Usage of a Drone to Monitor Rhamnus Cathartica Growth Under Tree Canopy

Authors: McKenna Dutkiewicz*, , Rhett Mohler, Professor at Saginaw Valley State University
Topics: Remote Sensing, Geographic Information Science and Systems, Drones
Keywords: Common Buckthorn, Remote Sensing, GIS, Rhamnus cathartica, Drone, UAV
Session Type: Virtual Guided Poster
Day: 4/8/2021
Start / End Time: 1:30 PM / 2:45 PM
Room: Virtual 53
Presentation File: Download



Monitoring the growth and development of Common Buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica) within the interior of a forest is very difficult to accomplish due to tree cover often shielding this plant from view. The purpose of this study is to test the efficiency and accuracy of using a drone to map R. Cathartica found beneath tree canopies.
Prior to taking imagery using the drone, we went out into the field to collect in situ data for reference. We accomplished this by using a field computer to create both polygon and point shapefiles from the test site. Additionally, we noted the conditions of the soil, density of vegetation, the height of Buckthorn, and how much tree canopy covered each shapefile site. The imagery was then taken using an RGB camera. The drone data was collected on November 3rd, 2020 from Saginaw Valley State University’s campus. Raw data collected from the test site was processed using the software Pix4D. Then the images were uploaded on ENVI software to perform a Supervised Maximum Likelihood Classification. Once this data is classified, it is planned that an accuracy assessment will be performed for the imagery and an error matrix will be done respectively to the assessment.
The use of a drone to monitor Buckthorn growth under tree cover has not been specifically optimized in the existing literature and if this study is effective, it can be used by many conservation and environmental organizations for invasive species monitoring.

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