Submersed aquatic vegetation (SAV) plays an important role in ecosystems. Inventories of SAV spatial distribution and composition are important for monitoring changes in SAV. In this study, we compared three common SAV sampling methods to quantify SAV in western Lake Erie. Aerial imagery of near-shore areas in western Lake Erie was classified using object-based image analysis (OBIA) and evaluated against field-based surveys using single-beam sonar or rake samples. To assess variation among methods, data were assigned either vegetation ‘presence’ or ‘absence’ and compared for simple correspondence and agreement (Cohen’s Kappa, κ). The two field-based methods had the highest correspondence at 78% (n = 782) and the highest κ = 0.545. Correspondence between OBIA and rake surveys was 69% (n = 245) and κ = 0.36. Correspondence between OBIA and hydroacoustics was the lowest of 54% (n = 30,768) with an agreement of κ = 0.17. Environmental factors such as water turbidity may have played a role in reduced agreement between OBIA and field methods. Determining the optimal method or combination of methods will depend upon research goals, effort, and cost, but each method can provide reliable SAV information for resource management.
|Title||Assessment of three methods to evaluate the distribution of submersed aquatic vegetation in western Lake Erie|
|Authors||Nicole R. King, Jenny L. Hanson, Travis J. Harrison, Patrick M. Kocovsky, Christine M. Mayer|
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center|