for Environmental Studies

*Corresponding author:
TEL: +81.29.850.2676
FAX: +81.50.3730.7037
Email: ecomoni_fukushima@nies.go.jp, k.fukasawa37@gmail.com

Abstract

Large-scale land abandonment and reconstruction activity has altered the ecosystem structure in the evacuation area for the Fukushima Daiichi power plant accident in 2011. Despite social concerns about changes in the avian assemblages that occurred after the accident, publicly accessible data are quite limited. We engaged in acoustic monitoring of birds using digital voice recorders from 2014 in and around the Fukushima evacuation zone. All monitoring sites were located within schoolyards (including those that had been converted to community centers) to examine the bird assemblages in the urban and rural landscapes that were heavily altered by land abandonment due to the nuclear plant accident. A digital voice recorder was installed at each monitoring site during May–July, and we recorded 20 minutes a day using timer-recording mode. We divided the audio data into 1-minute segments and identified species occurred in sampled segments by experts. These data represent the presence-absence records from 52 sites monitored in 2014, 57 sites in 2015, and 54 sites in 2016. We identified the species for 7,138 segments in total and 68 species occurred in 2014, 7945 segments in total and 65 species occurred in 2015, and 5221 segments in total and 58 species occurred in 2016. We are continuing to monitor and intend to update the dataset with new observations hereafter. Our dataset will help people to recognize the status and dynamics of avian assemblage inside the evacuation zone, and will contribute to promote open science in avian ecological studies.

Keywords

  • Agricultural landscape
  • Satoyama
  • depopulation
  • terrestrial bird
  • Japan
  • Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station

Metadata

INTRODUCTION

Large parcels of uninhabited land have emerged due to evacuation following the serious nuclear accidents at Chernobyl and Fukushima. The evacuation zone (i.e., a zone in preparation for lifting the evacuation order, a restricted residence area, and a difficult-to-return-to zone) at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant accident in 2011 covered 1,150 km2 (Cabinet Office of Japanese Government Livelihood Support Team for Nuclear Disaster Victims 2013), with about 81,000 people evacuated from the area (Cabinet Office of Japanese Government 2013). The Chernobyl exclusion zone covered 3,699 km2 and 116,300 people became refugees (Bondarkov et al. 2011). The rapid and large-scale cessation of land-use activity affected the landscape structure, and long-term studies of the ecological consequences are needed (Deryabina et al. 2015).

Many studies have focused on the effects of ionizing radiation on the avian populations and communities at Fukushima and Chernobyl (e.g. Møller et al. 2013; Garnier-Laplace et al. 2015). Some studies (Møller et al. 2007; Møller et al. 2012) have generated controversies regarding the importance of land-cover changes due to evacuation, because non-radioactive driving forces have affected the spatial patterns of birds in and around the evacuation zones (Smith 2008; Beresford et al. 2012). Understanding the effects of land-cover change on species composition is essential to evaluate the consequences of nuclear power plant accidents on species diversity and abundance.

The abandonment of land has altered the landscape structure since the nuclear power plant accident, but activity to reconstruct the human society is ongoing in particular parts of the Fukushima evacuation zone. The evacuation order has been lifted gradually since 2014 in areas where the radiation level has decreased. Decontamination of the ground surface and the rebuilding of infrastructure are disturbance forces that can drive further change in the ecosystem established by land abandonment. Because the changes in the landscape are very large and rapid, longitudinal monitoring of species diversity before and after the reconstruction will provide strong evidence about the relationship between human activities and species diversity on a landscape scale. It will also help with the development of indicators and strategies for reconstructing the natural and artificial environments.

We began an avian acoustic monitoring project in and around the evacuation zone in 2014, as part of a terrestrial biodiversity monitoring project in the Fukushima disaster area (Yoshioka et al. 2015; Fukasawa et al. 2016; Yoshioka et al. 2016). An acoustic survey is an efficient and cost-effective way to monitor avian diversity and the temporal trend that has been applied to ecological studies (Depraetere et al. 2012; Gasc et al. 2013; Klingbeil & Willig 2015). This monitoring project is being conducted at multiple sites to compare the dynamics of the avian populations and assemblages among sites that have experienced different land-use and land-abandonment histories. Here, we present a dataset obtained by avian acoustic monitoring from 2014 to 2016. Our monitoring project is ongoing, and we intend to update the dataset with new observations after publication. The dataset presented here can be used to evaluate the effects of land abandonment and land use on avian assemblages. Local people need clear, rapid, and traceable information about studies relevant to the nuclear power accident, and our open data will facilitate open science in avian ecological studies.

