APPLICATION OF OPTICS TO ESTIMATE RANGELAND PRODUCTION AND VIEW OBSTRUCTION READING (VOR) AT THE GRAND RIVER NATIONAL GRASSLAND
Northern Great Plains Research Laboratory
2012 Annual Report
1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
To use remote sensing-based data to estimate VOR at the Grand River National Grassland.
1b.Approach (from AD-416):
ARS will approach the problem of determining rangeland biomass under variable climatic conditions using hyperspectral aerial and multispectral satellite-based data collected both at the end of June and the beginning of September.
We succeeded in completing the first phase with the design and implementation of a simple, cost-effective data product that assesses relative differences in canopy structure at the 30 and 15 m pixel scales. In this initial phase, we.
1)classified and randomized sample points for a 90,000 acre landscape using reflectance data from 2000 to 2009;.
2)characterized sample points with respect to vegetation species, canopy height and biomass;.
3)characterized sample points and the entire landscape with respect to elevation and vegetation reflectance by modeling digital elevation and broad-band image data. This approach to grassland landscape assessment can inform land managers of where conservation efforts may need to be applied at a grassland scale. Field data were collected in 2010, 2011 and 2012. Additional work, required in subsequent phases, will address correlations between hyperspectral and field data to assess vegetation biomass.