Benefits of hyperspectral remote sensing for tracking plant invasions

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Kate S. He, Duccio Rocchini, Markus Neteler, Harini Nagendra

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Diversity and Distributions; Volume 17, Issue 3, pages 381-392, May 2011; DOI: 10.1111/j.1472-4642.2011.00761.x


Biochemical and physiological properties; phenological change; plant invasion; predictive models; spatial and spectral resolutions; species spatial spread; spectral signature


Aim  We aim to report what hyperspectral remote sensing can offer for invasion ecologists and review recent progress made in plant invasion research using hyperspectral remote sensing.

Location  United States.

Methods  We review the utility of hyperspectral remote sensing for detecting, mapping and predicting the spatial spread of invasive species. We cover a range of topics including the trade-off between spatial and spectral resolutions and classification accuracy, the benefits of using time series to incorporate phenology in mapping species distribution, the potential of biochemical and physiological properties in hyperspectral spectral reflectance for tracking ecosystem changes caused by invasions, and the capacity of hyperspectral data as a valuable input for quantitative models developed for assessing the future spread of invasive species.

Results  Hyperspectral remote sensing holds great promise for invasion research. Spectral information provided by hyperspectral sensors can detect invaders at the species level across a range of community and ecosystem types. Furthermore, hyperspectral data can be used to assess habitat suitability and model the future spread of invasive species, thus providing timely information for invasion risk analysis.

Main conclusions  Our review suggests that hyperspectral remote sensing can effectively provide a baseline of invasive species distributions for future monitoring and control efforts. Furthermore, information on the spatial distribution of invasive species can help land managers to make long-term constructive conservation plans for protecting and maintaining natural ecosystems.