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Article

Mapping Foliar Nutrition Using WorldView-3 and WorldView-2 to Assess Koala Habitat Suitability

1
School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD 4072, Australia
2
Department of Geography, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Mount Scopus, Jerusalem 91905, Israel
3
Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment, Western Sydney University, Locked Bag 1797, Penrith, NSW 2751, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2019, 11(3), 215; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs11030215
Received: 16 December 2018 / Revised: 14 January 2019 / Accepted: 17 January 2019 / Published: 22 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing for Biodiversity, Ecology and Conservation)
Conservation planning and population assessment for widely-distributed, but vulnerable, arboreal folivore species demands cost-effective mapping of habitat suitability over large areas. This study tested whether multispectral data from WorldView-3 could be used to estimate and map foliar digestible nitrogen (DigN), a nutritional measure superior to total nitrogen for tannin-rich foliage for the koala (Phascolarctos cinereus). We acquired two WorldView-3 images (November 2015) and collected leaf samples from Eucalyptus woodlands in semi-arid eastern Australia. Linear regression indicated the normalized difference index using bands “Coastal” and “NIR1” best estimated DigN concentration (% dry matter, R2 = 0.70, RMSE = 0.19%). Foliar DigN concentration was mapped for multi-species Eucalyptus open woodlands across two landscapes using this index. This mapping method was tested on a WorldView-2 image (October 2012) with associated koala tracking data (August 2010 to November 2011) from a different landscape of the study region. Quantile regression showed significant positive relationship between estimated DigN and occurrence of koalas at 0.999 quantile (R2 = 0.63). This study reports the first attempt to use a multispectral satellite-derived spectral index for mapping foliar DigN at a landscape-scale (100s km2). The mapping method can potentially be incorporated in mapping and monitoring koala habitat suitability for conservation management. View Full-Text
Keywords: remote sensing; Eucalyptus; digestible nitrogen; koalas; habitat mapping remote sensing; Eucalyptus; digestible nitrogen; koalas; habitat mapping
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MDPI and ACS Style

Wu, H.; Levin, N.; Seabrook, L.; Moore, B.D.; McAlpine, C. Mapping Foliar Nutrition Using WorldView-3 and WorldView-2 to Assess Koala Habitat Suitability. Remote Sens. 2019, 11, 215. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs11030215

AMA Style

Wu H, Levin N, Seabrook L, Moore BD, McAlpine C. Mapping Foliar Nutrition Using WorldView-3 and WorldView-2 to Assess Koala Habitat Suitability. Remote Sensing. 2019; 11(3):215. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs11030215

Chicago/Turabian Style

Wu, Huiying, Noam Levin, Leonie Seabrook, Ben D. Moore, and Clive McAlpine. 2019. "Mapping Foliar Nutrition Using WorldView-3 and WorldView-2 to Assess Koala Habitat Suitability" Remote Sensing 11, no. 3: 215. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs11030215

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