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Proceedings Paper

Remote sensing application for identifying wetland sites on Cyprus: problems and prospects
Author(s): Vassilik Markogianni; Elli Tzirkalli; Salih Gücel; Elias Dimitriou; Stamatis Zogaris
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Paper Abstract

Wetland features in seasonally semi-arid islands pose particular difficulties in identification, inventory and conservation assessment. Our survey presents an application of utilizing images of a newly launched sensor, Landsat 8, to rapidly identify inland water bodies and produce a screening-level island-wide inventory of wetlands for the first time in Cyprus. The method treats all lentic water bodies (artificial and natural) and areas holding semi-aquatic vegetation as wetland sites. The results show that 179 sites are delineated by the remote sensing application and when this is supplemented by expert-guided identification and ground surveys during favourable wet-season conditions the total number of inventoried wetland sites is 315. The number of wetland sites is surprisingly large since it does not include micro-wetlands (under 2000 m2 or 0.2 ha) or widespread narrow lotic and riparian stream reaches. In Cyprus, a number of different wetland types occur and often in temporary or ephemerally flooded conditions and they are usually of very small areal extent. Many wetlands are artificial or semi-artificial water bodies, and numerous natural small wetland features are often degraded by anthropogenic changes or exist as remnant patches and are therefore heavily modified compared to their original natural state. The study proves that there is an urgent need for integrated and multidisciplinary study and monitoring of wetlands cover due to either climate change effects and/or anthropogenic interventions. Small wetlands are particularly vulnerable while many artificial wetlands are not managed for biodiversity values. The remote sensing and GIS application are efficient tools for this initial screening-level inventory. The need for baseline inventory information collection in support of wetland conservation is multi-scalar and requires an adaptive protocol to guide effective conservation planning.

Paper Details

Date Published: 12 August 2014
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 9229, Second International Conference on Remote Sensing and Geoinformation of the Environment (RSCy2014), 92291U (12 August 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2066144
Show Author Affiliations
Vassilik Markogianni, Hellenic Ctr. for Marine Research (Greece)
Elli Tzirkalli, Univ. of Ioannina (Cyprus)
Frederick Univ. (Cyprus)
Salih Gücel, Near East Univ. (Cyprus)
Elias Dimitriou, Hellenic Ctr. for Marine Research (Greece)
Stamatis Zogaris, Hellenic Ctr. for Marine Research (Greece)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9229:
Second International Conference on Remote Sensing and Geoinformation of the Environment (RSCy2014)
Diofantos G. Hadjimitsis; Kyriacos Themistocleous; Silas Michaelides; Giorgos Papadavid, Editor(s)

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