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Sediment connectivity linked to vegetation using UAVs: High-resolution imagery for ecosystem management

Estrany, J, Ruiz, M, Calsamiglia, A, Carriqui, M ORCID: 0000-0002-0153-2602, Garcia-Comendador, J, Nadal, M, Fortesa, J, Lopez-Tarazon, JA, Medrano, H and Gago, J 2019 , 'Sediment connectivity linked to vegetation using UAVs: High-resolution imagery for ecosystem management' , Science of the Total Environment, vol. 671 , pp. 1192-1205 , doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.03.399.

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In this study, a low-cost unmanned aerial vehicle was used to obtain multi-spectral high-resolution imagery (1.4 cm px-1) from 2 microcatchments (3.3 ha) with burned Mediterranean shrubland and pine forests. This imagery was used to calculate the blue normalized differential vegetation index and to generate digital elevation models for estimating the sediment connectivity index. Both indices enabled an integrated approach for deciphering how hydrological and sediment connectivity interact with vegetation as well as soil conservation structures. The application of spatial analysis improves our understanding of the feedback between biological and geomorphological processes. Local spatial data analysis established a significant link between local geomorphological and biological factors, enabling a precise identification of homogeneous areas at micro-catchment scale and the minimal size of vegetation units reacting to geomorphology as natural groups at plot-scale where management strategies and efforts should be applied. Establishing this local relationship between sediment connectivity and vegetation patterns through new and interdisciplinary methodologies represents a new strategy for the assessment of ecosystem dynamics and management.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Estrany, J and Ruiz, M and Calsamiglia, A and Carriqui, M and Garcia-Comendador, J and Nadal, M and Fortesa, J and Lopez-Tarazon, JA and Medrano, H and Gago, J
Keywords: ecogeomorphology, Mediterranean shrubland, burned areas, UAVs, BNDVI, sediment connectivity
Journal or Publication Title: Science of the Total Environment
Publisher: Elsevier Science Bv
ISSN: 0048-9697
DOI / ID Number: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.03.399
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2019 Elsevier B.V.

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