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Open Access Cost-Effective Coastal Habitat Mapping: Detecting Intertidal Polychaete Aggregations with Low-Altitude Photogrammetry

Intertidal polychaete aggregations may be protected in the European Union under the Habitats Directive framework as reef habitats. Remote reef mapping remains challenging due to severe and dynamic conditions, as well as cover and spatial resolution requirements. This study (1) evaluated kite aerial photography and low-altitude digital photogrammetry to map and monitor intertidal aggregations of a sessile tube-building polychaete, Lanice conchilega (L. conchilega), and (2) developed a protocol for its remote identification. Monthly campaigns yielded 12 aerial image sets which were processed using structure-from-motion into high-precision digital terrain models and orthophoto mosaics. Maximum likelihood classification distinguished L. conchilega from bare sediment with an accuracy of 70% ± 23.2%. Aggregations were delineated by extracting elements of positive elevation from local difference models. The method has proven useful to detect high-value aggregations, distinguishing these consistently. Nevertheless, systematic biases were present during delineation, and further characterisation of reference aggregations may improve detection.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2019

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  • The official journal of the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing - the Imaging and Geospatial Information Society (ASPRS). This highly respected publication covers all facets of photogrammetry and remote sensing methods and technologies.

    Founded in 1934, the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS) is a scientific association serving over 7,000 professional members around the world. Our mission is to advance knowledge and improve understanding of mapping sciences to promote the responsible applications of photogrammetry, remote sensing, geographic information systems (GIS), and supporting technologies.
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