Importance of Natural Resources

Florida Ecological Forecasting – NASA DEVELOP Spring 2013 @ Goddard Space Flight Center

>>Brock Blevins:
Mangroves are salt water tolerant trees and shrubs that line many tropical and subtropical
coastlines around the globe. Mangroves play an important role for coastal
communities including providing breeding grounds for marine species and stabilizing
shorelines from erosion through their extensive root systems. And it is these root systems
that allow mangrove ecosystems to provide perhaps their most valuable service of all,
carbon sequestration or the storing of carbon from the atmosphere. Along Florida’s southeastern coast lies
the Indian River Lagoon. This Lagoon is a shallow barrier island complex fed from expansive
freshwater rivers and streams with multiple channels that allow for regular exchange between
the lagoon and ocean waters. Directly to the north of mangrove extent lie
Florida’s salt marshes. Similar to mangroves, salt marshs provide
valuable ecosystem services that include erosion protection, flood protection and habitat . In partnership with the USGS, NWRC, Brevard
County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program, Guana Tolomata Matanzas Research Reserve,
and the Smithsonian Environmental research Center, NASA’s Earth Science DEVELOP team
is currently mapping and analyzing the extent and
change of mangroves in the study area, and are also forecasting areas in the study region
where mangroves will likely migrate to in the future.
To validate remotely sensed images, the DEVELOP team traveled to the IRL to work with SERC
and researchers in the field and to present tutorials
on their work. ” In addition, Forest plots of mangroves stands
were conducted to compare SRTM derived biomass estimates with actual on site measurements. By comparing change detection between sensors,
the team hopes to better characterize classification of land cover types and display the
utility of a multi-sensor approach to mapping change over time. By modeling mangrove habitat
extent to forecast future distribution, the team aims to offer meaningful methods and
data to local, state and federal agencies Here you can see the difference in the hyperspectral
signatures between different types of vegetation. Thus, hyperspectral data is ideal
for local biodiversity classification in ecosystems with remote sensing.” Shuttle radar topography data from 2000 spatially
masked with a mangrove extent map obtained from the florida fish wildlife conservation
commission combined incorporated an allometric equation obtained from simard et al 2006,
was used to create a mangrove height map By collecting GPS field data, spectral clusters
from the unsupervised classification of satellite imagery can be validated to produce a
refined library of different spectral signatures of salt marshes, and mangroves within the
salt marsh-mangrove ecotone. Given the projected sea level rise in Florida
and the ability of mangrove forests to expand in areas of higher salinity, this comparison
of remote sensors can be used by land managers and researchers to determine which to utilize
in order to accurately measure past and projected change in distribution.

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