Local and landscape effects on spatial patterns of mangrove forest during wetter and drier periods: Moreton Bay, Southeast Queensland, Australia
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Land use/cover and mangrove spatial changes were assessed for ten sites and their sub-catchments inSoutheast Queensland, Australia. Two time periods were involved: 1972 -1990, a period of relatively high rainfall, and 1990-2004, which was significantly drier. Aerial photographs and Landsat satellite imagery were used to map the inter-tidal wetlands and classify the land use/cover in the sub-catchments. A Maximum Likelihood Classification was used to map three types of land cover: agriculture, built-up and plantation forest. Mangroves (mainly Avicennia marina) were the focus as they have been recorded over recent decades encroaching into salt marsh. The Mangrove-Salt marsh Interface (MSI) Index was developed to quantify the relative opportunity for mangroves to expand into salt marshes, based on the shared boundary between them. The index showed a consistent relationship with mangrove expansion and change. To address problems of high dimensionality and multi-collinearity of predictor variables,Partial Least Squares Regression (PLSR) model was used. A key finding of this research was that the contribution of environmental variables to spatial changes in the mangroves was altered following a reduction in rainfall. For example, agriculture had more influence on mangrove expansion and change during the wet period than during the dry period.
Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science