Discriminating between cool season and warm season grassland cover types in northeastern Kansas
This study assesses the ability of multitemporal Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) data and the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) to spectrally separate grazed cool season and warm season grassland cover types in Douglas County, Kansas. Biophysical data collected during the summer of 1997 suggest that differences in the per cent of total living vegetation cover, per cent of senescent vegetation, and proportion of forb cover between the two grassland cover types could make cool season and warm season grassland cover types spectrally distinct. The results show that the two grassland cover types were spectrally different in several spring (May) and mid-summer (July) bands, but not in any fall (September) bands. Furthermore, the two grassland cover types could be discriminated with a high level of accuracy. Accuracy assessments of the three single dates showed that the mid-summer (July) image and NDVI discriminated between the grassland cover types most accurately (81.8%). The multitemporal TM and NDVI data did not improve the spectral discrimination of the two grassland cover types over the mid-summer image or NDVI and had classification accuracy levels of 63.6% and 68.2%, respectively.