Monitoring the efficacy of crested floatingheart (Nymphoides cristata) management with object-based image analysis of UAS imagery.
This study investigates the use of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) mapping for monitoring the efficacy of invasive aquatic vegetation (AV) management on a floating-leaved AV species, Nymphoides cristata (CFH). The study site consists of 48 treatment plots (TPs). Based on six unique flights over two days at three different flight altitudes while using both a multispectral and RGB sensor, accuracy assessment of the final object-based image analysis (OBIA)-derived classified images yielded overall accuracies ranging from 89.6% to 95.4%. The multispectral sensor was significantly more accurate than the RGB sensor at measuring CFH areal coverage within each TP only with the highest multispectral, spatial resolution (2.7 cm/pix at 40 m altitude). When measuring response in the AV community area between the day of treatment and two weeks after treatment, there was no significant difference between the temporal area change from the reference datasets and the area changes derived from either the RGB or multispectral sensor. Thus, water resource managers need to weigh small gains in accuracy from using multispectral sensors against other operational considerations such as the additional processing time due to increased file sizes, higher financial costs for equipment procurements, and longer flight durations in the field when operating multispectral sensors.