Campus Units

Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology

Document Type

Article

Publication Version

Published Version

Publication Date

2019

Journal or Book Title

Remote Sensing

Volume

11

Issue

4

First Page

458

DOI

10.3390/rs11040458

Abstract

Plant species diversity is an important metric of ecosystem functioning, but field assessments of diversity are constrained in number and spatial extent by labor and other expenses. We tested the utility of using spatial heterogeneity in the remotely-sensed reflectance spectrum of grassland canopies to model both spatial turnover in species composition and abundances (β diversity) and species diversity at aggregate spatial scales (γ diversity). Shannon indices of γ and β diversity were calculated from field measurements of the number and relative abundances of plant species at each of two spatial grains (0.45 m2 and 35.2 m2) in mesic grasslands in central Texas, USA. Spectral signatures of reflected radiation at each grain were measured from ground-level or an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). Partial least squares regression (PLSR) models explained 59–85% of variance in γ diversity and 68–79% of variance in β diversity using spatial heterogeneity in canopy optical properties. Variation in both γ and β diversity were associated most strongly with heterogeneity in reflectance in blue (350–370 nm), red (660–770 nm), and near infrared (810–1050 nm) wavebands. Modeled diversity was more sensitive by a factor of three to a given level of spectral heterogeneity when derived from data collected at the small than larger spatial grain. As estimated from calibrated PLSR models, β diversity was greater, but γ diversity was smaller for restored grassland on a lowland clay than upland silty clay soil. Both γ and β diversity of grassland can be modeled by using spatial heterogeneity in vegetation optical properties provided that the grain of reflectance measurements is conserved.

Comments

This article is published as Polley, H. Wayne, Chenghai Yang, Brian J. Wilsey, and Philip A. Fay. "Spectral Heterogeneity Predicts Local-Scale Gamma and Beta Diversity of Mesic Grasslands." Remote Sensing 11, no. 4 (2019): 458. doi: 10.3390/rs11040458.

Rights

Works produced by employees of the U.S. Government as part of their official duties are not copyrighted within the U.S. The content of this document is not copyrighted.

Language

en

File Format

application/pdf

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