Research Papers

Classifying increaser species as an indicator of different levels of rangeland degradation using WorldView-2 imagery

[+] Author Affiliations
Khalid Mansour

University of KwaZulu-Natal, Centre for Environment, Agriculture and Development (CEAD), School of Applied Environmental Sciences, P/Bag X01, Scottsville, Pietermaritzburg, 3209, South Africa

Onisimo Mutanga

University of KwaZulu-Natal, School of Applied Environmental Sciences, Geography Department, P/Bag X01, Scottsville, Pietermaritzburg, 3209, South Africa

J. Appl. Remote Sens. 6(1), 063558 (Sep 18, 2012). doi:10.1117/1.JRS.6.063558
History: Received August 12, 2011; Revised June 19, 2012; Accepted July 2, 2012
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Abstract.  The development of new multispectral sensors with unique band settings is critical for mapping the spatial distribution of increaser vegetation species in disturbed rangelands. The objective of this study was to evaluate the potential of WorldView-2 imagery for spectral classification of four increaser species, namely Hyparrhenia hirta, Eragrostis curvula, Sporobolus africanus, and Aristida diffusa, in the Okhombe communal rangelands of South Africa. The 8-bands were extracted from the WorldView-2 image, and 24 of the most widely used vegetation indices in estimating grassland biophysical parameters were calculated. The random forest algorithm and forward variable method were applied to identify the optimal variables (WorldView-2 spectral bands, vegetation indices, and a combination of bands and indices) for classifying the species. The random forest algorithm could classify species with an overall accuracy of 82.6% (KHAT[an estimate ofκ]=0.76) using six of the WorldView-2 spectral bands and an overall accuracy of 90% (KHAT=0.87) using a subset of vegetation indices (n=9). Three bands selected were located at the new WorldView-2 spectral regions of coastal blue, yellow, and the red-edge. There was no significant improvement in increaser species classification by using a combination of bands and indices. Overall, the study demonstrated the potential of the WorldView-2 data for improving increaser separability at species level.

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© 2012 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers

Citation

Khalid Mansour and Onisimo Mutanga
"Classifying increaser species as an indicator of different levels of rangeland degradation using WorldView-2 imagery", J. Appl. Remote Sens. 6(1), 063558 (Sep 18, 2012). ; http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/1.JRS.6.063558


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