Modeling Soil Parameters Using Hyperspectral Image Reflectance Insubtropical Coastal Wetlands

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coastal wetlands, hyperspectral remote sensing, labile carbon, labile nitrogen, particulate organic matter, soil properties

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Developing spectral models of soil properties is an important frontier in remote sensing and soil science. Several studies have focused on modeling soil properties such as total pools of soil organic matter and carbon in bare soils. We extended this effort to model soil parameters in areas densely covered with coastal vegetation. Moreover, we investigated soil properties indicative of soil functions such as nutrient and organic matter turnover and storage. These properties include the partitioning of mineral and organic soil between particulate ( > 53 μm) and fine size classes, and the partitioning of soil carbon and nitrogen pools between stable and labile fractions. Soil samples were obtained from Avicennia germinans mangrove forest and Juncus roemerianus salt marsh plots on the west coast of central Florida. Spectra corresponding to field plot locations from Hyperion hyperspectral image were extracted and analyzed. The spectral information was regressed against the soil variables to determine the best single bands and optimal band combinations for the simple ratio (SR) and normalized difference index (NDI) indices. The regression analysis yielded levels of correlation for soil variables with R2 values ranging from 0.21 to 0.47 for best individual bands, 0.28 to 0.81 for two-band indices, and 0.53 to 0.96 for partial least-squares (PLS) regressions for the Hyperion image data. Spectral models using Hyperion data adequately (RPD > 1.4) predicted particulate organic matter (POM), silt + clay, labile carbon (C), and labile nitrogen (N) (where RPD = ratio of standard deviation to root mean square error of cross-validation [RMSECV]). The SR (0.53 μm, 2.11 μm) model of labile N with R2 = 0.81, RMSECV= 0.28, and RPD = 1.94 produced the best results in this study. Our results provide optimism that remote-sensing spectral models can successfully predict soil properties indicative of ecosystem nutrient and organic matter turnover and storage, and do so in areas with dense canopy cover.

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International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation, v. 33, p. 47-56