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Open AccessArticle

Intraspecific Differences in Spectral Reflectance Curves as Indicators of Reduced Vitality in High-Arctic Plants

1
Department of Geoinformatics, Cartography and Remote Sensing, University of Warsaw (UW), ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście 30, 00-927 Warsaw, Poland
2
Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA), FRAM—High North Research Centre for Climate and the Environment, P.O. Box 6606 Langnes, NO-9296 Tromsø, Norway
3
Institute of Geodesy and Cartography (IGiK), ul. Jacka Kaczmarskiego 27, 02-679 Warsaw, Poland
4
Independent Department of Biotechnology and Molecular Biology (IDBMB), Opole University, ul. Kard. B. Kominka 6, 45-032 Opole, Poland
5
Pixalytics Ltd., 1 Davy Road, Plymouth Science Park, Derriford, Plymouth, Devon PL6 8BX, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(12), 1289; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs9121289
Received: 15 October 2017 / Revised: 26 November 2017 / Accepted: 8 December 2017 / Published: 11 December 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Arctic Tundra)
Remote sensing is a suitable candidate for monitoring rapid changes in Polar regions, offering high-resolution spectral, spatial and radiometric data. This paper focuses on the spectral properties of dominant plant species acquired during the first week of August 2015. Twenty-eight plots were selected, which could easily be identified in the field as well as on RapidEye satellite imagery. Spectral measurements of individual species were acquired, and heavy metal contamination stress factors were measured contemporaneously. As a result, a unique spectral library of dominant plant species, heavy metal concentrations and damage ratios were achieved with an indication that species-specific changes due to environmental conditions can best be differentiated in the 1401–2400 nm spectral region. Two key arctic tundra species, Cassiope tetragona and Dryas octopetala, exhibited significant differences in this spectral region that were linked to a changing health status. Relationships between field and satellite measurements were comparable, e.g., the Red Edge Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (RENDVI) showed a strong and significant relationship (R2 = 0.82; p = 0.036) for the species Dryas octopetala. Cadmium and Lead were below detection levels while manganese, copper and zinc acquired near Longyearbyen were at concentrations comparable to other places in Svalbard. There were high levels of nickel near Longyearbyen (0.014 mg/g), while it was low (0.004 mg/g) elsewhere. View Full-Text
Keywords: Svalbard; Tundra; Cassiope tetragona; Salix polaris; Bistorta vivipara; Dryas octopetala; Spectrometry; Optical sampling; RapidEye; Red edge; vegetation indices Svalbard; Tundra; Cassiope tetragona; Salix polaris; Bistorta vivipara; Dryas octopetala; Spectrometry; Optical sampling; RapidEye; Red edge; vegetation indices
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MDPI and ACS Style

Zagajewski, B.; Tømmervik, H.; Bjerke, J.W.; Raczko, E.; Bochenek, Z.; Kłos, A.; Jarocińska, A.; Lavender, S.; Ziółkowski, D. Intraspecific Differences in Spectral Reflectance Curves as Indicators of Reduced Vitality in High-Arctic Plants. Remote Sens. 2017, 9, 1289.

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