Wetlands Ecology and Management

, Volume 18, Issue 3, pp 281–296 | Cite as

Multispectral and hyperspectral remote sensing for identification and mapping of wetland vegetation: a review

  • Elhadi AdamEmail author
  • Onisimo Mutanga
  • Denis Rugege
Original Paper


Wetland vegetation plays a key role in the ecological functions of wetland environments. Remote sensing techniques offer timely, up-to-date, and relatively accurate information for sustainable and effective management of wetland vegetation. This article provides an overview on the status of remote sensing applications in discriminating and mapping wetland vegetation, and estimating some of the biochemical and biophysical parameters of wetland vegetation. Research needs for successful applications of remote sensing in wetland vegetation mapping and the major challenges are also discussed. The review focuses on providing fundamental information relating to the spectral characteristics of wetland vegetation, discriminating wetland vegetation using broad- and narrow-bands, as well as estimating water content, biomass, and leaf area index. It can be concluded that the remote sensing of wetland vegetation has some particular challenges that require careful consideration in order to obtain successful results. These include an in-depth understanding of the factors affecting the interaction between electromagnetic radiation and wetland vegetation in a particular environment, selecting appropriate spatial and spectral resolution as well as suitable processing techniques for extracting spectral information of wetland vegetation.


Biomass Leaf area index Mapping Remote sensing Water content Wetland vegetation 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Discipline of GeographyUniversity of KwaZulu-NatalPietermaritzburgSouth Africa
  2. 2.Geography DepartmentElfashir UniversityElfashirSudan
  3. 3.Centre for Environment, Agriculture & Development (CEAD)University of KwaZulu-NatalPietermaritzburgSouth Africa

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