Using advanced mapping tools to help monitor Eurasian watermilfoil for improved treatment options.

Document Type

Conference Paper/Presentation

Publication Date



The invasive aquatic plant Eurasian watermilfoil (EWM), Myriophyllum spicatum, has been noted as a particular problem in nearshore regions of the Great Lakes and inland waters in recent years. It is well known for forming dense beds that interfere with recreation, crowding out native plants, and hybridizing with native milfoil species. Two GLRI and one Michigan DNR project have led to increased understanding of the genetic, biophysical, and chemical factors that influence the understanding of EWM ecology and likelihood of treatment success. These projects have used remote sensing tools to map areas containing EWM so that the treatment efficacy can be rapidly measured. Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) platforms and satellite imagery have been used to create maps of EWM and other macrophytes for Great Lakes study areas. Collection of spectral signatures using handheld and UAV-mounted spectrometers enabled identification of optimal spectral bands for differentiation of EWM from other macrophytes, which were used to select narrowband filters for mapping with a six-camera multispectral system. Lessons learned on geolocating data, sources of spectral variation, and impacts of high plant diversity on mapping results will be applied to another year of EWM mapping that coincides with treatment efforts in the Les Cheneaux Islands in 2017.

Publisher's Statement

Publisher's version of record: http://iaglr.org/conference/downloads/2017_abstracts.pdf

Publication Title

IAGLR's 60th annual Conference on Great Lakes Research