Mapping Riparian Habitat Availability in Canada's Agricultural Landscapes using Earth Observation

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Johnson, Amelia Ashley Sinclair




Riparian zones disproportionately increase biodiversity. Monitoring them should be prioritized for sustainability. Unfortunately, agricultural riparian zones are often highly modified, narrow, and heterogenous, making imagery classification and monitoring more challenging. The Canadian government operationally maps all agriculture - it would be ideal to include the adjacent riparian land. Several classification and pre-processing methods were tested on riparian zones in three watersheds (Ontario and Prince Edward Island) using several thematic resolutions to determine an operational classification method. A pixel-based 60m buffer method using 5 m imagery with reduced thematic resolution was successful for riparian classification and was used to demonstrate application of the Riparian Wildlife Habitat Availability on Farmland Indicator. Including riparian land in the annual crop inventory is not operationally feasible until the higher-resolution imagery becomes less expensive, as the riparian zone is often too narrow to spectrally separate riparian vegetation using lower resolution imagery.


Remote Sensing
Forestry and Wildlife




Carleton University

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