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Article

Assessing Spatial Variation in Algal Productivity in a Tropical River Floodplain Using Satellite Remote Sensing

1
Australian Rivers Institute, Griffith University, Nathan 4111, Australia
2
Coasts and Oceans Research Program, CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere, Brisbane 4102, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Deepak R. Mishra
Remote Sens. 2021, 13(9), 1710; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13091710
Received: 9 March 2021 / Revised: 20 April 2021 / Accepted: 26 April 2021 / Published: 28 April 2021
Studies of tropical floodplains have shown that algae are the primary source material for higher consumers in freshwater aquatic habitats. Thus, methods that can predict the spatial variation of algal productivity provide an important input to better inform management and conservation of floodplains. In this study, a prediction of the spatial variability in algal productivity was made for the Mitchell River floodplain in northern Australia. The spatial variation of aquatic habitat types and turbidity were estimated using satellite remote sensing and then combined with statistical modelling to map the spatial variation in algal primary productivity. Open water and submerged plants habitats, covering 79% of the freshwater flooded floodplain extent, had higher rates of algal production compared to the 21% cover of emergent and floating aquatic plant habitats. Across the floodplain, the predicted average algal productivity was 150.9 ± 95.47 SD mg C m−2 d−1 and the total daily algal production was estimated to be 85.02 ± 0.07 SD ton C. This study provides a spatially explicit representation of habitat types, turbidity, and algal productivity on a tropical floodplain and presents an approach to map ‘hotspots’ of algal production and provide key insights into the functioning of complex floodplain–river ecosystems. As this approach uses satellite remotely sensed data, it can be applied in different floodplains worldwide to identify areas of high ecological value that may be sensitive to development and be used by decision makers and river managers to protect these important ecological assets. View Full-Text
Keywords: statistical modelling; wetlands; tropical rivers; wetland management; epiphyton; phytoplankton; primary productivity; Landsat 8; Australia statistical modelling; wetlands; tropical rivers; wetland management; epiphyton; phytoplankton; primary productivity; Landsat 8; Australia
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MDPI and ACS Style

Molinari, B.; Stewart-Koster, B.; Malthus, T.J.; Bunn, S.E. Assessing Spatial Variation in Algal Productivity in a Tropical River Floodplain Using Satellite Remote Sensing. Remote Sens. 2021, 13, 1710. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13091710

AMA Style

Molinari B, Stewart-Koster B, Malthus TJ, Bunn SE. Assessing Spatial Variation in Algal Productivity in a Tropical River Floodplain Using Satellite Remote Sensing. Remote Sensing. 2021; 13(9):1710. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13091710

Chicago/Turabian Style

Molinari, Bianca, Ben Stewart-Koster, Tim J. Malthus, and Stuart E. Bunn. 2021. "Assessing Spatial Variation in Algal Productivity in a Tropical River Floodplain Using Satellite Remote Sensing" Remote Sensing 13, no. 9: 1710. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13091710

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