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Mapping and characterising subtropical estuarine landscapes using aerial photography and GIS for potential application in wildlife conservation and management

Zharikov, Y., Skilleter, G.A., Loneragan, N.R., Taranto, T. and Cameron, B.E. (2005) Mapping and characterising subtropical estuarine landscapes using aerial photography and GIS for potential application in wildlife conservation and management. Biological Conservation, 125 (1). pp. 87-100.

Link to Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2005.03.016
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Abstract

Coarse-resolution thematic maps derived from remotely sensed data and implemented in GIS play an important role in coastal and marine conservation, research and management. Here, we describe an approach for fine-resolution mapping of land-cover types using aerial photography and ancillary GIS and ground data in a large (100 × 35 km) subtropical estuarine system (Moreton Bay, Queensland, Australia). We have developed and implemented a classification scheme representing 24 coastal (subtidal, intertidal, mangrove, supratidal and terrestrial) cover types relevant to the ecology of estuarine animals, nekton and shorebirds. The accuracy of classifications of the intertidal and subtidal cover types, as indicated by the agreement between the mapped (predicted) and reference (ground) data, was 77-88%, depending on the zone and level of generalization required. The variability and spatial distribution of habitat mosaics (landscape types) across the mapped environment were assessed using K-means clustering and validated with Classification and Regression Tree models. Seven broad landscape types could be distinguished and ways of incorporating the information on landscape composition into site-specific conservation and field research are discussed. This research illustrates the importance and potential applications of fine-resolution mapping for conservation and management of estuarine habitats and their terrestrial and aquatic wildlife.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: Centre for Fish and Fisheries Research
Publisher: Elsevier BV
Copyright: © 2005 Elsevier Ltd.
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/11568
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