Next Article in Journal
Obtaining High-Resolution Seabed Topography and Surface Details by Co-Registration of Side-Scan Sonar and Multibeam Echo Sounder Images
Next Article in Special Issue
Monitoring Oil Exploitation Infrastructure and Dirt Roads with Object-Based Image Analysis and Random Forest in the Eastern Mongolian Steppe
Previous Article in Journal
Monitoring Land Surface Displacement over Xuzhou (China) in 2015–2018 through PCA-Based Correction Applied to SAR Interferometry
Previous Article in Special Issue
Monitoring Changes in the Cultivation of Pigeonpea and Groundnut in Malawi Using Time Series Satellite Imagery for Sustainable Food Systems
Open AccessArticle

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

Argonne National Laboratory, 9700 S Cass Ave, Lemont, IL 60439, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2019, 11(12), 1495; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs11121495
Received: 9 May 2019 / Revised: 5 June 2019 / Accepted: 18 June 2019 / Published: 24 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing in Dryland Assessment and Monitoring)
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 floridaOlneya tesota, Chorizanthe rigidaGeraea canescens, Larrea tridentataAmbrosia dumosa, and Larrea tridentataEncelia 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. View Full-Text
Keywords: high resolution imagery; desert; dryland; VARI; variogram; vegetation community; arid land high resolution imagery; desert; dryland; VARI; variogram; vegetation community; arid land
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

MDPI and ACS Style

Hamada, Y.; Szoldatits, K.; Grippo, M.; Hartmann, H.M. Remotely Sensed Spatial Structure as an Indicator of Internal Changes of Vegetation Communities in Desert Landscapes. Remote Sens. 2019, 11, 1495.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Search more from Scilit
 
Search
Back to TopTop