MEPS 159:51-60 (1997)  -  doi:10.3354/meps159051

Measurement of seagrass standing crop using satellite and digital airborne remote sensing

P. J. Mumby1,*, E. P. Green2, A. J. Edwards2, C. D. Clark1

1Sheffield Centre for Earth Observation Science and Department of Geography, University of Sheffield, Winter Street, Sheffield S10 2TN, United Kingdom
2Centre for Tropical Coastal Management Studies, Department of Marine Sciences and Coastal Management, Ridley Building, University of Newcastle, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 7RU, United Kingdom

The standing crop of seagrass is highly sensitive to environmental disturbance. We evaluate 3 optical remote sensing methods for measuring standing crop in the tropical Western Atlantic. Extensive field measurements of standing crop were used to define empirical relationships with imagery from satellite sensors [Landsat Thematic Mapper and SPOT (Système Probatoire de l'Observation de la Terre) XS (multispectral)], and the digital airborne imager CASI (Compact Airborne Spectrographic Imager). Predictions of standing crop from processed imagery had high coefficients of determination: 0.74, 0.79 and 0.81 respectively. Using a bootstrap method to measure standard error, the 95% confidence interval of predictions was found to have a similar order of magnitude to quadrat sampling in situ at a precision (standard error/mean) of 10%. Explicit cost-benefit and monitoring considerations are discussed.


Seagrass standing crop · Remote sensing · CASI · Monitoring


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