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Textural–Spectral Feature-Based Species Classification of Mangroves in Mai Po Nature Reserve from Worldview-3 Imagery

1,2, 1,2, 1,2,3,4 and 3,*
Institute of Space and Earth Information Science, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, New Territories, Hong Kong, China
Shenzhen Research Institute, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen 518057, China
Key Laboratory of Poyang Lake Wetland and Watershed Research, Ministry of Education, Jiangxi Normal University, Nanchang 330022, China
Department of Geography and Resource Management, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, New Territories, Hong Kong, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Chandra Giri, Parth Sarathi Roy and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(1), 24;
Received: 28 August 2015 / Revised: 7 December 2015 / Accepted: 25 December 2015 / Published: 31 December 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Mangroves: Observation and Monitoring)
PDF [2746 KB, uploaded 31 December 2015]


The identification of species within an ecosystem plays a key role in formulating an inventory for use in the development of conservation management plans. The classification of mangrove species typically involves intensive field surveys, whereas remote sensing techniques represent a cost-efficient means of mapping and monitoring mangrove forests at large scales. However, the coarse spectral resolution of remote sensing technology has up until recently restricted the ability to identify individual species. The more recent development of very high-resolution spatial optical remote sensing sensors and techniques has thus provided new opportunities for the accurate mapping of species within mangrove forests over large areas. When dealing with the complex problems associated with discriminating among species, classifier performance could be enhanced through the adoption of more intrinsic features; such as textural and differential spectral features. This study explored the effectiveness of textural and differential spectral features in mapping mangrove inter-species obtained from WorldView-3 high-spatial-resolution imagery for mangrove species in Hong Kong. Due to the different arrangement of leaves, the branch density, and the average height and size of plants, we found that the differential spectral features could aid in reducing inner-species variability and increasing intra-species separation. Using a combination of textural and differential spectral features thus represents a promising tool for discriminating among mangrove species. Experimental results suggest that combining these features can greatly improve mapping accuracy, thereby providing more reliable mapping results. View Full-Text
Keywords: mangrove; inter-species; textural; spectral; high-resolution mangrove; inter-species; textural; spectral; high-resolution

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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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Wang, T.; Zhang, H.; Lin, H.; Fang, C. Textural–Spectral Feature-Based Species Classification of Mangroves in Mai Po Nature Reserve from Worldview-3 Imagery. Remote Sens. 2016, 8, 24.

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