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Improving Intertidal Reef Mapping Using UAV Surface, Red Edge, and Near-Infrared Data

  • collin, antoine
  • dubois, stanislas
  • james, dorothée
  • houet, thomas
Publication Date
Aug 27, 2019
DOI: 10.3390/drones3030067
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Coastal living reefs provide considerable services from tropical to temperate systems. Threatened by global ocean-climate and local anthropogenic changes, reefs require spatially explicit management at the submeter scale, where socioecological processes occur. Drone surveys have adequately addressed these requirements with red-green-blue (RGB) orthomosaics and digital surface models (DSMs). The use of ancillary spectral bands has the potential to increase the mapping of all reefscapes that emerge during low tide. This research investigates the contribution of the drone-based red edge (RE), near-infrared (NIR), and DSM into the classification accuracy of five main habitats of the largest intertidal biogenic reefs in Europe, built by the honeycomb worm Sabellaria alveolata. Based on photoquadrats and the maximum likelihood algorithm, overall, producer&rsquo / s and user&rsquo / s accuracies were distinctly augmented. When isolated, the DSM provided the highest gain percentage (3.42%), followed by the NIR (2.58%), and RE (2.02%). When joined, the combination of the DSM with both RE and NIR was the best contributor (4.98%), followed by the DSM with RE (4.80%), DSM with NIR (3.74%), and RE with NIR (3.22%). At the class scale, all datasets increasingly advantaged sand, gravel, reef, mud and water. The rather low effect of the DSM with NIR (3.74%) was assumed to be linked with a statistical noise originated from redundant information in the intertidal area.

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