Spatiotemporal Distribution of Mangrove and Saltmarsh, and Land Cover Change for SE Australia

A new paper is just published in the MPDI's Remote Sensing, to map the mangrove and saltmarsh ecosystem transitions from 1991 to 2015 in south-eastern Australia, via remotely sensed Landsat data and a Random Forest classification. The paper is entitled :"Mangrove and Saltmarsh Distribution Mapping and Land Cover Change Assessment for South-Eastern Australia from 1991 to 2015".

Navarro et al. (2021)


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.


They mapped mangrove and saltmarsh ecosystem transitions from 1991 to 2015 in south-eastern Australia, using remotely sensed Landsat data and a Random Forest classification. Their classification results were improved by the addition of two physical variables (Shuttle Radar Topographic Mission (SRTM), and Distance to Water). They 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.


They 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.


This publication was led by the DU Marine Mapping Group Member Alejandro Navarro, and our group members Mary A. Young and Daniel Ierodiaconou also contributed to the publication.


Congrats to Alejandro, Mary, Dan and the DU Marine Mapping Group!

To read the full article, click here.

Last edited on the April 12th, 2021.

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