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Maja Rapp [04-2013]:

Biomass-mapping of alpine grassland with APEX imaging spectrometry data

Diese Arbeit ist online verfügbar: Download


Today remote sensing is a standard technique for mapping land cover in high spatial resolution over large areas. Not only land cover but also the quality and quantity of vegetation can be classified by the analysis of imaging spectroscopy data. In the Swiss National Park (SNP) we use data from the Airborne Prism Experiment (APEX) imaging spectrometer to expand the possibilities of vegetation analysis in alpine territories. The high spectral and spatial resolution of APEX data allows the correlation of the measured reflection with ground truth data. In this work a standard Normalized Differenced Vegetation Index (NDVI) and an optimized simple ratio index (SRI) with selected bands were generated to model the biomass content of the alpine grassland of one particular valley in the SNP, the Val Trupchun. The correlation between biomass insitu measurements and SRIs was non-linear, most likely due to sensor saturation. Our optimal SRI improved the model quality compared to the NDVI model. All computed models underestimated high biomass values above 600 g/m2. The model accuracy of 57% was good considering the challenging terrain. However, several factors showed that the model was relatively unstable due to parameter input settings and external factors. Differences in APEX data between strips induced an important effect, due to different illumination/view angles. The variability analysis investigating the sample plot location demonstrated that small-scale geometrical shifts were insignificant compared to the overall model accuracy. The biomass prediction map showed plausible values for the grassland with high concentrations around former alps. High biomass sources were linked to former anthropogenic land use, dominant vegetation structure and to preferred ungulate habitat today. The high-resolution map is now a useful basis for future research in the SNP to investigate forage amount and analyse ungulate habitat pattern in Val Trupchun. This a welcoming issue for ungulate research, which is an important research area of the SNP.


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