Remote Sensing, Vol. 10, Pages 784: Hyperspectral Measurement of Seasonal Variation in the Coverage and Impacts of an Invasive Grass in an Experimental Setting

Research paper by Yuxi Guo, Sarah Graves, S. Luke Flory, Stephanie Bohlman

Indexed on: 29 May '18Published on: 18 May '18Published in: Remote sensing


Hyperspectral remote sensing can be a powerful tool for detecting invasive species and their impact across large spatial scales. However, remote sensing studies of invasives rarely occur across multiple seasons, although the properties of invasives often change seasonally. This may limit the detection of invasives using remote sensing through time. We evaluated the ability of hyperspectral measurements to quantify the coverage of a plant invader and its impact on senesced plant coverage and canopy equivalent water thickness (EWT) across seasons. A portable spectroradiometer was used to collect data in a field experiment where uninvaded plant communities were experimentally invaded by cogongrass, a non-native perennial grass, or maintained as an uninvaded reference. Vegetation canopy characteristics, including senesced plant material, the ratio of live to senesced plants, and canopy EWT varied across the seasons and showed different temporal patterns between the invaded and reference plots. Partial least square regression (PLSR) models based on a single season had a limited predictive ability for data from a different season. Models trained with data from multiple seasons successfully predicted invasive plant coverage and vegetation characteristics across multiple seasons and years. Our results suggest that if seasonal variation is accounted for, the hyperspectral measurement of invaders and their effects on uninvaded vegetation may be scaled up to quantify effects at landscape scales using airborne imaging spectrometers.