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Microphytobenthos production and biomass monitoring on intertidal mudflats using remote sensing
De Wever, A.; Foster, R.; Sabbe, K. (2008). Microphytobenthos production and biomass monitoring on intertidal mudflats using remote sensing, in: Mees, J. et al. (Ed.) VLIZ Young Scientists' Day, Brugge, Belgium, 29 February 2008: book of abstracts. VLIZ Special Publication, 40: pp. 45
In: Mees, J.; Seys, J. (Ed.) (2008). VLIZ Young Scientists' Day, Brugge, Belgium, 29 February 2008: book of abstracts. VLIZ Special Publication, 40. Vlaams Instituut voor de Zee (VLIZ): Oostende. ix, 96 pp., more
In: VLIZ Special Publication. Vlaams Instituut voor de Zee (VLIZ): Oostende. ISSN 1377-0950, more

Available in  Authors 
Document types: Conference paper; Summary

Keywords
    Intertidal environment; Monitoring; Mud flats; Remote sensing; ANE, Belgium, IJzer R. [Marine Regions]; ANE, Netherlands, Westerschelde [Marine Regions]; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • De Wever, A., more
  • Foster, R.
  • Sabbe, K., more

Abstract
    Coastal areas and estuaries are ecosystems with a high economic and ecological value. Microphytobenthos organisms form thin biofilms on intertidal mudflats and are important for stabilizing the sediment and transferring inorganic nutrients to the estuarine foodweb. Knowledge about the microphytobenthos is therefore essential for the management of these areas. As intertidal mudflats are not easily accessible for routine sampling and show high spatial variability, remote sensing techniques are increasingly used for monitoring these areas. Despite the wider use of remote sensing techniques in these systems, the potential of these techniques is still not fully explored. We obtained a variety of hyperspectral and satellite images from the Westerschelde and IJzer Estuary to obtain indices suitable for mapping microphytobenthos biomass. The most widely used marker pigment to quantify algal biomass is chlorophyll a. The microbial mats on intertidal mudflats are generally dominated by diatoms, but blooms of noxious algae such as<Ulva and cyanobacteria are also frequently observed. Using traditional HPLC-pigment analysis techniques, these different algal groups can readily be distinguished based on differences in their marker pigment composition (fucoxanthine/lutein/zeaxanthine). We will explore the potential for mapping different algal groups on hyperspectral images using these marker pigments. In addition, the data on the biomass and composition of the microphytobenthos will be used for modelling the primary production on the mudflats.

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