Timm, B.C.; Smith, S.M., and Greenspan, S.E., 2014. Remotely sensed mapping of Ammophila spp. distribution and density at Cape Cod National Seashore.
Ammophila breviligulata and Ammophila arenaria are pioneer grass species that have been planted within and outside their natural ranges in efforts to stabilize mobile dune fields. While the presence of Ammophila spp. may be considered beneficial in some situations (e.g., for dune stabilization and storm surge protection), there are other cases where Ammophila spp. introductions have had negative ecological consequences (e.g., reduction in native plant and animal diversity, altered dune dynamics). Thus, it is important to be able to effectively map and monitor the distribution and density of these species. In this study, we constructed and assessed the accuracy of a fine-resolution (i.e. 1.0-m-pixel resolution) remote-sensing-based distribution and density map of Ammophila spp. throughout an extensive coastal dune ecosystem at Cape Cod National Seashore, United States. We achieved high classification accuracies for both the presence/absence and percent cover throughout our study area, indicating that this approach is an effective method to map and monitor Ammophila spp. in dune ecosystems.