Team location: Ames Research Center
Michelle Necomer (Ames DEVELOP Center Lead)
J. W. Skiles PhD, NASA Ames Research Center (Science Advisor)
Abstract: Tidal marshes are highly productive ecosystems that support migratory birds as roosting and over-wintering habitats on the Pacific Flyway. The southern margin of the San Francisco Bay, California, intersects with this flight path and is currently home to the most extensive tidal wetland restoration project ever undertaken, the South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project (SBSPRP). Microphytobenthos, or more commonly Û÷biofilms’ contribute significantly to the carrying capacity of this ecosystem, and provide a substantial food source for macroinvertebrates and bird communities. In this study, biofilms were analyzed based on taxonomic classification, density differences, and spectral signatures. These techniques were then applied to remotelysensed images to map biofilm in the South Bay Salt Ponds and predict the carrying capacity of these newly restored ponds for migratory birds. The GER-1500 spectroradiometer was used to obtain in situ spectral signatures for each density-class of biofilm. The spectral variation and taxonomic classification between high, medium, and low density biofilm cover types was mapped using in-situ spectral measurements and classification of EO-1 Hyperion and Landsat TM 5 images. Biofilm samples were also collected in the field to perform laboratory analyses including chlorophyll a, taxonomic classification, and energy content. Comparison of the spectral signatures between the three density groups shows distinct variations for classification. Also, analysis of Chlorophyll-a concentrations show statistically significant differences between each density group, using the Tukey-Kramer test at an alpha level or 0.05. Classification results demonstrate the success in using hyperspectal image processing for delineating biofilm density groups when employing the Spectral Angle Mapper (SAM) classification algorithm to Hyperion images. Area coverage, density differences, and energy content of biofilm samples were then used to calculate carrying capacity for migratory birds in the South Bay Salt Ponds.
Download the poster PDF here.
Video transcript available here.