Discipline: Ecology Environmental and Earth Sciences
Subcategory: Plant Research
Jennifer Blanks - Jackson State University
Co-Author(s): Ranjani Kulawardhana, Jackson State University
Seagrass beds contribute to the health and productivity of wetland and estuary ecosystems in numerous ways. First, seagrasses support aquatic organisms. Secondly, seagrass beds trap sediment through their process of photosynthesis. Next, seagrasses sequester carbon during photosynthesis as well. Lastly, seagrass beds contribute to the overall health and development of wetland growth and productivity. Seagrasses are sensitive to extreme heat, making climate change a factor to their destruction as well. Another threat seagrasses face are human impacts such as dredging, coastal development, industrialization runoff, and recreational hobbies. These abiotic factors make it difficult for wetland ecosystems to reach their full ecological potential because the seagrass beds are being degraded. It is important for coastal land managers to routinely map the changes of seagrasses in order to better understand their responses to environmental change. Remote sensing techniques have been used in various coastal marine applications. Mapping submerged aquatic vegetation such as seagrass beds using remote sensing has however is more challenging due to various obscurities such as sun reflectance, cloud coverage, and water reflectivity. Within this background, this study aims to evaluate the applicability of medium resolution remote sensing data (Landsat) to map spatial extent of seagrass beds within Pascagoula River basin of Mississippi. Remote sensing data will be classified to map and derive spatial extents of the seagrass beds. Accuracy assessment of the derived maps will be performed using ground observations. Our findings will contribute to understanding the applicability of remote sensing data for mapping seagrass beds of coastal Mississippi.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): Jackson State University
Faculty Advisor: Ranjani W. Kulawardhana, firstname.lastname@example.org
Role: I completed the making the of the research details, executing the methods, and analyzing the final results.