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Mapping reedbed habitats using texture-based classification of QuickBird imagery

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2011
<mark>Journal</mark>International Journal of Remote Sensing
Issue number23
Number of pages18
Pages (from-to)8121-8138
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Many organisms rely on reedbed habitats for their existence, yet, over the past century there has been a drastic reduction in the area and quality of reedbeds in the UK due to intensified human activities. In order to develop management plans for conserving and expanding this threatened habitat, accurate up-to-date information is needed concerning its current distribution and status. This information is difficult to collect using field surveys because reedbeds exist as small patches that are sparsely distributed across landscapes. Hence, this study was undertaken to develop a methodology for accurately mapping reedbeds using very high resolution QuickBird satellite imagery. The objectives were to determine the optimum combination of textural and spectral measures for mapping reedbeds; to investigate the effect of the spatial resolution of the input data upon classification accuracy; to determine whether the maximum likelihood classifier (MLC) or artificial neural network (ANN) analysis produced the most accurate classification; and to investigate the potential of refining the reedbed classification using slope suitability filters produced from digital terrain data. The results indicate an increase in the accuracy of reedbed delineations when grey-level co-occurrence textural measures were combined with the spectral bands. The most effective combination of texture measures were entropy and angular second moment. Optimal reedbed and overall classification accuracies were achieved using a combination of pansharpened multispectral and texture images that had been spatially degraded from 0.6 to 4.8 m. Using the 4.8 m data set, the MLC produced higher classification accuracy for reedbeds than the ANN analysis. The application of slope suitability filters increased the classification accuracy of reedbeds from 71% to 79%. Hence, this study has demonstrated that it is possible to use high resolution multispectral satellite imagery to derive accurate maps of reedbeds through appropriate analysis of image texture, judicious selection of input bands, spatial resolution and classification algorithm and post-classification refinement using terrain data.