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Erratum: Mewis, P. Estimation of Vegetation-Induced Flow Resistance for Hydraulic Computations Using Airborne Laser Scanning Data. Water 2021, 13, 1864
Article

Modelling, Characterizing, and Monitoring Boreal Forest Wetland Bird Habitat with RADARSAT-2 and Landsat-8 Data

1
Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 2E9, Canada
2
Canada Centre for Mapping and Earth Observation, Natural Resources Canada, 560 Rochester Street, Ottawa, ON K1A 0Y7, Canada
3
Canadian Wildlife Service, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Whitehorse, YT Y1A 5X7, Canada
4
Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 2E9, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Chang Huang
Water 2021, 13(17), 2327; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13172327
Received: 14 July 2021 / Revised: 20 August 2021 / Accepted: 22 August 2021 / Published: 25 August 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mapping and Monitoring of Wetlands)
Earth observation technologies have strong potential to help map and monitor wildlife habitats. Yellow Rail, a rare wetland obligate bird species, is a species of concern in Canada and provides an interesting case study for monitoring wetland habitat with Earth observation data. Yellow Rail has highly specific habitat requirements characterized by shallowly flooded graminoid vegetation, the availability of which varies seasonally and year-to-year. Polarimetric Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) in combination with optical data should, in theory, be a great resource for mapping and monitoring these habitats. This study evaluates the use of RADARSAT-2 data and Landsat-8 data to characterize, map, and monitor Yellow Rail habitat in a wetland area within the mineable oil sands region. Specifically, we investigate: (1) The relative importance of polarimetric SAR and Landsat-8 data for predicting Yellow Rail habitat; (2) characterization of wetland habitat with polarimetric SAR data; (3) yearly trends in available habitat; and (4) predictions of potentially suitable habitat across northeastern Alberta. Results show that polarimetric SAR using the Freeman–Durden decomposition and polarization ratios were the most important predictors when modeling the Yellow Rail habitat. These parameters also effectively characterize this habitat based on high congruence with existing descriptions of suitable habitat. Applying the prediction model across all wetland areas showed accurate predictions of occurrence (validated on field occurrence data), and high probability habitats were constrained to very specific wetland areas. Using the RADARSAT-2 data to monitor yearly changes to Yellow Rail habitat was inconclusive, likely due to the different image acquisition times of the 2014 and 2016 images, which may have captured seasonal, rather than inter-annual, wetland dynamics. Polarimetric SAR has proved to be very useful for capturing the specific hydrology and vegetation structure of the Yellow Rail habitat, which could be a powerful technology for monitoring and conserving wetland species habitat. View Full-Text
Keywords: SAR; wetlands; polarimetric SAR; wildlife; Earth observation; RADARSAT-2 SAR; wetlands; polarimetric SAR; wildlife; Earth observation; RADARSAT-2
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MDPI and ACS Style

DeLancey, E.R.; Brisco, B.; McLeod, L.J.T.; Hedley, R.; Bayne, E.M.; Murnaghan, K.; Gregory, F.; Kariyeva, J. Modelling, Characterizing, and Monitoring Boreal Forest Wetland Bird Habitat with RADARSAT-2 and Landsat-8 Data. Water 2021, 13, 2327. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13172327

AMA Style

DeLancey ER, Brisco B, McLeod LJT, Hedley R, Bayne EM, Murnaghan K, Gregory F, Kariyeva J. Modelling, Characterizing, and Monitoring Boreal Forest Wetland Bird Habitat with RADARSAT-2 and Landsat-8 Data. Water. 2021; 13(17):2327. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13172327

Chicago/Turabian Style

DeLancey, Evan R., Brian Brisco, Logan J.T. McLeod, Richard Hedley, Erin M. Bayne, Kevin Murnaghan, Fiona Gregory, and Jahan Kariyeva. 2021. "Modelling, Characterizing, and Monitoring Boreal Forest Wetland Bird Habitat with RADARSAT-2 and Landsat-8 Data" Water 13, no. 17: 2327. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13172327

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