Changes in the distribution of the grey mangrove Avicennia marina (Forsk.) using large scale aerial color infrared photographs: are the changes related to habitat modification for mosquito control?
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Runnelling, a method of habitat modification used for mosquito management in intertidal saltmarshes in Australia, alters marsh hydrology. The objective of this research was to assess if runnelling had affected the distribution of the grey mangrove (Avicennia marina (Forsk.)) at a study site in southeast Queensland. Since runnelling is carried out in diverse marshes a second aim was to assess differences in mangrove colonisation in the two main saltmarsh species in the area. These are marine couch [Sporobolus virginicus (L.) Kunth.] and samphire [Sarcocornia quinqueflora (Bunge ex Ung.-Stern.)]. Runnels at the study site were in an area dominated by Sporobolus. The mangrove area was measured by classifying digital color infrared (CIR) data obtained from aerial photographs acquired in 1982, which was 3 years before runnelling, and in 1987, 1991 and 1999, 2-14 years after. Changes in the spatial extent of A. marina were identified using difference images produced from post-classification change detection. The results showed that runnels did not significantly influence the distribution of A. marina at the study site. At a more detailed level differences in A. marina establishment in the Sporobolus and Sarcocornia areas were determined from counts of trees on the aerial photographs. There was a greater proportion of mangroves in Sarcocornia than Sporobolus and this increased over time. This may be related to differences in density between the plant species, to grapsid crab activity or to other edaphic conditions. There may be implications for runnelling in Sarcocornia marshes. The large increase observed in A. marina in the area generally is likely to be related to factors such as catchment modification or tidal/sea-level changes. It is concluded that runnelling has not led to mangrove establishment in the Sporobolus dominated saltmarsh.
Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science
Copyright 2004 Elsevier : Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher : This journal is available online - use hypertext links.
HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY