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Monday, April 9 • 5:30pm - 7:00pm
POSTER: Change Detection in Hydrologically-restored Subtropical Freshwater Wetlands Using Remote Sensing

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AUTHORS: Sarah Parker*, Dr. John Weishampel – Geospatial and Modeling of Ecological Systems Lab, University of Central Florida

ABSTRACT: Over the last century, millions of hectares of wetlands have been lost, driving an increased need for their conservation and improved monitoring worldwide. A major challenge with creating updated digital maps and evaluating the success of wetland restoration projects, is the lack of long-term monitoring, limitations of the sensors, and differing classifications. We mapped and analyzed the wetland spectral properties and trajectories from before and 25 years after hydrological restoration using remote sensing at the Disney Wilderness Preserve in Florida, USA. In 1992, in an effort to maintain wetland ecosystem function with restoring hydrological metrics (e.g., increased groundwater level), the hydrological wetland restoration was conducted to facilitate the growth of wetland vegetation to approximate the original conditions as a proxy for ecological health. In the literature, expectations about ecological recovery in subtropical wetlands are not well-supported with long-term evidence and techniques using satellite remote sensing compared to previous manual aerial photo analysis still are refining their detection abilities. To that aim, multispectral Landsat Thematic Mapper satellite imagery from 1984-2017 were preprocessed, segmented, and indexed using the Enhanced Vegetation Index to evaluate patch spectral properties and trajectories. Wetland patch and landscape scale dynamics were evaluated using FRAGSTATS. The spectral properties of the wetlands were analyzed using nonmetric multidimensional scaling to elucidate patterns among the wetland types (i.e., cypress swamp, bayhead, marsh) over time. Preliminary results suggest that the spectral trajectories of restored wetland patches may be less differentiated among the wetland types years after the original restoration event than expected. With tropical and subtropical wetlands being the main targets of an estimated 50% disappearance of wetlands since 1990, the study of moderate resolution satellite remote sensing applications for monitoring complex and highly variable subtropical freshwater wetlands has immediate applications for managing the vitality of wetland habitats and services worldwide.

Monday April 9, 2018 5:30pm - 7:00pm CDT
Monroe Room