Characterisation of a multispectral digital camera System for quantitatively comparing complex animal Patterns in natural environments.

Garcia Mendoza, J 2012, Characterisation of a multispectral digital camera System for quantitatively comparing complex animal Patterns in natural environments., Professional Doctorate, Applied Sciences, RMIT University.


Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title Characterisation of a multispectral digital camera System for quantitatively comparing complex animal Patterns in natural environments.
Author(s) Garcia Mendoza, J
Year 2012
Abstract Animal coloration can be described by complex colour patterns including elements of varying size, shape and spectral profile which commonly reflect energy outside the spectral range visible for humans. Whilst spectrometry is currently employed for the quantitative study of animal coloration, it is limited on its ability to describe the spatial characteristics of spectral differences in patterns. Digital photography has recently been used as a tool for measuring spatial and spectral properties of patterns based on quantitative analysis of linear camera responses recovered after characterising the device. However current applications of digital imaging for studying animal coloration are limited to image recording within a laboratory environment considering controlled lighting conditions.

Here a refined methodology for camera characterisation is developed permitting the recording of images under different illumination conditions typical of natural environments. The characterised camera system thus allows recording images from reflected ultraviolet and visible radiation resulting in a multispectral digital camera system. Furthermore a standardised imaging processing workflow was developed based on specific characteristics of the camera thus making possible an objective comparison from images.

An application of the characterised camera system is exemplified in the study of animal colour patterns adapted for camouflage using as a model two Australian, endemic lizard species. The interaction between the spectral and spatial properties of the respective lizards produces complex patterns than cannot be interpreted by spectrophotometry alone. Data obtained from analysis of images recorded with the characterised camera system in the visible and near-ultraviolet region of the spectrum reveal significative differences between sex and species and a possible interaction between sex and species, suggesting microhabitat specialisation to different backgrounds.
Degree Professional Doctorate
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Applied Sciences
Keyword(s) animal coloration
animal colour patterns
ultraviolet radiation
digital photography
OECF
linearisation
quantitative image analysis
ultraviolet photography
image segmentation
spectrophotometry
ctenophorus
dichromatism
disruptive coloration
camouflage
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