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Title: Remotely Sensed Spatial Structure as an Indicator of Internal Changes of Vegetation Communities in Desert Landscapes

Abstract

Desert environments are sensitive to disturbances, and their functions and processes can take many years to recover. Detecting early signs of disturbance is critical, but developing such a capability for expansive remote desert regions is challenging. Using a variogram and 15-cm resolution Visible Atmospherically Resistant Index (VARI) imagery, we examined the usefulness of the spatial structure of desert lands for monitoring early signs of habitat changes using the Riverside East solar energy zone located within Riverside County, California. We tested the method on four habitat types in the region, Parkinsonia florida–Olneya tesota, Chorizanthe rigida–Geraea canescens, Larrea tridentata–Ambrosia dumosa, and Larrea tridentata–Encelia farinosa alliances. The results showed that the sill, range, form, and partial sill of the variogram generated from VARI strongly correlate with overall vegetation cover, average canopy size, canopy size variation, and spatial structure within a dryland habitat, respectively. Establishing a baseline of variogram parameters for each habitat and comparing to subsequent monitoring parameters would be most effective for detecting internal changes because values of variogram parameters would not match absolute values of landscape properties. When monitoring habitats across varying landscape characteristics, a single appropriate image resolution would likely be the resolution that could adequately characterize the habitat dominatedmore » by the smallest vegetation. For the variogram generated from VARI, which correlates to vegetation greenness, the sills may indicate the health of vegetation communities. However, further studies are warranted to determine the effectiveness of variograms for monitoring habitat health. Remotely sensed landscape structure obtained from variograms could provide complementary information to traditional methods for monitoring internal changes in dryland vegetation communities.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [1];  [1]
  1. Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Lemont, IL (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management; USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1528893
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC02-06CH11357
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Remote Sensing
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 11; Journal Issue: 12; Journal ID: ISSN 2072-4292
Publisher:
MDPI
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; VARI; desert; dryland; high resolution imagery; variogram; vegetation community

Citation Formats

Hamada, Yuki, Szoldatits, Katherine, Grippo, Mark, and Hartmann, Heidi M. Remotely Sensed Spatial Structure as an Indicator of Internal Changes of Vegetation Communities in Desert Landscapes. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. doi:10.3390/rs11121495.
Hamada, Yuki, Szoldatits, Katherine, Grippo, Mark, & Hartmann, Heidi M. Remotely Sensed Spatial Structure as an Indicator of Internal Changes of Vegetation Communities in Desert Landscapes. United States. doi:10.3390/rs11121495.
Hamada, Yuki, Szoldatits, Katherine, Grippo, Mark, and Hartmann, Heidi M. Mon . "Remotely Sensed Spatial Structure as an Indicator of Internal Changes of Vegetation Communities in Desert Landscapes". United States. doi:10.3390/rs11121495. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1528893.
@article{osti_1528893,
title = {Remotely Sensed Spatial Structure as an Indicator of Internal Changes of Vegetation Communities in Desert Landscapes},
author = {Hamada, Yuki and Szoldatits, Katherine and Grippo, Mark and Hartmann, Heidi M.},
abstractNote = {Desert environments are sensitive to disturbances, and their functions and processes can take many years to recover. Detecting early signs of disturbance is critical, but developing such a capability for expansive remote desert regions is challenging. Using a variogram and 15-cm resolution Visible Atmospherically Resistant Index (VARI) imagery, we examined the usefulness of the spatial structure of desert lands for monitoring early signs of habitat changes using the Riverside East solar energy zone located within Riverside County, California. We tested the method on four habitat types in the region, Parkinsonia florida–Olneya tesota, Chorizanthe rigida–Geraea canescens, Larrea tridentata–Ambrosia dumosa, and Larrea tridentata–Encelia farinosa alliances. The results showed that the sill, range, form, and partial sill of the variogram generated from VARI strongly correlate with overall vegetation cover, average canopy size, canopy size variation, and spatial structure within a dryland habitat, respectively. Establishing a baseline of variogram parameters for each habitat and comparing to subsequent monitoring parameters would be most effective for detecting internal changes because values of variogram parameters would not match absolute values of landscape properties. When monitoring habitats across varying landscape characteristics, a single appropriate image resolution would likely be the resolution that could adequately characterize the habitat dominated by the smallest vegetation. For the variogram generated from VARI, which correlates to vegetation greenness, the sills may indicate the health of vegetation communities. However, further studies are warranted to determine the effectiveness of variograms for monitoring habitat health. Remotely sensed landscape structure obtained from variograms could provide complementary information to traditional methods for monitoring internal changes in dryland vegetation communities.},
doi = {10.3390/rs11121495},
journal = {Remote Sensing},
number = 12,
volume = 11,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {6}
}

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