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Satellite remote sensing of freshwater macrophytes and the influence of water clarity
Nelson, S.A.C.; Cheruvelil, K.S.; Soranno, P.A. (2006). Satellite remote sensing of freshwater macrophytes and the influence of water clarity. Aquat. Bot. 85(4): 289-298.
In: Aquatic Botany. Elsevier Science: Tokyo; Oxford; New York; London; Amsterdam. ISSN 0304-3770, more
Peer reviewed article  

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    Littoral zone; Remote sensing; Water transparency; USA, Michigan [Marine Regions]; Fresh water

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  • Nelson, S.A.C.
  • Cheruvelil, K.S.
  • Soranno, P.A.

    In regions with thousands of lakes, large scale regional macrophyte surveys are rarely done due to logistical difficulties and high costs. We examined whether remote sensing can be used for regional monitoring of macrophytes in inland lakes using a field study of 13 lakes in Michigan, USA (nine model development lakes and four model testing lakes). Our objectives were: (1) to determine if different levels of macrophyte cover, different growth forms or specific species could be detected using the Landsat-5 TM sensor, and (2) to determine if we could improve predictions of macrophyte abundance and distribution in lakes by including sediment type or measures of water clarity (Secchi disk transparency, chlorophyll a, phytoplankton biovolume, or water color) in our models. Using binomial and multinomial logistic regression models, we found statistically significant relationships between most macrophyte measures and Landsat-5 TM values in the nine model development lakes (percent concordant values: 58-97%). Additionally, we found significant correlations between three lake characteristics and the TM values within lake pelagic zones, despite the inability of these variables to improve model predictions. However, model validation using four lakes was generally low, suggesting caution in applying these models to other lakes. Although the initial model development results suggest that remote sensing is a potentially promising tool for regionally assessing macrophytes, more research is necessary to refine the models in order for them to be applied to unsampled lakes.

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