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Journal of Applied Remote Sensing • Open Access

Detecting annual and seasonal changes in a sagebrush ecosystem with remote sensing-derived continuous fields
Author(s): Collin G. Homer; Debra K. Meyer; Cameron L. Aldridge; Spencer J. Schell

Paper Abstract

Climate change may represent the greatest future risk to the sagebrush ecosystem. Improved ways to quantify and monitor gradual change resulting from climate influences in this ecosystem are vital to its future management. For this research, the change over time of five continuous field cover components including bare ground, herbaceous, litter, sagebrush, and shrub were measured on the ground and by satellite across six seasons and four years. Ground-measured litter and herbaceous cover exhibited the highest variation annually and herbaceous cover the highest variation seasonally. Correlation of ground measurements to corresponding remote-sensing predictions indicated that annual predictions tracked ground measurements more closely than seasonal ones, and QuickBird predictions tracked ground measurements more closely than Landsat predictions. When annual linear slope values from ground plots and sensor predictions were correlated by component, the direction of ground-measured change was tracked better with QuickBird components than with Landsat components. Component predictions were correlated to annual and seasonal DAYMET precipitation. QuickBird components on average had the best response to precipitation patterns, followed by Landsat components. Overall, these results demonstrate the ability of sagebrush ecosystem components as predicted by regression trees to incrementally measure changing components of a sagebrush ecosystem.

Paper Details

Date Published: 9 September 2013
PDF: 19 pages
J. Appl. Rem. Sens. 7(1) 073508 doi: 10.1117/1.JRS.7.073508
Published in: Journal of Applied Remote Sensing Volume 7, Issue 1
Show Author Affiliations
Collin G. Homer, U.S. Geological Survey (United States)
Debra K. Meyer, SGT, Inc. (United States)
Cameron L. Aldridge, Colorado State Univ. (United States)
Spencer J. Schell, U.S. Geological Survey (United States)

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