Terrestrial and submerged aquatic vegetation mapping in fire Island National Seashore using high spatial resolution remote sensing data

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The vegetation communities and spatial patterns on the Fire Island National Seashore are dynamic as the result of interactions with driving forces such as sand deposition, storm-driven over wash, salt spray, surface water, as well as with human disturbances. We used high spatial resolution QuickBird-2 satellite remote sensing data to map both terrestrial and submerged aquatic vegetation communities of the National Seashore. We adopted a stratified classification and unsupervised classification approach for mapping terrestrial vegetation types. Our classification scheme included detailed terrestrial vegetation types identified by previous vegetation mapping efforts of the National Park Service and three generalized categories of high-density seagrass, low-density seagrass coverages, and unvegetated bottom to map the submerged aquatic vegetation habitats. We used underwater videography, GPS-guided field reference photography, and bathymetric data to support remote sensing image classification and information extraction. This study achieved approximately 82% and 75% overall classification accuracy for the terrestrial and submnerged aquatic vegetations, respectively, and provided an updated vegetation inventory and change analysis for the Northeast Coastal and Barrier Network of the National Park Service.

Publication Title, e.g., Journal

Marine Geodesy