Remote sensing (RS) has been widely adopted as a tool to investigate several biotic and abiotic factors, directly and indirectly, related to biodiversity conservation. European grasslands are one of the most biodiverse habitats in Europe. Most of these habitats are subject to priority conservation measure, and several human-induced processes threaten them. The broad expansions of few dominant species are usually reported as drivers of biodiversity loss. In this context, using Sentinel-2 (S2) images, we investigate the distribution of one of the most spreading species in the Central Apennine: Brachypodium genuense. We performed a binary Random Forest (RF) classification of B. genuense using RS images and field-sampled presence/absence data. Then, we integrate the occurrences obtained from RS classification into species distribution models to identify the topographic drivers of B. genuense distribution in the study area. Lastly, the impact of B. genuense distribution in the Natura 2000 (N2k) habitats (Annex I of the European Habitat Directive) was assessed by overlay analysis. The RF classification process detected cover of B. genuense with an overall accuracy of 94.79%. The topographic species distribution model shows that the most relevant topographic variables that influence the distribution of B. genuense are slope, elevation, solar radiation, and topographic wet index (TWI) in order of importance. The overlay analysis shows that 74.04% of the B. genuense identified in the study area falls on the semi-natural dry grasslands. The study highlights the RS classification and the topographic species distribution model’s importance as an integrated workflow for mapping a broad-expansion species such as B. genuense. The coupled techniques presented in this work should apply to other plant communities with remotely recognizable characteristics for more effective management of N2k habitats.

From remote sensing to species distribution modelling: An integrated workflow to monitor spreading species in key grassland habitats

De Simone W.
Data Curation
;
Frattaroli A. R.
Investigation
;
Di Musciano M.
2021

Abstract

Remote sensing (RS) has been widely adopted as a tool to investigate several biotic and abiotic factors, directly and indirectly, related to biodiversity conservation. European grasslands are one of the most biodiverse habitats in Europe. Most of these habitats are subject to priority conservation measure, and several human-induced processes threaten them. The broad expansions of few dominant species are usually reported as drivers of biodiversity loss. In this context, using Sentinel-2 (S2) images, we investigate the distribution of one of the most spreading species in the Central Apennine: Brachypodium genuense. We performed a binary Random Forest (RF) classification of B. genuense using RS images and field-sampled presence/absence data. Then, we integrate the occurrences obtained from RS classification into species distribution models to identify the topographic drivers of B. genuense distribution in the study area. Lastly, the impact of B. genuense distribution in the Natura 2000 (N2k) habitats (Annex I of the European Habitat Directive) was assessed by overlay analysis. The RF classification process detected cover of B. genuense with an overall accuracy of 94.79%. The topographic species distribution model shows that the most relevant topographic variables that influence the distribution of B. genuense are slope, elevation, solar radiation, and topographic wet index (TWI) in order of importance. The overlay analysis shows that 74.04% of the B. genuense identified in the study area falls on the semi-natural dry grasslands. The study highlights the RS classification and the topographic species distribution model’s importance as an integrated workflow for mapping a broad-expansion species such as B. genuense. The coupled techniques presented in this work should apply to other plant communities with remotely recognizable characteristics for more effective management of N2k habitats.
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
remotesensing-13-03361.pdf

accesso aperto

Tipologia: Documento in Versione Editoriale
Licenza: Dominio pubblico
Dimensione 3.15 MB
Formato Adobe PDF
3.15 MB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11697/178577
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 5
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 5
social impact