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Mapping Tree Resources Using a Multispectral WorldView-3 Satellite Image Across the Denver Metropolitan Landscape

Authors: Samuel Blake*, University of Colorado Denver
Topics: Remote Sensing, Physical Geography
Keywords: remote sensing, pollinators, urban forests
Session Type: Poster
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Urban forests provide a range of ecological services while supporting biological functionality and habitat connectivity. Due to the inherent nature of urban forests, in heterogeneity and intentional distribution, their spatial mapping is advantageous for municipalities. Additionally, these ecosystems provide floral resources in the form of nectar and pollen for pollinators such as the western honey bee (Apis mellifera).Traditional methods of data collection for urban vegetation, such as ground-based acquisitions, require time, personnel, and funding for completion. In recent years, remote sensing technology from satellite platforms provides a solution for tree distribution mapping due to the spatial, spectral, and radiometric capabilities. This research examines high-resolution satellite imagery as it applies to tree species identification and floral resource mapping across the Denver metropolitan landscape. Specifically, this study investigates if species-level tree identification of thirteen pollen and nectar producing tree species is discriminable using a WorldView-3 satellite image. Combining in-field acquisitions with high-resolution satellite imagery, an object-based classification scheme is performed. In contrast to a pixel-based classification, this approach assigns pixel groupings to derived classes from the imagery. As the most replicable approach in discerning urban tree crowns, a feature-based extraction depicts tree locations across the Denver epicenter which contribute to pollinator’s foraging supply. A confusion matrix aids in assessing accuracy of the classification method and the degree of certainty when mapping floral resources for pollinators.

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