Research Papers

Estimating vascular plant species richness on Horn Island, Mississippi using small-footprint airborne LIDAR

[+] Author Affiliations
Kelly L. Lucas

University of Southern Mississippi, Gulf Coast Geospatial Center, 1203 Broad Ave, Gulfport, MS 39501

George T. Raber

University of Southern Mississippi, Department of Geography and Geology, 118 College Drive, Hattiesburg, MS 39406

Gregory A. Carter

University of Southern Mississippi, Gulf Coast Geospatial Center, 1203 Broad Ave, Gulfport, MS 39501

J. Appl. Remote Sens. 4(1), 043545 (September 23, 2010). doi:10.1117/1.3501119
History: Received March 24, 2009; Revised June 14, 2010; Accepted September 14, 2010; September 23, 2010; Online September 23, 2010
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Abstract

Most remote sensing studies of species diversity have been based on the use of passive imagery representing the horizontal dimensions of ecosystems. However, LIDAR (light detection and ranging), provides a means to accurately quantify vertical structure. The goal of this study was to evaluate vascular plant species richness on a coastal barrier island using indicators of community vertical structure derived from airborne, multiple-return LIDAR data. Returns from a 3 m buffer area surrounding each of 90, 15 m vegetation line transects were extracted from LIDAR data of Horn Island, Mississippi, acquired in April, 2004. LIDAR indices did not correlate with richness when data for all habitats were combined. When habitats were considered separately, several LIDAR indices correlated significantly (p ⩽ 0.05) with richness in marsh, meadow and woodland habitats. Best-fit indices indicated the importance of vegetation height and structural complexity in estimating plant species richness.

© 2010 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers

Topics

LIDAR

Citation

Kelly L. Lucas ; George T. Raber and Gregory A. Carter
"Estimating vascular plant species richness on Horn Island, Mississippi using small-footprint airborne LIDAR", J. Appl. Remote Sens. 4(1), 043545 (September 23, 2010). ; http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/1.3501119


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