Drone-based mapping of changed vegetation

Published on: 8. December 2021

COAT researchers monitor vegetation disturbances by biotic and abiotic factors, such as herbivory and extreme winter weather. However, these are not typical vegetation classes included in remote-sensing based maps.

Drone-based mapping of changed vegetation

Drone-based long-term monitoring of vegetation requires both ecological and technical decisions. Focus of this work was development of a map that allows monitoring of disturbances from herbivores and extreme winter weather. Photo: COAT


Drones are increasingly used as a tool in ecology and may be especially valuable in rapidly changing and remote landscapes, as can be found in the Arctic. COAT researchers developed a planning workflow for generating ground-cover maps with drones. The workflow includes the selection of variables, layer resolutions, ground-cover classes and the development and validation of models. The workflow was implemented at three of COAT study sites in Svalbard and provided site-specific maps with high prediction ability of disturbed and non-disturbed vegetation classes.


This is a contribution from the COAT Tools project, where several method-development PhD-projects are ongoing.

Read the full paper here