Mangrove and saltmarsh distribution mapping and land cover change assessment for south-eastern Australia from 1991 to 2015

Navarro, Alejandro, Young, Mary, Macreadie, Peter I., Nicholson, Emily, and Ierodiaconou, Daniel (2021) Mangrove and saltmarsh distribution mapping and land cover change assessment for south-eastern Australia from 1991 to 2015. Remote Sensing, 13 (8). 1450.

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Coastal wetland ecosystems, such as saltmarsh and mangroves, provide a wide range of important ecological and socio-economic services. A good understanding of the spatial and temporal distribution of these ecosystems is critical to maximising the benefits from restoration and conservation projects. We mapped mangrove and saltmarsh ecosystem transitions from 1991 to 2015 in south-eastern Australia, using remotely sensed Landsat data and a Random Forest classification. Our classification results were improved by the addition of two physical variables (Shuttle Radar Topographic Mission (SRTM), and Distance to Water). We also provide evidence that the addition of post-classification, spatial and temporal, filters improve overall accuracy of coastal wetlands detection by up to 16%. Mangrove and saltmarsh maps produced in this study had an overall User Accuracy of 0.82–0.95 and 0.81–0.87 and an overall Producer Accuracy of 0.71–0.88 and 0.24–0.87 for mangrove and saltmarsh, respectively. We found that mangrove ecosystems in south-eastern Australia have lost an area of 1148 ha (7.6%), whilst saltmarsh experienced an overall increase in coverage of 4157 ha (20.3%) over this 24-year period. The maps developed in this study allow local managers to quantify persistence, gains, and losses of coastal wetlands in south-eastern Australia.

Item ID: 75078
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2072-4292
Keywords: Distribution, Land-cover change, Landsat, Mangrove, Random forest, Saltmarsh, South-eastern Australia
Copyright Information: © 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC)
Projects and Grants: ARC LP160100242
Research Data:
Date Deposited: 18 Aug 2022 05:51
FoR Codes: 30 AGRICULTURAL, VETERINARY AND FOOD SCIENCES > 3005 Fisheries sciences > 300501 Aquaculture @ 100%
SEO Codes: 10 ANIMAL PRODUCTION AND ANIMAL PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 1002 Fisheries - aquaculture > 100299 Fisheries - aquaculture not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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