Mapping tools are needed to document the location and extent of Phragmites australis, a tall grass that invades coastal marshes throughout North America, displacing native plant species and degrading wetland habitat. Mapping Phragmites is particularly challenging in the freshwater Great Lakes coastal wetlands due to dynamic lake levels and vegetation diversity. We tested the applicability of Hyperion hyperspectral satellite imagery for mapping Phragmites in wetlands of the west coast of Green Bay in Wisconsin, U.S.A. A reference spectrum created using Hyperion data from several pure Phragmites stands within the image was used with a Spectral Correlation Mapper (SCM) algorithm to create a raster map with values ranging from 0 to 1, where 0 represented the greatest similarity between the reference spectrum and the image spectrum and 1 the least similarity. The final two-class thematic classification predicted monodominant Phragmites covering 3.4% of the study area. Most of this was concentrated in long linear features parallel to the Green Bay shoreline, particularly in areas that had been under water only six years earlier when lake levels were 66??cm higher. An error matrix using spring 2005 field validation points (n = 129) showed good overall accuracy-81.4%. The small size and linear arrangement of Phragmites stands was less than optimal relative to the sensor resolution, and Hyperion's 30??m resolution captured few if any pure pixels. Contemporary Phragmites maps prepared with Hyperion imagery would provide wetland managers with a tool that they currently lack, which could aid attempts to stem the spread of this invasive species. ?? 2006 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Additional publication details
Mapping an invasive plant, Phragmites australis, in coastal wetlands using the EO-1 Hyperion hyperspectral sensor