Title

Mapping invasive Phragmites australis in the coastal Great Lakes with ALOS PALSAR satellite imagery for decision support

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

12-6-2012

Abstract

The invasive variety of Phragmites australis (common reed) forms dense stands that can cause negative impacts on coastal Great Lakes wetlands including habitat degradation and reduced biological diversity. Early treatment is key to controlling Phragmites, therefore a map of the current distribution is needed. ALOS PALSAR imagery was used to produce the first basin-wide distribution map showing the extent of large, dense invasive Phragmites-dominated habitats in wetlands and other coastal ecosystems along the U.S. shore of the Great Lakes. PALSAR is a satellite imaging radar sensor that is sensitive to differences in plant biomass and inundation patterns, allowing for the detection and delineation of these tall (up to 5 m), high density, high biomass invasivePhragmites stands. Classification was based on multi-season ALOS PALSAR L-band (23 cm wavelength) HH and HV polarization data. Seasonal (spring, summer, and fall) datasets were used to improve discrimination of Phragmites by taking advantage of phenological changes in vegetation and inundation patterns over the seasons. Extensive field collections of training and randomly selected validation data were conducted in 2010–2011 to aid in mapping and for accuracy assessments. Overall basin-wide map accuracy was 87%, with 86% producer's accuracy and 43% user's accuracy for invasivePhragmites. The invasive Phragmites maps are being used to identify major environmental drivers of this invader's distribution, to assess areas vulnerable to new invasion, and to provide information to regional stakeholders through a decision support tool.

Publisher's Statement

© 2012 International Association for Great Lakes Research. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. Publisher's version of record: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jglr.2012.11.001

Publication Title

Journal of Great Lakes Research