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High-resolution vegetation data for mangrove research as obtained from aerial photography
Verheyden, A.; Dahdouh-Guebas, F.; Thomaes, K.; De Genst, W.; Hettiarachchi, S.; Koedam, N. (2002). High-resolution vegetation data for mangrove research as obtained from aerial photography. Environ. Dev. Sustain. 4(2): 113-133.
In: Environment, Development and Sustainability. Springer Science+Business Media: London; Dordrecht; Boston. ISSN 1387-585X; e-ISSN 1573-2975, more
Also appears in:
Dahdouh-Guebas, F. (Ed.) (2002). Remote sensing and GIS in the sustainable management of tropical coastal ecosystems. Environment, Development and Sustainability, 4(2). Kluwer Academic: Dordrecht. 144 pp., more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 

    Imagery > Photography > Aerial photography
    Management > Ecosystem management > Coastal zone management
    Management > Environment management
    Monitoring > Environmental monitoring
    Remote sensing
    Surveys > Aerial surveys
    Vegetation cover
    Water bodies > Inland waters > Wetlands > Swamps > Mangrove swamps
    ISW, Sri Lanka [Marine Regions]
Author keywords
    aerial photography; mangrove; remote sensing; Sri Lanka; vegetation mapping

Authors  Top 
  • Verheyden, A., more
  • Dahdouh-Guebas, F., more
  • Thomaes, K.
  • De Genst, W.
  • Hettiarachchi, S.
  • Koedam, N., more

    In this methodological study, the applicability of aerial photographs for monitoring mangrove vegetation dynamics at high resolution was investigated. Vegetation maps of three mangrove forests in Sri Lanka (Galle, Rekawa and Pambala) were produced based on visual analysis of aerial photographs. The visual analysis was aided by applying an interpretation key constructed during a first fieldwork mission. Image attributes used for the identification of individual trees included: gray values, texture, form and size of the crowns and the presence or absence of a shaded side. For the identification of species assemblages, the vegetation structure (i.e. the distribution of individual trees) appeared to be an important attribute. The accuracy and reliability of the vegetation maps were investigated during a second fieldwork mission. The aerial photographs proved to be very useful for the production of genus-based vegetation maps. The error analysis showed that density estimations (quantitative identification) based on aerial photography was not sufficiently accurate for the objectives of the study, but that the overall identification of vegetation assemblages (qualitative identification) coincided most satisfactory with the ground-truth data. In addition to the applicability of aerial photography in monitoring mangroves, the importance of aerial photography in the management of the mangrove ecosystem is clearly highlighted.

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