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Title: Geospatial assessments of Phragmites australis die-off in south Louisiana : preliminary findings
Authors: Suir, Glenn M.
Saltus, Christina L.
Reif, Molly K.
Keywords: Coasts--Louisiana
Introduced organisms--Environmental aspects
Phragmites australis
Remote sensing
Publisher: Environmental Laboratory (U.S.)
Engineer Research and Development Center (U.S.)
Series/Report no.: Technical Report (Engineer Research and Development Center (U.S.)) ; no. ERDC/EL TR-18-9
Abstract: The Lower Mississippi River Delta (MRD) is dominated by Phragmites australis which provides a stabilizing force, protecting marsh communities from erosion and storm-related impacts. Starting in 2016, massive die-offs of Phragmites were first observed in the MRD coinciding with observations of Nipponaclerda biwakoensis (Phragmites scale), an exotic insect originating from Asia. Concurrent with the insect invasion, many previously healthy stands have died or experienced stunted growth, resulting in conversion to understory species or to open water features. This study utilized remote sensing methods to assess vegetation in scale-impacted areas of the MRD. The Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) was used to evaluate historical changes in vegetation health, and species classifications were used to discriminate Phragmites from non-target species to better understand vegetation impacts, especially in cases where Phragmites haplotype impacts may have differed. Moderate spatial resolution NDVI analyses provided rapid and cursory examinations of vegetation health while a proof of concept approach for differentiating Phragmites haplotypes and other species provided a preliminary way to assess potential species-specific stress or injury. These preliminary data show that extensive areas of Phragmites stands in the MRD were severely impacted (potentially by the scale) and some Phragmites haplotypes were more susceptible than others.
Description: Technical Report
Gov't Doc #: ERDC/EL TR-18-9
Rights: Approved for Public Release; Distribution is Unlimited
Size: 51 pages/ 25.51 Mb
Types of Materials: PDF/A
Appears in Collections:Technical Report

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