Canopy reflectance related to marsh dieback onset and progression in Coastal Louisiana

Photogrammetric Engineering and Remote Sensing
By:  and 



In this study, we extended previous work linking leaf spectral changes, dieback onset, and progression of Spartina alterniflora marshes to changes in site-specific canopy reflectance spectra. First, we obtained canopy reflectance spectra (approximately 20 m ground resolution) from the marsh sites occupied during the leaf spectral analyses and from additional sites exhibiting visual signs of dieback. Subsequently, the canopy spectra were analyzed at two spectral scales: the first scale corresponded to whole-spectra sensors, such as the NASA Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) Hyperion, and the second scale corresponded to broadband spectral sensors, such as the EO-1 Advanced Land Imager and the Landsat Enhanced Thematic Mapper. In the whole-spectra analysis, spectral indicators were generated from the whole canopy spectra (about 400 nm to 1,000 nm) by extracting typical dead and healthy marsh spectra, and subsequently using them to determine the percent composition of all canopy reflectance spectra. Percent compositions were then used to classify canopy spectra at each field site into groups exhibiting similar levels of dieback progression ranging from relatively healthy to completely dead. In the broadband reflectance analysis, blue, green, red, red-edge, and near infrared (NIR) spectral bands and NIR/green and NIR/red transforms were extracted from the canopy spectra. Spectral band and band transform indicators of marsh dieback and progression were generated by relating them to marsh status indicators derived from classifications of the 35 mm slides collected at the same time as the canopy reflectance recordings. The whole spectra and broadband spectral indicators were both able to distinguish (a) healthy marsh, (b) live marsh impacted by dieback, and (c) dead marsh, and they both provided some discrimination of dieback progression. Whole-spectra resolution sensors like the EO-1 Hyperion, however, offered an enhanced ability to categorize dieback progression. 

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Canopy reflectance related to marsh dieback onset and progression in Coastal Louisiana
Series title Photogrammetric Engineering and Remote Sensing
DOI 10.14358/PERS.72.6.641
Volume 72
Issue 6
Year Published 2006
Language English
Publisher American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing
Contributing office(s) National Wetlands Research Center, Wetland and Aquatic Research Center
Description 12 p.
First page 641
Last page 652
Country United States
State Louisiana
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