Environmental Monitoring and Assessment

, Volume 130, Issue 1–3, pp 403–413

Canopy Spectra and Remote Sensing of Ashe Juniper and Associated Vegetation



A study was conducted in central Texas to determine the potential of using remote sensing technology to distinguish Ashe juniper (Juniperus ashei Buchholz) infestations on rangelands. Plant canopy reflectance measurements showed that Ashe juniper had lower near-infrared reflectance than other associated woody plant species and lower visible reflectance than mixed herbaceous species in spring and summer. Ashe juniper could be distinguished on color-infrared aerial photographs acquired in March, April, June, and August and on QuickBird false color satellite imagery obtained in June, where it had a distinct dark reddish-brown tonal response. Unsupervised classification techniques were used to classify aerial photographic and satellite imagery of study sites. An accuracy assessment performed on a computer classified map of a photographic image showed that Ashe juniper had producer’s and user’s accuracies of 100% and 92.9%, respectively, whereas an accuracy assessment performed on a classified map of a satellite image of the same site showed that Ashe juniper had producer’s and user’s accuracies of 94.1% and 88.1%, respectively. Accuracy assessments performed on classified maps of satellite images of two additional study sites showed that Ashe juniper had producer’s and user’s accuracies that ranged from 87.1% to 96.4%. These results indicate that both color-infrared photography and false color satellite imagery can be used successfully for distinguishing Ashe juniper infestations.


Remote sensing Light reflectance Color-infrared photography QuickBird false color satellite imagery Unsupervised image analysis Accuracy assessment Juniperus ashei 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.USDA-ARS, Integrated Farming and Natural Resources ResearchWeslacoUSA
  2. 2.USDA-ARS, Grassland, Soil and Water Research LaboratoryTempleUSA

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