A novel morphometry-based protocol of automated video-image analysis for species recognition and activity rhythms monitoring in deep-sea fauna
Aguzzi, J.; Costa, C.; Fujiwara, Y.; Iwase, R.; Ramirez-Llorda, E.; Menesatti, P.
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The understanding of ecosystem dynamics in deep-sea areas is to date limited by technical constraints on sampling repetition. We have elaborated a morphometry-based protocol for automated video-image analysis where animal movement tracking (by frame subtraction) is accompanied by species identification from animalsí outlines by Fourier Descriptors and Standard K-Nearest Neighbours methods. One-week footage from a permanent video-station located at 1,100 m depth in Sagami Bay (Central Japan) was analysed. Out of 150,000 frames (1 per 4 s), a subset of 10.000 was analyzed by a trained operator to increase the efficiency of the automated procedure. Error estimation of the automated and trained operator procedure was computed as a measure of protocol performance. Three displacing species were identified as the most recurrent: Zoarcid fishes (eelpouts), red crabs (Paralomis multispina), and snails (Buccinum soyomaruae). Species identification with KNN thresholding produced better results in automated motion
detection. Results were discussed assuming that the technological bottleneck is to date deeply conditioning the exploration of the deep-sea.