Monitoring the Distribution and Dynamics of an Invasive Grass in Tropical Savanna Using Airborne LiDAR

Shaun Levick, Samantha Setterfield, Natalie Rossiter - Rachor, Lindsay Hutley, Damien McMaster, Jorg Hacker

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    Abstract

    The spread of an alien invasive grass (gamba grass-Andropogon gayanus) in the tropical savannas of Northern Australia is a major threat to habitat quality and biodiversity in the region, primarily through its influence on fire intensity. Effective control and eradication of this invader requires better insight into its spatial distribution and rate of spread to inform management actions. We used full-waveform airborne LiDAR to map areas of known A. gayanus invasion in the Batchelor region of the Northern Territory, Australia. Our stratified sampling campaign included wooded savanna areas with differing degrees of A. gayanus invasion and adjacent areas of native grass and woody tree mixtures. We used height and spatial contiguity based metrics to classify returns from A. gayanus and developed spatial representations of A. gayanus occurrence (1 m resolution) and canopy cover (10 m resolution). The cover classification proved robust against two independent field-based investigations at 500 m2 (R2 = 0.87, RMSE = 12.53) and 100 m2 (R2 = 0.79, RMSE = 14.13) scale. Our mapping results provide a solid benchmark for evaluating the rate and pattern of A. gayanus spread from future LiDAR campaigns. In addition, this high-resolution mapping can be used to inform satellite image analysis for the evaluation of A. gayanus invasion over broader regional scales. Our research highlights the huge potential that airborne LiDAR holds for facilitating the monitoring and management of savanna habitat condition.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)5117-5132
    Number of pages16
    JournalRemote Sensing
    Volume7
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2015

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    savanna
    grass
    monitoring
    habitat quality
    image analysis
    canopy
    biodiversity
    spatial distribution
    sampling
    habitat
    distribution
    rate
    evaluation
    satellite image

    Cite this

    Levick, Shaun ; Setterfield, Samantha ; Rossiter - Rachor, Natalie ; Hutley, Lindsay ; McMaster, Damien ; Hacker, Jorg. / Monitoring the Distribution and Dynamics of an Invasive Grass in Tropical Savanna Using Airborne LiDAR. In: Remote Sensing. 2015 ; Vol. 7. pp. 5117-5132.
    @article{3785a83cc97045889a986443d8ce8bc7,
    title = "Monitoring the Distribution and Dynamics of an Invasive Grass in Tropical Savanna Using Airborne LiDAR",
    abstract = "The spread of an alien invasive grass (gamba grass-Andropogon gayanus) in the tropical savannas of Northern Australia is a major threat to habitat quality and biodiversity in the region, primarily through its influence on fire intensity. Effective control and eradication of this invader requires better insight into its spatial distribution and rate of spread to inform management actions. We used full-waveform airborne LiDAR to map areas of known A. gayanus invasion in the Batchelor region of the Northern Territory, Australia. Our stratified sampling campaign included wooded savanna areas with differing degrees of A. gayanus invasion and adjacent areas of native grass and woody tree mixtures. We used height and spatial contiguity based metrics to classify returns from A. gayanus and developed spatial representations of A. gayanus occurrence (1 m resolution) and canopy cover (10 m resolution). The cover classification proved robust against two independent field-based investigations at 500 m2 (R2 = 0.87, RMSE = 12.53) and 100 m2 (R2 = 0.79, RMSE = 14.13) scale. Our mapping results provide a solid benchmark for evaluating the rate and pattern of A. gayanus spread from future LiDAR campaigns. In addition, this high-resolution mapping can be used to inform satellite image analysis for the evaluation of A. gayanus invasion over broader regional scales. Our research highlights the huge potential that airborne LiDAR holds for facilitating the monitoring and management of savanna habitat condition.",
    keywords = "Biodiversity, Boundary layers, Ecosystems, Mapping, Alien plants, Gamba grass, High-resolution mapping, Invasion, Monitoring and management, Satellite image analysis, Spatial representations, Weed mappings, Optical radar",
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    doi = "10.3390/rs70505117",
    language = "English",
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    Monitoring the Distribution and Dynamics of an Invasive Grass in Tropical Savanna Using Airborne LiDAR. / Levick, Shaun; Setterfield, Samantha; Rossiter - Rachor, Natalie; Hutley, Lindsay; McMaster, Damien; Hacker, Jorg.

