University Of Tasmania

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Sediment connectivity linked to vegetation using UAVs: High-resolution imagery for ecosystem management

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-24, 04:14 authored by Estrany, J, Ruiz, M, Calsamiglia, A, Marc Carriqui AlcoverMarc Carriqui Alcover, Garcia-Comendador, J, Nadal, M, Fortesa, J, Lopez-Tarazon, JA, Medrano, H, Gago, J
In this study, a low-cost unmanned aerial vehicle was used to obtain multi-spectral high-resolution imagery (1.4 cm px-1) from 2 microcatchments (3.3 ha) with burned Mediterranean shrubland and pine forests. This imagery was used to calculate the blue normalized differential vegetation index and to generate digital elevation models for estimating the sediment connectivity index. Both indices enabled an integrated approach for deciphering how hydrological and sediment connectivity interact with vegetation as well as soil conservation structures. The application of spatial analysis improves our understanding of the feedback between biological and geomorphological processes. Local spatial data analysis established a significant link between local geomorphological and biological factors, enabling a precise identification of homogeneous areas at micro-catchment scale and the minimal size of vegetation units reacting to geomorphology as natural groups at plot-scale where management strategies and efforts should be applied. Establishing this local relationship between sediment connectivity and vegetation patterns through new and interdisciplinary methodologies represents a new strategy for the assessment of ecosystem dynamics and management.


Publication title

Science of the Total Environment








School of Natural Sciences


Elsevier Science Bv

Place of publication

Po Box 211, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 1000 Ae

Rights statement

Copyright 2019 Elsevier B.V.

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Assessment and management of freshwater ecosystems; Expanding knowledge in the biological sciences; Expanding knowledge in the earth sciences