Analysing direct impacts of recreation activity on coastal sage scrub habitat with very high resolution multi-spectral imagery

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Coastal sage scrub is one of the most endangered habitat types in the continental United States. Airborne multi-spectral imagery having very high spatial resolution (1 m) was analysed to determine its utility for monitoring impacts on coastal sage scrub habitat from recreation activities. Field-based measurements of bare ground fraction and image metrics were investigated to establish which variables had the strongest relationship. Regression results show that bare ground fraction and red band reflectance had the highest agreement (r2=0.55). An inverted regression model of per cent bare ground and red band data was applied to airborne multi-spectral imagery to create a map of bare ground fraction. Analysis of the map reveals higher bare ground fractions in high intensity recreation areas compared to areas utilized less frequently. Trail feature extraction methods were also explored, where a series of spectral and spatial transforms were tested and the epsilon () error was utilized to quantify trail detection accuracy. Overall results show that principal component analysis (PCA) images and edge enhancement filters enabled higher percentages of trails to be visually delineated compared to the Tasseled Cap transform and a general high frequency filter. Some trail features having widths smaller than half the ground sampling distance (GSD) were delineated.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Geography San Diego State University 5500 Campanile Drive San Diego CA, 92182-4493 USA

Publication date: September 1, 2004

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