Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy

Program

Geography

Supervisor

Jinfei Wang, John M. Kovacs

Abstract

Mangrove forests are important ecosystems and play a key role in maintaining the equilibrium in coastal lagoons and estuaries. However, in recent years, there has been a considerable loss of mangrove extension due to anthropogenic activities. Recent studies suggest that multiple in situ and remote sensing approaches must be carried out to understand the dynamics in these complex ecosystems. Therefore, the objective for this PhD dissertation is to develop multiple techniques for monitoring the seasonal biophysical and biochemical conditions of the mangrove forests. Particular objectives will include: i. Test the feasibility of using a Chlorophyll Content Index from a CCM-200 unit as an estimator of the variation of leaf pigments (chlorophyll-a, chlorophyll-b) content for a range of mangrove species. ii. Assess changes in chlorophyll-a, leaf area, leaf length, and Leaf Area Index between the dry and rainy seasons in a variety of mangrove classes. iii. Assess the seasonal importance of in situ hyperspectral measurements (e.g. 450-1000 nm) for chlorophyll-a determination in a variety of mangrove species. And finally, iv. Determine whether an object-based image analysis approach can provide an accurate classification of mangroves from spaceborne Synthetic Aperture Radar data. The results from these studies could provide reliable information regarding seasonal ecological assessments of mangrove forests using in situ and remote sensing methods.


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