Remote sensing measures restoration successes, but canopy heights lag in restoring floodplain vegetation

Dawson, Samantha K., Fisher, Adrian, Lucas, Richard, Hutchinson, David K., Berney, Peter, Keith, David, Catford, Jane A. and Kingsford, Richard T. (2016) Remote sensing measures restoration successes, but canopy heights lag in restoring floodplain vegetation. Remote Sensing, 8 7: 542.1-542.19. doi:10.3390/rs8070542

Author Dawson, Samantha K.
Fisher, Adrian
Lucas, Richard
Hutchinson, David K.
Berney, Peter
Keith, David
Catford, Jane A.
Kingsford, Richard T.
Title Remote sensing measures restoration successes, but canopy heights lag in restoring floodplain vegetation
Journal name Remote Sensing   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 2072-4292
Publication date 2016
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.3390/rs8070542
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 8
Issue 7
Start page 542.1
End page 542.19
Total pages 19
Place of publication Basel, Switzerland
Publisher M D P I AG
Collection year 2017
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Wetlands worldwide are becoming increasingly degraded, and this has motivated many attempts to manage and restore wetland ecosystems. Restoration actions require a large resource investment, so it is critical to measure the outcomes of these management actions. We evaluated the restoration of floodplain wetland vegetation across a chronosequence of land uses, using remote sensing analyses. We compared the Landsat-based fractional cover of restoration areas with river red gum and lignum reference communities, which functioned as a fixed target for restoration, over three time periods: (i) before agricultural land use (1987–1997); (ii) during the peak of agricultural development (2004–2007); and (iii) post-restoration of flooding (2010–2015). We also developed LiDAR-derived canopy height models (CHMs) for comparison over the second and third time periods. Inundation was crucial for restoration, with many fields showing little sign of similarity to target vegetation until after inundation, even if agricultural land uses had ceased. Fields cleared or cultivated for only one year had greater restoration success compared to areas cultivated for three or more years. Canopy height increased most in the fields that were cleared and cultivated for a short duration, in contrast to those cultivated for >12 years, which showed few signs of recovery. Restoration was most successful in fields with a short development duration after the intervention, but resulting dense monotypic stands of river cooba require future monitoring and possibly intervention to prevent sustained dominance. Fields with intensive land use histories may need to be managed as alternative, drier flood-dependent vegetation communities, such as black box (Eucalyptus largiflorens) grasslands. Remotely-sensed data provided a powerful measurement technique for tracking restoration success over a large floodplain.
Keyword Land use
Environmental flows
Fractional cover
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management Publications
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Created: Tue, 28 Jun 2016, 11:33:34 EST by Adrian Fisher on behalf of School of Geography, Planning & Env Management