STUDY AREA

The study area was located in the eastern part of Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan, and was enclosed within the following four sets of coordinates: (37.80137°N, 140.53747°E), (37.80136°N, 141.00048°E), (36.99588°N, 141.00048°E), and (36.99588°N, 140.53747°E) (Fig. 1). The study area contained the evacuation zone, which has been categorized into three subzones since October 2013: a zone in preparation for lifting the evacuation order (≤20 mSv/year, Zone 1), a restricted residence area (20–50 mSv/year, Zone 2), and a difficult-to-return-to zone (>50 mSv/year, after five years the air dose rate will be > 20 mSv/year, Zone 3). Zone 1 and 2 areas have been reviewed annually, some of the areas designation were canceled by 2016. We set up 52 monitoring sites inside and outside the evacuation zone in 2014 (33 sites outside the evacuation zone, six sites in Zone 1, seven sites in Zone 2, and six sites in Zone 3), which were the same as the insect monitoring sites used by Yoshioka et al. (2015). After that we set up 57 monitoring sites (33 sites outside the evacuation zone, eight sites in Zone 1, ten sites in Zone 2, and six sites in Zone 3) in 2015 and 55 monitoring sites (33 sites outside the evacuation zone, six sites in Zone 1, ten sites in Zone 2, and six sites in Zone 3) in 2016. All monitoring sites were located within schoolyards (including those that had been converted to community centers) to minimize differences in the local site conditions and to examine the bird assemblages in the urban and rural landscapes that were heavily altered by land abandonment due to the nuclear plant accident.

Fig. 1 Locations of the monitoring sites (black dots).

SAMPLING METHODS

A digital voice recorder (DS-850, Olympus, Tokyo, Japan; Fig. 2) was installed at each monitoring site during May–July in each year. The recorders were adjusted to timer-recording mode and recorded for 10 min before and after sunrise (total 20 min) every day until the batteries were depleted. The recorders were fixed to tripod stands at a height of about 0.9 m. The recorded data were split into 1-min segments in MP3 (124 kbps) format, which was treated as the minimum sample unit.

Fig. 2 Picture of an installed equipment.

We identified species of birds from acoustic data. Bioacoustics signals is a promised source of information for avian species identification (Lopes et al. 2011), and acoustic monitoring can produce similar result as traditional on-site survey methods in comparative ecological studies (Haselmayer & Quinn 2000; Hobson et al. 2002; Klingbeil & Willig 2015). Because the number of segments was very large, we chose a subset of segments evenly throughout the sampling period (8.08 days/site and 17.0 segments/day/site in 2014, 7.65 days/site and 17.8 segments/day/site in 2015, and 5.74 days/site and 16.8 segments/day/site in 2016, in average). A total of 7,138 of the 45,540 segments were chosen in 2014, 7,945 of the 46,440 segments were chosen in 2015, and 5,221 of the 42,440 segments were chosen in 2016. Species that appeared in each segment were identified by experts and their presence-absence was recorded. Some of the segments were identified through a citizen-scientific project, “Bird Data Challenge (Fukasawa et al. 2017)”, in which we listened to audio data and prepared a species list of birds with involvement of local citizen experts. Data identified through the Bird Data Challenge was checked by authors or other experts to correct misspecifications of species.

We were careful to avoid the negative impact (e.g., pressure of photographing and illegal capture) on endangered and attractive species when we made the species distribution data accessible online. We left the location ID blank and assigned the mean latitude and longitude of the study area in the presence-absence records for endangered species (i.e., species ranked VU, EN, and CR in the National or Prefectural Red List) and species attracting particular public interest (Terpsiphone atrocaudata and Halcyon coromanda).

