Numerical modelling of the flight behaviour of bats to estimate the collision risk with wind turbines

Thesis

Title: Numerical modelling of the flight behaviour of bats to estimate the collision risk with wind turbines
Authors: Muller, C.
Publication Date:
February 09, 2018
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Academic Department: Mathematics
Pages: 133
Affiliation:
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Document Access

Website: External Link

Citation

Muller, C. (2018). Numerical modelling of the flight behaviour of bats to estimate the collision risk with wind turbines. Doctoral Dissertation, Trier University.
Abstract: 

In this thesis, we present a new approach for estimating the effects of wind turbines for a local bat population. We build an individual based model (IBM) which simulates the movement behaviour of every single bat of the population with its own preferences, foraging behaviour and other species characteristics. This behaviour is normalized by a Monte-Carlo simulation which gives us the average behaviour of the population. The result is an occurrence map of the considered habitat which tells us how often the bat and therefore the considered bat population frequent every region of this habitat. Hence, it is possible to estimate the crossing rate of the position of an existing or potential wind turbine. We compare this individual based approach with a partial differential equation based method. This second approach produces a lower computational effort but, unfortunately, we lose information about the movement trajectories at the same time. Additionally, the PDE based model only gives us a density profile. Hence, we lose the information how often each bat crosses special points in the habitat in one night.rnIn a next step we predict the average number of fatalities for each wind turbine in the habitat, depending on the type of the wind turbine and the behaviour of the considered bat species. This gives us the extra mortality caused by the wind turbines for the local population. This value is used for a population model and finally we can calculate whether the population still grows or if there already is a decline in population size which leads to the extinction of the population.rnUsing the combination of all these models, we are able to evaluate the conflict of wind turbines and bats and to predict the result of this conflict. Furthermore, it is possible to find better positions for wind turbines such that the local bat population has a better chance to survive.rnSince bats tend to move in swarm formations under certain circumstances, we introduce swarm simulation using partial integro-differential equations. Thereby, we have a closer look at existence and uniqueness properties of solutions.

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