Mangroves on the Move

A Mangrove forest ecosystem change extent map from years 2000 (orange), 2005 (purple) and 2010 (green) in southeast Florida using Landsat 5 Thematic Mapper imagery based on ISODATA unsupervised classifications. Image Credit: DEVELOP Goddard Team.

A Mangrove forest ecosystem change extent map from years 2000 (orange), 2005 (purple) and 2010 (green) in southeast Florida using Landsat 5 Thematic Mapper imagery based on ISODATA unsupervised classifications. Image Credit: DEVELOP Goddard Team.



Authors: Katrina Laygo, Melissa Oguamanam, Brock Belvins, Kristofer D. Lasko

Mentors/Advisors (affiliation): Dr. Temilola Fatoyinbo, Frederick Policelli and Dr. Ana Prados (NASA/GSFC)

Team Location: Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland

Abstract: Mangrove forests provide a wide range of ecosystem services that are beneficial to society. There is a need to better understand the impacts of climate change on mangrove migration. Current management practices involve in-situ characterization of national wetland conditions. Overall, mangrove forest ecosystems are extremely vulnerable to changes in climate, sea level, and salinity. However, certain mangrove ecosystem communities are able to survive fluctuations in temperature and water quality. In particular, mangrove forests in the Southeastern United States continue to expand as they interact with salt marsh ecosystems. This signals the potential for a change in the distribution and composition of organisms within salt marshes, as well as the concentration and flow of nutrients and carbon sequestration estimates, which makes mangrove forests in Florida an ideal site to monitor change in species spatial distribution. In order to improve interagency mangrove management practices, we characterized the extent and migration of mangroves in Indian River Lagoon, Florida, and provided a remote sensing based 10-year time series analysis of land cover classification maps, while partnering with the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Wetlands Research Center and Smithsonian Environmental Research Center. Depicting mangrove evolution and extent into cypress growth, the time series maps were created through a combination of radar, optical, and airborne datasets including Advanced Land Observing Satellite’s Phased Array type L-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (ALOS/PALSAR), Hyperion, and Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) satellite imagery. After performing image analysis and classification accuracy assessment procedures, the results of the mangrove classification satellite imagery-based maps revealed valuable insights into the structure, biomass, growth rate, and temporal magnitude of mangrove expansion in the Indian River Lagoon and its impact on salt marsh ecosystems. Findings from this project will contribute to current wetland assessments and could be incorporated into federal mangrove health assessment procedures.



Transcript available here.