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Water 2017, 9(7), 527; https://doi.org/10.3390/w9070527

Seasonal Variation in Spectral Response of Submerged Aquatic Macrophytes: A Case Study at Lake Starnberg (Germany)

Aquatic Systems Biology Unit, Limnological Research Station Iffeldorf, Department of Ecology and Ecosystem Management, Technical University of Munich, Hofmark 1–3, 82393 Iffeldorf, Germany
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Received: 28 April 2017 / Revised: 29 June 2017 / Accepted: 12 July 2017 / Published: 15 July 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecological Responses of Lakes to Climate Change)
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Abstract

Submerged macrophytes are important structural components of freshwater ecosystems that are widely used as long-term bioindicators for the trophic state of freshwater lakes. Climate change and related rising water temperatures are suspected to affect macrophyte growth and species composition as well as the length of the growing season. Alternative to the traditional ground-based monitoring methods, remote sensing is expected to provide fast and effective tools to map submerged macrophytes at short intervals and over large areas. This study analyses interrelations between spectral signature, plant phenology and the length of growing season as influenced by the variable water temperature. During the growing seasons of 2011 and 2015, remote sensing reflectance spectra of macrophytes and sediment were collected systematically in-situ with hyperspectral underwater spectroradiometer at Lake Starnberg, Germany. The established spectral libraries were used to develop reflectance models. The combination of spectral information and phenologic characteristics allows the development of a phenologic fingerprint for each macrophyte species. By inversion, the reflectance models deliver day and daytime specific spectral signatures of the macrophyte populations. The subsequent classification processing chain allowed distinguishing species-specific macrophyte growth at different phenologic stages. The analysis of spectral signatures within the phenologic development indicates that the invasive species Elodea nuttallii is less affected by water temperature oscillations than the native species Chara spp. and Potamogeton perfoliatus. View Full-Text
Keywords: submerged aquatic vegetation; phenologic variations; remote sensing reflectance modeling; spectral library; bioindication submerged aquatic vegetation; phenologic variations; remote sensing reflectance modeling; spectral library; bioindication
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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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Fritz, C.; Schneider, T.; Geist, J. Seasonal Variation in Spectral Response of Submerged Aquatic Macrophytes: A Case Study at Lake Starnberg (Germany). Water 2017, 9, 527.

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