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Distinguishing mangrove species with laboratory measurements of hyperspectral leaf reflectance

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As a first step in developing classification procedures for remotely acquired hyperspectral mapping of mangrove canopies, we conducted a laboratory study of mangrove leaf spectral reflectance at a study site on the Caribbean coast of Panama, where the mangrove forest canopy is dominated by Avicennia germinans, Laguncularia racemosa, and Rhizophora mangle. Using a high-resolution spectrometer, we measured the reflectance of leaves collected from replicate trees of three mangrove species growing in productive and physiologically stressful habitats. The reflectance data were analysed in the following ways. First, a one-way ANOVA was performed to identify bands that exhibited significant differences (P value<0.01) in the mean reflectance across tree species. The selected bands then formed the basis for a linear discriminant analysis (LDA) that classified the three types of mangrove leaves. The contribution of each narrow band to the classification was assessed by the absolute value of standardised coefficients associated with each discriminant function. Finally, to investigate the capability of hyperspectral data to diagnose the stress condition across the three mangrove species, four narrow band ratios (R 695/R 420, R 605/R 760, R 695/R 760, and R 710/R 760 where R 695 represents reflectance at wavelength of 695nm, and so on) were calculated and compared between stressed and non-stressed tree leaves using ANOVA. Results indicate a good discrimination was achieved with an average kappa value of 0.9. Wavebands at 780, 790, 800, 1480, 1530, and 1550 nm were identified as the most useful bands for mangrove species classification. At least one of the four reflectance ratio indices proved useful in detecting stress associated with any of the three mangrove species. Overall, hyperspectral data appear to have great potential for discriminating mangrove canopies of differing species composition and for detecting stress in mangrove vegetation.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Geography, University at Buffalo, State University of New York, Buffalo, NY 14261, USA 2: Department of Integrative Biology, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA

Publication date: January 1, 2009

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