Assessing long-term variations in sagebrush habitat: characterization of spatial extents and distribution patterns using multi-temporal satellite remote-sensing data

International Journal of Remote Sensing
By: , and 

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Abstract

An approach that can generate sagebrush habitat change estimates for monitoring large-area sagebrush ecosystems has been developed and tested in southwestern Wyoming, USA. This prototype method uses a satellite-based image change detection algorithm and regression models to estimate sub-pixel percentage cover for five sagebrush habitat components: bare ground, herbaceous, litter, sagebrush and shrub. Landsat images from three different months in 1988, 1996 and 2006 were selected to identify potential landscape change during these time periods using change vector (CV) analysis incorporated with an image normalization algorithm. Regression tree (RT) models were used to estimate percentage cover for five components on all change areas identified in 1988 and 1996, using unchanged 2006 baseline data as training for both estimates. Over the entire study area (24 950 km2), a net increase of 98.83 km2, or 0.7%, for bare ground was measured between 1988 and 2006. Over the same period, the other four components had net losses of 20.17 km2, or 0.6%, for herbaceous vegetation; 30.16 km2, or 0.7%, for litter; 32.81 km2, or 1.5%, for sagebrush; and 33.34 km2, or 1.2%, for shrubs. The overall accuracy for shrub vegetation change between 1988 and 2006 was 89.56%. Change patterns within sagebrush habitat components differ spatially and quantitatively from each other, potentially indicating unique responses by these components to disturbances imposed upon them.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Assessing long-term variations in sagebrush habitat: characterization of spatial extents and distribution patterns using multi-temporal satellite remote-sensing data
Series title International Journal of Remote Sensing
DOI 10.1080/01431161.2011.605085
Volume 33
Issue 7
Year Published 2012
Language English
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Publisher location London, England
Contributing office(s) Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center
Description 25 p.
First page 2034
Last page 2058