Seaweed Habitats on the Shore: Characterization through Hyperspectral UAV Imagery and Field Sampling

Intertidal macroalgal habitats are major components of temperate coastal ecosystems. Their distribution was studied using field sampling and hyperspectral remote mapping on a rocky shore of Porspoder (western Brittany, France). Covers of both dominating macroalgae and the sessile fauna were characterized in situ at low tide in 24 sampling spots, according to four bathymetric levels. A zone of ca. 17,000 m2 was characterized using a drone equipped with a hyperspectral camera. Macroalgae were identified by image processing using two classification methods to assess the representativeness of spectral classes. Finally, a comparison of the remote imaging data to the field sampling data was conducted. Seven seaweed classes were distinguished by hyperspectral pictures, including five different species of Fucales. The maximum likelihood (MLC) and spectral angle mapper (SAM) were both trained using image-derived spectra. MLC was more accurate to classify the main dominating species (Overall Accuracy (OA) 95.1%) than SAM (OA 87.9%) at a site scale. However, at sampling points scale, the results depend on the bathymetric level. This study evidenced the efficiency and accuracy of hyperspectral remote sensing to evaluate the distribution of dominating intertidal seaweed species and the potential for a combined field/remote approach to assess the ecological state of macroalgal communities.


seaweeds, hyperspectral, UAVs, intertidal ecology, rocky shores, supervised classification, vegetation cover

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Diruit Wendy, Le Bris Anthony, Bajjouk Touria, Richier Sophie, Helias Mathieu, Burel Thomas, Lennon Marc, Guyot Alexandre, Ar Gall Erwan (2022). Seaweed Habitats on the Shore: Characterization through Hyperspectral UAV Imagery and Field Sampling. Remote Sensing. 14 (13). 3124 (26p.).,

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