High-Resolution Vegetation Data for Mangrove Research as Obtained From Aerial Photography
Source: Environment, Development and Sustainability, Volume 4, Number 2, 2002 , pp. 113-133(21)
Abstract:In this methodological study, the applicability of aerial photographs for monitoring mangrove vegetation dynamics at high resolution was investigated. Vegetation maps of three mangrove forests in Sri Lanka (Galle, Rekawa and Pambala) were produced based on visual analysis of aerial photographs. The visual analysis was aided by applying an interpretation key constructed during a first fieldwork mission. Image attributes used for the identification of individual trees included: gray values, texture, form and size of the crowns and the presence or absence of a shaded side. For the identification of species assemblages, the vegetation structure (i.e. the distribution of individual trees) appeared to be an important attribute. The accuracy and reliability of the vegetation maps were investigated during a second fieldwork mission. The aerial photographs proved to be very useful for the production of genus-based vegetation maps. The error analysis showed that density estimations (quantitative identification) based on aerial photography was not sufficiently accurate for the objectives of the study, but that the overall identification of vegetation assemblages (qualitative identification) coincided most satisfactory with the ground-truth data. In addition to the applicability of aerial photography in monitoring mangroves, the importance of aerial photography in the management of the mangrove ecosystem is clearly highlighted.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: 1: Research Assistant Fund for Scientific Research-Flanders (Belgium); Research Group of General Botany and Nature Management, Mangrove Management Group; (author for correspondence, e-mail: Anouk.Verheyden@vub.ac.be; fax: +32 2 629 34 13; tel.: +32 2: Research Group of General Botany and Nature Management, Mangrove Management Group 3: Department of Geography, Center for Cartography and GIS, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Pleinlaan 2, 1050 Brussel, Belgium 4: Research Assistant Fund for Scientific Research-Flanders (Belgium)
Publication date: January 1, 2002