CONTRIBUTORS

A. Dataset owner and contact person

Name: NIES Fukushima Terrestrial Ecosystem Monitoring Team
Affiliation: Fukushima Branch/Center for Environmental Biology and Ecosystem Studies, National Institute for Environmental Studies
Address: 16-2 Onogawa, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, 305-8506 Japan
Mail: ecomoni_fukushima@nies.go.jp

B. Data management

Name: Keita Fukasawa
Affiliation: Fukushima Branch/Center for Environmental Biology and Ecosystem Studies, National Institute for Environmental Studies

TAXONOMY AND SYSTEMATICS

All species were identified by the authors or by professional experts or local citizen experts. Core members of the local citizen experts belonged to chapters of the Wild Bird Society of Japan in Fukushima Prefecture. If we could not obtain sufficient information to identify a species from acoustic data, we recorded the next highest taxonomic level (e.g., genus) that could be specified with certainty. Scientific names followed the Ornithological Society of Japan (2012).

DATA FORMAT

The data are provided as two types: (1) full dataset of presence-absence data, and (2) occurrence data formatted according to the Darwin Core Archives (Darwin Core Task Group (TDWG) 2009).

The full dataset was formatted into tables of audio information (location ID, coordinate, date, and time) and presence-absence of each species.

The Darwin Core Archives, a data format for recording the occurrence of organisms worldwide (e.g., specimen records and observational records), is the de facto standard for describing species occurrences (Osawa et al. 2011) and has been used in the Ecological Research Data Paper Archives (Osawa 2013; Voraphab et al. 2015).

All tables are provided as tab delimited text files with UTF-8 encoding.

DATA FILE COMPONENTS

Data file name Inside files Description
NIES_FTEM_acousticbird_pa.txt - Presence-absence records of each species in each 1-min segment with the monitoring site ID, geographical coordinate, date, and time.
NIES_FTEM_acousticbird _evacuation.txt - Evacuation zone category of each monitoring site and its designation date.
dwca_NIES_FTEM_acousticbird.zip eml.xml Simplified ecological metadata language files according to the TDWG role.
meta.xml Metafile that defines the Darwin Core contents.
event.txt Darwin Core formatted records of a sampling event including date, time, geographical coordinates and sampling protocol.
occurrence.txt Darwin Core formatted records of acoustic detections including event ID, scientific names of birds detected and occurrence status (present or absent).

DATA TABLE DESCRIPTIONS

A. NIES_FTEM_acousticbird_pa.txt

Contents name Description
institutionCode Code (or acronym) identifying the institution administering the collection in which the organism record is cataloged.
collectionCode Code (or acronym) identifying the collection.
locationID Code identifying the research location.
locality.jp Japanese name for the research location.
decimalLatitude Decimal degrees of latitude.
decimalLongitude Decimal degreed of longitude.
modified Date last modified.
y Year recorded.
m Month recorded.
d Date recorded.
iteration Running number of segments in a day (1–20).
hm Time recorded.
identifiedBy The person or organization who identified the record. “ECORIS” is an environment research company, ECORIS Inc., Sendai. “BDC (group ID)” indicates that the record was identified by the participants of Bird Data Challenge. In the Bird Data Challenge, participants were divided into several groups to proceed species identification, and the group ID was described in parentheses.
rain The indicator variable meaning whether there is rain noise on the audio data (1), or not (0).
noise The indicator variable meaning whether there was noise (not caused by rain) in the audio data (1), or not (0).
uncertain The indicator variable meaning whether the identification is uncertain (1), or not (0).
species.jp The Japanese name of the species in the Roman alphabet.
family Scientific name of family.
genus Scientific name of genus.
species Scientific name of species.
PresenceAbsence Presence (1) or absence (0) of the species.
UnclearLocation A variable indicating whether the location is hidden to prevent a negative effect on endangered or attractive species (1), or not (0).

B. NIES_FTEM_acousticbird_evacuation.txt

Contents name Description
locationID Code identifying the research location.
evacuationCategory Category of evacuation zone: 0 = Non-evacuation zone, 1 = Zone in preparation for the lifting of the evacuation order (Zone 1), 2 = Restricted residence area (Zone 2), 3 = Difficult-to-return-to zone (Zone 3).
designatedDate Date in 2013 when a site was designated an evacuation zone. NA was assigned to sites that have never been designated an evacuation zone.

