Assessment of the Contribution of WorldView-2 Strategically Positioned Bands in Bracken fern (Pteridium aquilinum (L.) Kuhn) Mapping

  • Z Ngubane
  • J Odindi
  • O Mutanga
  • R Slotow


In the eThekwini Metropolitan Area, mitigation of the Bracken fern (Pteridium aquilinum (L.) Kuhn) invasion within the KwaZulu-Natal Sandstone Sourveld (KZNSS) has been identified as a major environmental priority. To facilitate informed interventions, reliable Bracken fern spatial distribution is necessary. Earlier efforts to map the fern using lower spatial and spectral resolution imagery have been unsuccessful. Consequently, this study sought to determine the reliability of the “new generation” World View-2 (WV-2) image characterised by higher spatial and spectral resolution in delineating the fern invaded areas. The eight band WV2 image was atmospherically corrected and spectrally resized as the SPOT-5 wavebands, additional bands and all bands. The classification accuracy was compared to results from the SPOT-5 image. Results showed that classification based on WV-2s additional bands had superior classification accuracy than the rest of the categories. Furthermore, classification based on all the WV-2s bands and the traditional bands perfomed better than the SPOT-5 image in delineating areas covered by the fern. These findings indicate the value of of the “new generation” imagery characterised by higher spatial and spectral resolution in improving the accuracy of the fern invaded landscapes.

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eISSN: 2225-8531