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Unsupervised classification of lidar-based vegetation structure metrics at Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve

Open-File Report 2012-1096

Prepared in collaboration with the National Park Service Inventory and Monitoring Program's Gulf Coast Network
By:
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Abstract

Traditional vegetation maps capture the horizontal distribution of various vegetation properties, for example, type, species and age/senescence, across a landscape. Ecologists have long known, however, that many important forest properties, for example, interior microclimate, carbon capacity, biomass and habitat suitability, are also dependent on the vertical arrangement of branches and leaves within tree canopies. The objective of this study was to use a digital elevation model (DEM) along with tree canopy-structure metrics derived from a lidar survey conducted using the Experimental Advanced Airborne Research Lidar (EAARL) to capture a three-dimensional view of vegetation communities in the Barataria Preserve unit of Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve, Louisiana. The EAARL instrument is a raster-scanning, full waveform-resolving, small-footprint, green-wavelength (532-nanometer) lidar system designed to map coastal bathymetry, topography and vegetation structure simultaneously. An unsupervised clustering procedure was then applied to the 3-dimensional-based metrics and DEM to produce a vegetation map based on the vertical structure of the park's vegetation, which includes a flotant marsh, scrub-shrub wetland, bottomland hardwood forest, and baldcypress-tupelo swamp forest. This study was completed in collaboration with the National Park Service Inventory and Monitoring Program's Gulf Coast Network. The methods presented herein are intended to be used as part of a cost-effective monitoring tool to capture change in park resources.

Geospatial Extents

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Unsupervised classification of lidar-based vegetation structure metrics at Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve
Series title:
Open-File Report
Series number:
2012-1096
Year Published:
2012
Language:
English
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location:
Reston, VA
Contributing office(s):
St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center
Description:
v, 19 p.
Country:
United States
State:
Louisiana
Other Geospatial:
Barataria Preserve;Jean Lafitte National Historical Park And Preserve;Lake Salvador;Mississippi River
Online Only (Y/N):
Y