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TitleInvestigating the potential use of RADARSAT-2 and UAS imagery for monitoring the restoration of Peatlands
AuthorWhite, L; McGovern, M; Hayne, S; Touzi, R; Pasher, J; Duffe, J
SourceRemote Sensing vol. 12, issue 15, 2383, 2020 p. 1-33, Open Access logo Open Access
Alt SeriesNatural Resources Canada, Contribution Series 20200389
PublisherMDPI AG
Mediapaper; on-line; digital
File formatpdf; html
Subjectssurficial geology/geomorphology; geophysics; Nature and Environment; Science and Technology; peatlands; remote sensing; satellite imagery; photogrammetric surveys; radar methods; statistical analyses; environmental studies; RADARSAT-2; Sphagnum; Polytrichum strictum; drones; monitoring
Illustrationslocation maps; satellite images; tables; flow diagrams; plots; photographs; aerial photographs
Released2020 07 24
AbstractThe restoration of peatlands is critical to help reduce the effects of climate change and further prevent the loss of habitat for many species of flora and fauna. The objective of this research was to evaluate RADARSAT-2 satellite imagery and high-resolution Unmanned Aerial Systems (UASs) to determine if they could be used as surrogates for monitoring the success of peatland restoration. Areas of peatland that were being actively harvested, had been restored from past years (1994-2003), and natural shrub bog in Lac St. Jean, Quebec were used as a test case. We compared the Freeman-Durden and Touzi decompositions by applying the Bhattacharyya Distance (BD) statistic to see if the spectral signatures of restored peatland could be separated from harvested peat and natural shrub bog. We flew Unmanned Aerial Surveys (UASs) over the study site to identify Sphagnum and Polytrichum strictum, two indicator species of early peatland restoration success. Results showed that the Touzi decomposition was better able to separate the spectral signatures of harvested, restored, and natural shrub bog (BD values closer to 9). Symmetric scattering type as1, Helicity t1,2,3, a steep incidence angle, and peak growing season appear to be important for separating the spectral signatures. We had moderate success in detecting Sphagnum and Polytrichum strictum visually by using texture and pattern but were unable to use colour due to differences in sun angle and clouds during the UAS flights. Results suggest that RADARSAT-2 data using the Touzi decomposition and UAS imagery show potential for monitoring peatland restoration success over time.
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
This research aimed to find effective ways to monitor peatland restoration, which is crucial for combating climate change and preserving habitats. They used satellite imagery and Unmanned Aerial Systems (UASs) to see if these tools could help assess the success of peatland restoration.
The study focused on peatland areas in Quebec, Canada, which were actively harvested, restored from previous years, or natural shrub bog. They used special analysis methods to see if the spectral signatures of these different peatland types could be distinguished.
The results showed that one of the analysis methods, the Touzi decomposition, was better at separating the spectral signatures of these different peatland types. It provided more accurate results. They also tried to identify specific plant species that indicate successful restoration, but this was challenging due to factors like sunlight and clouds during the aerial surveys.
Overall, the study suggests that RADARSAT-2 data with the Touzi decomposition and UAS imagery have the potential to monitor peatland restoration over time. This is important because peatlands play a vital role in mitigating climate change and supporting biodiversity. Monitoring their restoration is key to their preservation.

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