Identification of understory invasive exotic plants with remote sensing: In urban forests

Michael Shouse, Liang Liang, Songlin Fei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Invasive exotic plants (IEP) pose a significant threat to many ecosystems. To effectively manage IEP, it is important to efficiently detect their presences and determine their distribution patterns. Remote sensing has been a useful tool to map IEP but its application is limited in urban forests, which are often the sources and sinks for IEP. In this study, we examined the feasibility and tradeoffs of species level IEP mapping using multiple remote sensing techniques in a highly complex urban forest setting. Bush honeysuckle (Lonicera maackii), a pervasive IEP in eastern North America, was used as our modeling species. Both medium spatial resolution (MSR) and high spatial resolution (HSR) imagery were employed in bush honeysuckle mapping. The importance of spatial scale was also examined using an up-scaling simulation from the HSR object based classification. Analysis using both MSR and HSR imagery provided viable results for IEP distribution mapping in urban forests. Overall mapping accuracy ranged from 89.8% to 94.9% for HSR techniques and from 74.6% to 79.7% for MSR techniques. As anticipated, classification accuracy reduces as pixel size increases. HSR based techniques produced the most desirable results, therefore is preferred for precise management of IEP in heterogeneous environment. However, the ue of MSR techniques should not be ruled out given their wide availability and moderate accuracy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)525-534
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2012


  • Invasive species
  • Object based classification
  • Remote sensing
  • Spatial resolution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Computers in Earth Sciences
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


Dive into the research topics of 'Identification of understory invasive exotic plants with remote sensing: In urban forests'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this