Bioscatter transport by tropical cyclones: insights from 10 years in the Atlantic basin

Author: Van Den Broeke, Matthew S.

Year: 2021

Publication: Remote Sensing in Ecology and Conservation

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Abstract: Tropical cyclones (TCs) can transport birds and insects near their center of circulation.
In this study, we examined the maximum altitude, area and density of
the radar-derived bioscatter signature across a set of 42 TC centers of circulation
sampled from 2011 to 2020. All TC events contained at least one time
when a bioscatter signature was present. More intense hurricanes with closed
eyes typically had taller and denser bioscatter signatures, and sometimes larger
areas dominated by bioscatter. This indicated a larger number of organisms
within the circulation of more intense hurricanes, supporting the speculation
that those storms were most likely to trap birds that do not want to risk flying
through their eyewall thunderstorms. Larger and denser bioscatter signatures,
indicating a larger number of birds, tend to occur when fall migration brings a
large bird population to the Gulf and East Coasts where most storms were sampled.
TC formation location was not related to bioscatter characteristics, but
storms sampled in the Gulf of Mexico and Florida tended to have larger and
denser bioscatter signatures.

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