Estimating habitat condition using time series remote sensing and ecological survey data: preliminary investigations

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Donohue, Randall; Harwood, Tom; Williams, Kristen; Ferrier, Simon; McVicar, Tim

Donohue, Randall; Harwood, Tom; Williams, Kristen; Ferrier, Simon; McVicar, Tim


2013-09-15


Report


44


The remote sensing of biophysical condition of the landscape is a major conceptual and methodological challenge. In particular, multiple definitions of the problem, including difficulties with defining the reference “ideal” state, can cause confusion. Here we tackle this challenge using a novel framework involving the scaling of remotely sensed metrics as a function of abiotic environmental space. We test this method using a coarse-scale continent-wide application assuming that all cells in protected areas are in a pristine state, and can therefore serve as benchmarks for assessing the condition of environmentally similar cells outside protected areas. A model based on time series summary statistics of RS metrics and the expected spatial turnover of these as a function of distance in environmental space produced a continent-wide spatial representation of condition exhibiting reasonable alignment with the known distribution of extant native vegetation versus cleared land, showing that this method has considerable promise if given a better quality training set. Whilst these prototype results show broad agreement with highly degraded land, a critical assessment of their behaviour in partially modified land is essential before the approach can be considered ready for application. Consultation with State and Federal experts has revealed a great deal of interest in the conceptual framework and a positive response to preliminary results. In particular, the possibility of testing the approach using high quality field-based condition data for Victoria has been discussed.


CSIRO Earth Observation and Informatics Transformational Capability Platform


Canberra


remote sensing; National Reserve System; generalised dissimilarity modelling; habitat condition; environmental accounting; biodiversity monitoring


Earth Sciences not elsewhere classified; Bioinformatics; Conservation and Biodiversity ; Natural Resource Management


Published Version (pdf) (17.08MB)


https://doi.org/10.4225/08/58503778590e0


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This report has been placed on the CSIRO repository and may be made available to persons outside of CSIRO for non commercial purposes, in its entirety and without deletion of disclaimers and copyright information.


EP1311716


Technical Report (Author)


English


Donohue, Randall; Harwood, Tom; Williams, Kristen; Ferrier, Simon; McVicar, Tim. Estimating habitat condition using time series remote sensing and ecological survey data: preliminary investigations. Canberra: CSIRO Earth Observation and Informatics Transformational Capability Platform; 2013. csiro:EP1311716. https://doi.org/10.4225/08/58503778590e0



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