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Remote Sens. 2016, 8(12), 989; doi:10.3390/rs8120989

Integration of Optical and X-Band Radar Data for Pasture Biomass Estimation in an Open Savannah Woodland

1
Queensland Department of Science, Information Technology and Innovation, GPO BOX 5078, Brisbane QLD 4102, Australia
2
Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, P.O. Box 976, Charters Towers, QLD 4820, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Lalit Kumar, Onisimo Mutanga, Xiaofeng Li and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 2 September 2016 / Revised: 22 November 2016 / Accepted: 25 November 2016 / Published: 1 December 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Above Ground Biomass)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [6987 KB, uploaded 1 December 2016]   |  

Abstract

Pasture biomass is an important quantity globally in livestock industries, carbon balances, and bushfire management. Quantitative estimates of pasture biomass or total standing dry matter (TSDM) at the field scale are much desired by land managers for land-resource management, forage budgeting, and conservation purposes. Estimates from optical satellite imagery alone tend to saturate in the cover-to-mass relationship and fail to differentiate standing dry matter from litter. X-band radar imagery was added to complement optical imagery with a structural component to improve TSDM estimates in rangelands. High quality paddock-scale field data from a northeastern Australian cattle grazing trial were used to establish a statistical TSDM model by integrating optical satellite image data from the Landsat sensor with observations from the TerraSAR-X (TSX) radar satellite. Data from the dry season of 2014 and the wet season of 2015 resulted in models with adjusted r2 of 0.81 in the dry season and 0.74 in the wet season. The respective models had a mean standard error of 332 kg/ha and 240 kg/ha. The wet and dry season conditions were different, largely due to changed overstorey vegetation conditions, but not greatly in a pasture ‘growth’ sense. A more robust combined-season model was established with an adjusted r2 of 0.76 and a mean standard error of 358 kg/ha. A clear improvement in the model performance could be demonstrated when integrating HH polarised TSX imagery with optical satellite image products. View Full-Text
Keywords: TerraSAR-X; Landsat; pasture biomass; Wambiana grazing trial; foliage projective cover; fractional vegetation cover TerraSAR-X; Landsat; pasture biomass; Wambiana grazing trial; foliage projective cover; fractional vegetation cover
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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. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Schmidt, M.; Carter, J.; Stone, G.; O’Reagain, P. Integration of Optical and X-Band Radar Data for Pasture Biomass Estimation in an Open Savannah Woodland. Remote Sens. 2016, 8, 989.

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