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Remote Sensing of Forested Wetlands: Application of Multitemporal and Multispectral Satellite Imagery to Determine Plant Community Composition and Structure in Southeastern USA

Citation

Townsend, Philip A. & Walsh, Stephen J. (2001). Remote Sensing of Forested Wetlands: Application of Multitemporal and Multispectral Satellite Imagery to Determine Plant Community Composition and Structure in Southeastern USA. Plant Ecology, 157(2), 129-49.

Abstract

A hierarchical classification of forested wetland communities was developed for the lower Roanoke River floodplain of northeastern North Carolina, USA, through the use of multitemporal and multispectral satellite digital data. Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) images from different seasons (March–April, May–June, July–August) throughout a single year were used to exploit the phenological variability of forest communities for generating a landcover classification of ecologically important vegetation types within the floodplain. A hierarchical classification scheme was developed that relied upon customized spectral `feature sets' of Landsat TM bands and their transformations to generate the classified images for each level of the forest community classification scheme. The objective was to enhance the discrimination of the community types at subsequent levels of the hierarchical classification scheme through different spectral inputs from the assembled satellite time series in conjunction with detailed floristic information collected though in-situ methods. As such, general landcover classes were iteratively reclassified into more detailed classes at correspondingly `deeper' levels or nodes in the hierarchy. Vegetation classes included 21 forest communities and several other ecologically important classes in the study area. The integration of detailed field data permitted spatially-explicit and highly descriptive definitions of the forest types occurring within the floodplain. Additional field data were used to validate the compositional and structural characteristics of the mapped plant communities described by the classification scheme.

URL

https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1013999513172

Reference Type

Journal Article

Journal Title

Plant Ecology

Author(s)

Townsend, Philip A.
Walsh, Stephen J.

Year Published

2001

Volume Number

157

Issue Number

2

Pages

129-49

Reference ID

1945