Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://hdl.handle.net/2440/86508
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Type: Journal article
Title: Detecting new Buffel grass infestations in Australian arid lands: evaluation of methods using high-resolution multispectral imagery and aerial photography
Author: Marshall, V.
Lewis, M.
Ostendorf, B.
Citation: Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 2014; 186(3):1689-1703
Publisher: Springer-Verlag
Issue Date: 2014
ISSN: 0167-6369
1573-2959
Statement of
Responsibility: 
V. M. Marshall, M. M. Lewis, B. Ostendorf
Abstract: We assess the feasibility of using airborne imagery for Buffel grass detection in Australian arid lands and evaluate four commonly used image classification techniques (visual estimate, manual digitisation, unsupervised classification and normalised difference vegetation index (NDVI) thresholding) for their suitability to this purpose. Colour digital aerial photography captured at approximately 5 cm of ground sample distance (GSD) and four-band (visible–near-infrared) multispectral imagery (25 cm GSD) were acquired (14 February 2012) across overlapping subsets of our study site. In the field, Buffel grass projected cover estimates were collected for quadrates (10 m diameter), which were subsequently used to evaluate the four image classification techniques. Buffel grass was found to be widespread throughout our study site; it was particularly prevalent in riparian land systems and alluvial plains. On hill slopes, Buffel grass was often present in depressions, valleys and crevices of rock outcrops, but the spread appeared to be dependent on soil type and vegetation communities. Visual cover estimates performed best (r 2 0.39), and pixel-based classifiers (unsupervised classification and NDVI thresholding) performed worst (r 2 0.21). Manual digitising consistently underrepresented Buffel grass cover compared with field- and image-based visual cover estimates; we did not find the labours of digitising rewarding. Our recommendation for regional documentation of new infestation of Buffel grass is to acquire ultra-high-resolution aerial photography and have a trained observer score cover against visual standards and use the scored sites to interpolate density across the region.
Keywords: Remote sensing; Aerial photography; High resolution; Invasive species; Natural resource management; Cenchrus ciliaris; Pennisetum ciliare
Rights: © The Author(s) 2013
DOI: 10.1007/s10661-013-3486-7
Appears in Collections:Aurora harvest 2
Earth and Environmental Sciences publications

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