Case Study: VEGETATION MONITORING

ArborCarbon were contracted to locate potential Groundwater Dependent Vegetation (GDV), provide an experimental design to precisely monitor the change in condition and cover of GDV over time...

Project Detail
Project Description

Mining companies are required by regulatory bodies to monitor the vegetation within and adjacent to their tenements to identify any negative impacts on vegetation health caused by their operations. A Vegetation Monitoring Program (VMP) needed to be implemented to detect changes in condition and cover of Riparian and Groundwater Vegetation (RGDV) and Sheet Flow Mulga Vegetation (SFMV) following the onset of mining operations.

More than 40 baseline monitoring sites were established with the assistance of GIS and highly accurate dGPS systems. More than 1000 individual trees in total were measured at all sites for a range of condition and cover attributes, and transects and photopoints established at sites to measure site condition and cover attributes. Herbarium specimens were collected to aid in identification. An Unmanned Airborne Vehicle (UAV) was utilized to capture very high-resolution imagery (0.01m) of each site and this data was utilized for subsequent image analysis. High-resolution (1m) multispectral airborne imagery was also acquired from fixed-wing aircraft of each site and the surrounding landscape and this data analysed using specialized software and methodologies.

DELIVERABLES: A large quantitative and qualitative dataset resulted from the in-situ monitoring and analysis of multi-spectral airborne imagery. This dataset was analysed using a range of statistical software packages, and the change in condition and cover of impact sites compared to control sites from baseline was determined. A highly-detailed report was provided showing the change in condition and cover of each site, and recommendations provide on future monitoring of these sites.