Remote Sensing of Ecosystem Structure—Part 2: Initial Findings of Ecosystem Functioning through Intra- and Inter-Annual Comparisons with Earth Observation Data

Date

2021

Authors

Peters, Daniel L.
Niemann, K. Olaf
Skelly, Robert

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Publisher

Remote Sensing

Abstract

This study examines the response of a cold-regions deltaic wetland ecosystem in northwestern Canada to two separate and differing seasonal wetting cycles. The goal of this paper was to examine the nature of reflected electromagnetic energy measured by earth observation (EO) satellites, and to assess whether seasonal wetland hydroperiod and episodic flooding events impact the information retrieved by the Sentinel-2 sensors. The year 2018 represents a year characterized by a large spring freshet and ice-jam flooding, while 2019 represents a year characterized more by summer open-water flooding. We applied the Modified Normalized Difference Wetness Index (MNDWI) to address the effects of the wetting cycles. The response of the vegetative cover was tracked using the fraction of the absorbed photosynthetically active radiation (fAPAR) and the Leaf Area Index (LAI). All three indices were viewed through the lens of cover classes as derived through a previously published study by the authors. The study provides a framework for designing longer-term studies where multiple intra- and inter-annual hydrological cycles can be accessed via EO data. Future studies will enable the examination of lag times inherent in the response to the various water sources applied to spectral response and incorporate this EO approach into a monitoring framework.

Description

Keywords

ecosystem monitoring, vegetation indices, deltaic floodplain, wetlands, Sentinel-2

Citation

Peters, D. L., Niemann, K. O., & Skelly, R. (2021). Remote Sensing of Ecosystem Structure–Part 2: Initial Findings of Ecosystem Functioning through Intra- and Inter-Annual Comparisons with Earth Observation Data. Remote Sensing, 13(16), 1-21. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13163219.