Aerial photography for assessing vegetation change: a review of applications and the relevance of findings for Australian vegetation history

Fensham, R. J. and Fairfax, R. J. (2002) Aerial photography for assessing vegetation change: a review of applications and the relevance of findings for Australian vegetation history. Australian Journal of Botany, 50 4: 415-429. doi:10.1071/BT01032


Author Fensham, R. J.
Fairfax, R. J.
Title Aerial photography for assessing vegetation change: a review of applications and the relevance of findings for Australian vegetation history
Journal name Australian Journal of Botany   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0067-1924
1444-9862
Publication date 2002-01-01
Sub-type Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
DOI 10.1071/BT01032
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 50
Issue 4
Start page 415
End page 429
Total pages 15
Place of publication Melbourne
Publisher CSIRO Publishing
Language eng
Subject 060208 Terrestrial Ecology
Abstract Studies attempting to calibrate vegetation attributes from aerial photography with field data are reviewed in detail. It is concluded that aerial photography has considerable advantages over satellite-based data because of its capacity to assess the vertical dimension of vegetation and the longer time period the record spans. Limitations of using the aerial photo record as digital data include standardising image contrast and rectification. Some of these problems can be circumvented by manual techniques, but problems of crown exaggeration that varies with photo scale and variation in contrast between the textures of tree crowns and the ground remain. Applications of aerial photography for assessing vegetation change are also reviewed and include deforestation, reforestation, changes in vegetation boundaries, tree density, community composition and crown dieback. These changes have been assessed at scales ranging from individual tree crowns to regional landscapes. In Australia, aerial photography has provided a clear demonstration of deforestation rates and the expansion and contraction of forest and woodland, which is generally attributed to changes in grazing and fire regimes. It is suggested that manual techniques with point-based sampling, digital processing of data for complete spatial coverages and the application of photogrammetric measurements with stereo-plotters are all techniques with great promise for utilising this underrated medium for assessment of vegetation dynamics.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Unknown

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
Collections: Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) - Collection
School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management Publications
Ecology Centre Publications
 
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