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Vegetation Journal - Lucas Ribeiro

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AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL UNIVERSITY 
GIS AND SPATIAL ANALYSIS 
 
 
 
VEGETATION JOURNAL 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Fenner School of Environment and Society 
Dr. Bruce Doran 
 
 
Lucas Ribeiro 
 
 
AUGUST 2013 
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Index 
Introduction ...................................................................................................... 2 
Objective ......................................................................................................... 2 
Vegetation Journal ........................................................................................... 2 
References ...................................................................................................... 4 
Appendix ......................................................................................................... 5 
 
 
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Introduction 
Kioloa is a town located on New South Wales, Australia. The population of 
Kioloa according to the 2011 Census is 208 people. Still according to the Census there 
are 69 families living in Kioloa (ABS Census, 2011). The ANU Coastal Campus is 
located on the north part of Kioloa. 
Objective 
The objective of this vegetation journal is to understand the vegetation patterns 
of Kioloa and see its position, aiming a good preparation to the final report of the 
course. 
Vegetation Journal 
To start to work the vegetation journal what we first did was import the data to 
our work folder using the ArcCatalog. For that sometimes when moving ArcMap files 
through folders, zipping and unzipping they become corrupted. After importing and 
setting our work folder we started to use ArcMap. 
There are two ways to classify the landcover, supervised classification and 
unsupervised classification. For a supervised classification you need the field data 
which you will base yourself on to set some regions of the image as specific landcover 
classes and then you run the software to classify the whole image according to what 
you set. 
For the unsupervised classification, as in our vegetation journal, we have to 
identify the landcover and assign it to a spectral class. This identification must be done 
looking for clusters in spectral space (i.e. tassel cap) and locating those classes in the 
image. 
The starting point to our classification was to know the area main landcover 
classes and how they are linked to topography and spatial position (i.e. close to the 
sea, next to rivers). The main landcover classes are: Rainforest, Rainforest Ecotone, 
Wet Sclerophyl, Dry Sclerophyl, Dry Maculata, Heath, Bare Ground, Sand and Sea. 
(Bauhus et al, 1997) Based on this information and on the spectral space clustering 
we assigned the classes. Some classes are extremely distinct to others when you look 
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the tassel cap, like Sea and Sand, each in the opposite side the other in the plot. When 
working with different kinds of vegetation it becomes harder to see clusters in the 
tassel cap, so you need to start looking at the image and the patterns of the area (i.e. 
hills, plains, rivers). Bare ground is another class that is easy to locate if looking at the 
image or ArcMap Online imagery for further zooming. In the appendix there are two 
figures, one of ArcMap working and one of ArcMap Online working (Figure 2 and 3). 
To find dry sclerophyll and distinguish it from wet sclerophyll, we took a close 
look at the image using the ArcMap Online and took into account the topography, as 
the east and south facing hills usually presents a more moist vegetation than north 
and west facing ones. I could not find the Dry Maculata class because its resemblance 
to Dry Sclerophyl and my lack of knowledge about this specie. 
When trying to find Rainforest I tried to link it with the Brazilian Rainforest and 
its features, like galley vegetation patterns and more moist and dense forest looks. But 
the Australian Rainforest is not so dense and has not so high and closed overstorey 
as the Brazilian one, that’s why I probably misplaced this class. The Rainforest 
ecotone is located at the borders of the Rainforest, because that is the definition of an 
ecotone – to work as a border or a transition area between two biomes. 
The Heath class was classified by a close look to image on ArcMap Online 
identifying places where I was able to see the ground with a sparse vegetation, mainly 
bushes and few trees. 
I classified two more classes besides the main ones – Grass field and 
Marshland. Grass field is a clear area with as almost bare ground with a green growing 
layer of covering grass. And marshland or wetland are areas next to rivers and water 
bodies in general, in the image they are located near to the rivers and some lakes. 
When assessing the accuracy of my classification I saw that in some cases I 
switched Rainforest ecotone with Heath. It is probably because the ecotone, being a 
transition zone, has mixed features. 
 
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Figure 1 - Classified Vegetation Map (Ribeiro, 2013) 
The Figure 1 below is the classified vegetation map. Next to the map there is a 
legend with all the 10 classes and besides of that the layer of roads/tracks to help the 
locating in the image. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
References 
ABS – Australian Bureau of Statistics. 2011 Census QuickStats: Kioloa. Available at: 
http://www.censusdata.abs.gov.au/census_services/getproduct/census/2011/
quickstat/SSC11266?opendocument&navpos=220 (Accessed 13 August 
2013). 
Bauhus, J. et al. 1997. Unpublished (Course material). The Kioloa Foundation – Role 
and Relevance of the Department of Forestry. Department of Forestry. 
Australian National University: 1-4. 
 
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Figure 3 - ArcMap Interface 
Figure 2 - ArcMap Online Interface 
Appendix