    In: Remote Sensing, Vol. 7, 2015, p. 5117-5132.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Monitoring the Distribution and Dynamics of an Invasive Grass in Tropical Savanna Using Airborne LiDAR

    AU - Levick, Shaun

    AU - Setterfield, Samantha

    AU - Rossiter - Rachor, Natalie

    AU - Hutley, Lindsay

    AU - McMaster, Damien

    AU - Hacker, Jorg

    PY - 2015

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    N2 - The spread of an alien invasive grass (gamba grass-Andropogon gayanus) in the tropical savannas of Northern Australia is a major threat to habitat quality and biodiversity in the region, primarily through its influence on fire intensity. Effective control and eradication of this invader requires better insight into its spatial distribution and rate of spread to inform management actions. We used full-waveform airborne LiDAR to map areas of known A. gayanus invasion in the Batchelor region of the Northern Territory, Australia. Our stratified sampling campaign included wooded savanna areas with differing degrees of A. gayanus invasion and adjacent areas of native grass and woody tree mixtures. We used height and spatial contiguity based metrics to classify returns from A. gayanus and developed spatial representations of A. gayanus occurrence (1 m resolution) and canopy cover (10 m resolution). The cover classification proved robust against two independent field-based investigations at 500 m2 (R2 = 0.87, RMSE = 12.53) and 100 m2 (R2 = 0.79, RMSE = 14.13) scale. Our mapping results provide a solid benchmark for evaluating the rate and pattern of A. gayanus spread from future LiDAR campaigns. In addition, this high-resolution mapping can be used to inform satellite image analysis for the evaluation of A. gayanus invasion over broader regional scales. Our research highlights the huge potential that airborne LiDAR holds for facilitating the monitoring and management of savanna habitat condition.

    AB - The spread of an alien invasive grass (gamba grass-Andropogon gayanus) in the tropical savannas of Northern Australia is a major threat to habitat quality and biodiversity in the region, primarily through its influence on fire intensity. Effective control and eradication of this invader requires better insight into its spatial distribution and rate of spread to inform management actions. We used full-waveform airborne LiDAR to map areas of known A. gayanus invasion in the Batchelor region of the Northern Territory, Australia. Our stratified sampling campaign included wooded savanna areas with differing degrees of A. gayanus invasion and adjacent areas of native grass and woody tree mixtures. We used height and spatial contiguity based metrics to classify returns from A. gayanus and developed spatial representations of A. gayanus occurrence (1 m resolution) and canopy cover (10 m resolution). The cover classification proved robust against two independent field-based investigations at 500 m2 (R2 = 0.87, RMSE = 12.53) and 100 m2 (R2 = 0.79, RMSE = 14.13) scale. Our mapping results provide a solid benchmark for evaluating the rate and pattern of A. gayanus spread from future LiDAR campaigns. In addition, this high-resolution mapping can be used to inform satellite image analysis for the evaluation of A. gayanus invasion over broader regional scales. Our research highlights the huge potential that airborne LiDAR holds for facilitating the monitoring and management of savanna habitat condition.

    KW - Biodiversity

    KW - Boundary layers

    KW - Ecosystems

    KW - Mapping

    KW - Alien plants

    KW - Gamba grass

    KW - High-resolution mapping

    KW - Invasion

    KW - Monitoring and management

    KW - Satellite image analysis

    KW - Spatial representations

    KW - Weed mappings

    KW - Optical radar

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    U2 - 10.3390/rs70505117

    DO - 10.3390/rs70505117

    M3 - Article

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    EP - 5132

    JO - Remote Sensing

    JF - Remote Sensing

    SN - 2072-4292

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