Mapping and Characterizing Eelgrass Meadows Using UAV Imagery in Placentia Bay and Trinity Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada - Archive ouverte HAL Access content directly
Journal Articles Sustainability Year : 2024

Mapping and Characterizing Eelgrass Meadows Using UAV Imagery in Placentia Bay and Trinity Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

Abstract

Sustainable coastal social–ecological systems rely on healthy ecosystems known to provide benefits to both nature and people. A key ecosystem found globally is seagrass, for which maps at a scale relevant to inform conservation and management efforts are often missing. Eelgrass (Zostera marina), a species of seagrass found throughout the northern hemisphere, has been declining in Placentia Bay, an ecologically and biologically significant area of Canada’s east coast subject to an increasing human impact. This research provides baseline information on the distribution of eelgrass meadows and their anthropogenic stressors at seven sites of Placentia Bay and three sites of the adjacent Trinity Bay, on the island of Newfoundland. High-resolution maps of eelgrass meadows were created by combining ground-truth underwater videos with unmanned aerial vehicle imagery classified with an object-based image analysis approach. Visual analyses of the imagery and underwater videos were conducted to characterize sites based on the presence of physical disturbances and the semi-quantitative cover of epiphytes, an indication of nutrient enrichment. A total eelgrass area of ~1 km2 was mapped across the 10 sites, with an overall map accuracy of over 80% for 8 of the 10 sites. Results indicated minimum pressures of physical disturbance and eutrophication affecting eelgrass in the region, likely due to the small population size of the communities near the eelgrass meadows. These baseline data will promote the sustainability of potential future coastal development in the region by facilitating the future monitoring and conservation of eelgrass ecosystems.
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hal-04553977 , version 1 (22-04-2024)

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Aaron Sneep, Rodolphe Devillers, Katleen Robert, Arnault Lebris, Evan Edinger. Mapping and Characterizing Eelgrass Meadows Using UAV Imagery in Placentia Bay and Trinity Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. Sustainability, 2024, 16 (3471), ⟨10.3390/su16083471⟩. ⟨hal-04553977⟩
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