Time series analysis of the spread of invasive plant species in Mecklenburg County using multi-temporal high resolution images

Authors: Dipanwita Dutta*, University of North Carolina - Charlotte, Gang Chen, Associate Professor, Department of Geography and Earth Science, University of North Carolina-Charlotte
Topics: Remote Sensing, Land Use and Land Cover Change, Natural Resources
Keywords: Invasive Species, Aerial Photograph, Time Series, Random Forest
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: Lincoln 2, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Invasive species, whether plants, animals or other organisms adversely affect the ecosystems they enter. They displace the native or indigenous species, causing a shift in the balance of population of native and dependent species, which finally alters the ecosystem, resulting ultimately in innumerable losses to both biodiversity and economy. For proper management of these invasive species (in this case invasive plants), an important step is to map their location. This research aims to map the extent of these invasive plants in the Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, USA, using multi-temporal high resolution aerial photographs (0.1 m) acquired by the National Agricultural Imagery Program (NAIP) and Durham Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP). Supervised classification methods (random forest) are being employed to classify areas infested by invasive and native species. Classification maps are validated with field data. Time-series change analysis methods is being used to highlight areas of invasive species spread/native species decline. In the process, areas showing temporary and permanent changes has highlighted, and the details of the native species lost and invasive species spread are also be noted. Finally, ancillary data, such as current and historical occurrences of environmental disturbances (such as fire, development, temperature etc.) are analyzed along with the observed extent of the invasive species for determining possible reasons of spread of these invasive plants. This study attempts to highlight the hot-spots of invasive plant growth/spread that will ultimately assist in prioritization of effective invasive species management practices.

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