Effectiveness of the National Land Cover Dataset for Reach-Scale Wetland Presence and Canopy Quantification

Authors: Tina Delahunty*, Bloomsburg University: Dept. of Environmental, Geographical, and Geological Sciences, Amber L. Pitt, Trinity College: Environmental Science Program and Dept. of Biology, Jamie Shinskie, National Park Service
Topics: Biogeography, Remote Sensing, Environmental Science
Keywords: conservation, land cover, canopy, wetland, remote sensing
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/13/2018
Start / End Time: 3:20 PM / 5:00 PM
Room: Estherwood, Sheraton, 4th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Conservation biology studies use the National Land Cover Dataset (NLCD) for habitat location and quantification. We consider spatial accuracy issues at reach-scale for a riparian/freshwater species in Appalachia with an intent to further explore the utility of the NLCD to forest canopy and wetland studies at different scales. Environmental DNA data established species presence and the NLCD and vintage aerial imagery were assessed for land cover information. Ground-truthing/NAIP accuracy assessment of 300 points within a c.2,400km2 area of the NLCD resulted in an overall accuracy of 52%. User’s accuracy for water was 50%, wetland was 2%, and canopy was 66%. Additional major points include: accuracy issues related specifically to reprojecting the NLCD; a comparison of actual canopy % area to NLCD canopy % area; and a statistically less rigorous assessment of the accuracy of the National Wetland Inventory.

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