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Fractional estimates of invasive annual grass cover in dryland ecosystems of western United States (2016 - 2018)

March 11, 2020

Invasive annual grasses, such as cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum L.), have proliferated in dryland ecosystems of the western United States, promoting increased fire activity and reduced biodiversity that can be detrimental to socio-environmental systems. Monitoring exotic annual grass cover and dynamics over large areas requires the use of remote sensing that can support early detection and rapid response initiatives. Here, we integrated in situ observations, weekly composites of harmonized Landsat and Sentinel-2 (HLS) data, maps of biophysical variables (e.g. soils and topography) and machine learning techniques to develop fractional estimates of exotic annual grass cover at a 30-m spatial resolution from 2016 to 2018. Comparisons with Bureau of Land Management Assessment, Inventory, and Monitoring (AIM) field data (2016 and 2017) indicate good agreement between observed and mapped values (n = 1700; r = 0.83; mean absolute error [MAE] = 11), as constructed from an ensemble of regression tree models, with slightly lower agreement between mapped values and independent field observations (n = 112; r = 0.65; MAE =14). Geographic coverage of the study area includes portions of Oregon, California, Idaho, and Nevada.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2020
Title Fractional estimates of invasive annual grass cover in dryland ecosystems of western United States (2016 - 2018)
DOI 10.5066/P9537QG9
Authors Parajuli Sujan , Dahal Devendra , Wylie Bruce K, Pastick Neal J, Boyte Steve
Product Type Data Release
Record Source USGS Digital Object Identifier Catalog
USGS Organization Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center