South African Journal of Geomatics

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Assessing the potential of remote sensing to discriminate invasive Seriphium plumosum from grass

Bambo Dubula, Solomon Gebremariam Tefsamichael, Isaac Tebogo Rampedi


The usefulness of remote sensing to discriminate Seriphium plumosum from grass using a field spectrometer data was investigated in this study. Analysis focused on wavelength regions that showed potential of discriminating S. plumosum from grass which were determined from global pair spectral comparison between S. plumosum and grass. Assessment of reflectance differences done at individual and plot levels using original spectra and spectra simulated based on bands of Landsat and SPOT 5 images. The simulations were done to investigate the possibility of extending field based information into airborne and spaceborne remote sensing techniques. Results showed reflectance spectra of S. plumosum and grass to be relatively comparable. Comparisons at all levels of analysis using original spectra did not show noteworthy reflectance difference in all regions used in the analysis. Similarly, simulated spectra did not show significant differences. The results therefore did not appear to encourage the potential of upscaling the application to airborne and spaceborne remote sensing techniques. There were, however, some shortcomings that made it difficult to draw conclusive remarks on whether the plant can be differentiated from grass. These included, firstly, not all species were in the same phenology. Secondly, spectral measurements were not necessarily taken in an ideal scenario of optimal sunny conditions. It is therefore advised that a similar study be carried out that will address the shortcomings of this study. Furthermore, studies on the biochemical composition of both S. plumosum and grass species are needed, since they explain spectral properties of plants.
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