Heterogeneous vegetation structure can create a variable landscape of predation risk—a fearscape—that influences the use and selection of habitat by animals. Mapping the functional properties of vegetation that influence predation risk (e.g., concealment and visibility) across landscapes can be challenging. Traditional ground-based measures of predation risk are location specific and limited in spatial resolution. We demonstrate the benefits of terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) to map the properties of vegetation structure that shape fearscapes. We used TLS data to estimate the concealment of prey from multiple vantage points, representing predator sightlines, as well as the visibility of potential predators from the locations of prey. TLS provides a comprehensive data set that allows an exploration of how habitat changes may affect prey and predators. Together with other remotely sensed imagery, TLS could facilitate the scaling up of fearscape analyses to promote the management and restoration of landscapes.
This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in BioScience following peer review. The version of record is available online at doi: 10.1093/biosci/biu189
Olsoy, Peter J.; Forbey, Jennifer S.; Rachlow, Janet L.; Nobler, Jordan D.; Glenn, Nancy F.; and Shipley, Lisa A.. (2015). "Fearscapes: Mapping Functional Properties of Cover for Prey with Terrestrial LiDAR". BioScience, 65(1), 74-80.