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Environ Monit Assess. 2006 Oct;121(1-3):47-64. Epub 2006 Jun 2.

Mapping invasive aquatic vegetation in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta using hyperspectral imagery.

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Center for Spatial Technologies and Remote Sensing, University of California, Davis, California, USA.


The ecological and economic impacts associated with invasive species are of critical concern to land managers. The ability to map the extent and severity of invasions would be a valuable contribution to management decisions relating to control and monitoring efforts. We investigated the use of hyperspectral imagery for mapping invasive aquatic plant species in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta in the Central Valley of California, at two spatial scales. Sixty-four flightlines of HyMap hyperspectral imagery were acquired over the study region covering an area of 2,139 km(2) and field work was conducted to acquire GPS locations of target invasive species. We used spectral mixture analysis to classify two target invasive species; Brazilian waterweed (Egeria densa), a submerged invasive, and water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes), a floating emergent invasive. At the relatively fine spatial scale for five sites within the Delta (average size 51 ha) average classification accuracies were 93% for Brazilian waterweed and 73% for water hyacinth. However, at the coarser, Delta-wide scale (177,000 ha) these accuracy results were 29% for Brazilian waterweed and 65% for water hyacinth. The difference in accuracy is likely accounted for by the broad range in water turbidity and tide heights encountered across the Delta. These findings illustrate that hyperspectral imagery is a promising tool for discriminating target invasive species within the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta waterways although more work is needed to develop classification tools that function under changing environmental conditions.

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