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Sensors 2008, 8(8), 4983-4994; doi:10.3390/s8084983
Article

Mapping Regional Distribution of a Single Tree Species: Whitebark Pine in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem

1
,
1,* , 2
 and
2
1 Land Resources and Environmental Sciences Department, P.O. Box 173490, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT 59717-3490, U.S.A 2 USGS Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center, Bozeman, MT 59717, U.S.A
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 25 July 2008 / Revised: 15 August 2008 / Accepted: 21 August 2008 / Published: 25 August 2008
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Abstract

Moderate resolution satellite imagery traditionally has been thought to be inadequate for mapping vegetation at the species level. This has made comprehensive mapping of regional distributions of sensitive species, such as whitebark pine, either impractical or extremely time consuming. We sought to determine whether using a combination of moderate resolution satellite imagery (Landsat Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus), extensive stand data collected by land management agencies for other purposes, and modern statistical classification techniques (boosted classification trees) could result in successful mapping of whitebark pine. Overall classification accuracies exceeded 90%, with similar individual class accuracies. Accuracies on a localized basis varied based on elevation. Accuracies also varied among administrative units, although we were not able to determine whether these differences related to inherent spatial variations or differences in the quality of available reference data.
Keywords: Remote sensing; Landsat; Yellowstone; See5; classification trees; boosting Remote sensing; Landsat; Yellowstone; See5; classification trees; boosting
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Landenburger, L.; Lawrence, R.L.; Podruzny, S.; Schwartz, C.C. Mapping Regional Distribution of a Single Tree Species: Whitebark Pine in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Sensors 2008, 8, 4983-4994.

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