Revealing Livestock Effects on Bunchgrass Vegetation with Landsat Etm+ Data Across a Grazing Season Thesis uri icon

Overview

abstract

  • Thesis (M.S., Environmental Science)--University of Idaho, June 2014 | Remote sensing provides monitoring solutions for more informed grazing management. To investigate the ability to detect the effects of cattle grazing on bunchgrass vegetation with Landsat Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+) data, we conducted a study on the Zumwalt Prairie in northeastern Oregon across a gradient of grazing intensities. Biophysical vegetation data was collected on vertical structure, biomass, and cover at three different time periods during the grazing season: June, August, and October 2012. To relate these measures to the remotely sensed Landsat ETM+ data, Pearson's correlations and multiple regression models were computed. Using the best models, predicted vegetation metrics were then mapped across the study area. Results indicated that models using common vegetation indices had the ability to discern different levels of grazing across the study area. Results can be distributed to land managers to help guide grassland conservation by improving monitoring of bunchgrass vegetation for sustainable livestock management.

publication date

  • June 1, 2014

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