C. event.txt in dwca_NIES_FTEM_acousticbird.zip

This table is formatted with Darwin Core Archives and therefore description of columns of the tables can be found at Darwin Core Task Group (TDWG) website (http://rs.tdwg.org/dwc/terms/).

Contents name Description
id An identifier for the set of information associated with a sampling event (i.e. a record in a day at a monitoring site). Date, locationID and the running number of a sampling event were joined by colons.
type The nature or genre of the resource. For Darwin Core, recommended best practice is to use the name of the class that defines the root of the record.
license A legal document giving official permission to do something with the resource.
eventID An identifier for the set of information associated with a sampling event (i.e. a record in a day at a monitoring site). Date, locationID and the running number of a sampling event were joined by colons.
samplingProtocol The description of the method used during a sampling event.
sampleSizeValue A numeric value for a measurement of the size (time duration) of a sample in a sampling event.
sampleSizeUnit The unit of measurement of the size (time duration) of a sample in a sampling event.
samplingEffort The amount of effort expended during a sampling event.
eventDate The date of a sampling event.
eventTime The interval of time of a sampling event.
year The year of a sampling event.
month The month of a sampling event.
day The day of a sampling event.
eventRemarks Comments or notes about a sampling event.
locationID An identifier for the set of location information.
country The name of the country.
countryCode The ISO 3166-1-alpha-2 code for the country.
stateProvince The name of the next smaller administrative region than country (i.e. prefecture).
locality The specific description of a sampling site.
decimalLatitude The decimal latitude of a sampling site.
decimalLongitude The decimal longitude of a sampling site.
geodeticDatum The geodetic datum of the coordinates.

D. occurrence.txt in dwca_NIES_FTEM_acousticbird.zip

This table is formatted with Darwin Core Archives and therefore description of columns of the tables can be found at Darwin Core Task Group (TDWG) website (http://rs.tdwg.org/dwc/terms/).

Contents name Description
id An identifier for the set of information associated with a sampling event (i.e. a record in a day at a monitoring site). Date, locationID and the running number of a sampling event were joined by colons.

type The nature or genre of the resource. For Darwin Core, recommended best practice is to use the name of the class that defines the root of the record.
modified Date last modified.
license A legal document giving official permission to do something with the resource.
institutionCode Code (or acronym) identifying the institution administering the collection in which the organism record is cataloged.

collectionCode Code (or acronym) identifying the collection.
basisOfRecord The specific nature of the data record.
occurrenceID An identifier for a presence/absence record.
occurrenceStatus The presence or absence of a record.
eventID An identifier for the set of information associated with a sampling event (i.e. a record in a day at a monitoring site). Date, locationID and the running number of a sampling event were joined by colons.
identifiedBy The person or organization who identified the record.
scientificName The full scientific name, with authorship and date information if known.
kingdom Scientific name of kingdom
phylum Scientific name of phylum
class Scientific name of class
family Scientific name of family
genus Scientific name of genus
specificEpithet The name of the first or species epithet of the scientificName.
taxonRank The taxonomic rank of the most specific name in the scientificName.
scientificNameAuthorship The authorship information for the scientificName.

DATA STATUS

Latest Update: January 24, 2018.

These data span the period May–June in 2014 to 2016. This census will continue after 2016 but these data have not yet been compiled. The published dataset will be updated after compilation.

ACCESSIBILITY

License and Usage Rights

Users can download the datasets via the internet under a Creative Commons attribution license, CC-BY 4.0 International (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode).

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

This study was conducted with the help of local governments including Date city, Iitate village, Iwaki city, Minami-Souma city, Namie town, Naraha town, Nihonmatsu city, Souma city, and Tamura city. We thank the members of Ecoris Inc. and the collaborators and participants of Bird Data Challenge for helping with the acoustic identification of species. We are grateful to Atsushi Haga for supporting the acoustic identification, and Drs. Masanori Tamaoki, Hiroyuki Oguma, and Noe Matsushima for helping with the field work. This study was financially supported by the research program on Disaster Environment, an internal budget of the National Institute for Environmental Studies. The internal budget was originally issued by the Ministry of Environment, Japan. (http://www.nies.go.jp/shinsai/index-e.html).

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