Southeastern Section - 68th Annual Meeting - 2019

Paper No. 48-2
Presentation Time: 2:20 PM


BAXLEY, Joseph, University of North Carolina Wilmington, Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences, 601 S College Road, Wilmington, NC 28403 and PRICOPE, Narcisa, University of North Carolina Wilmington, Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences, 601 S College Rd, Wilmington, NC 28403

Invasive species pose a significant threat to biodiversity and ecosystem resilience across the globe. Coastal wetlands and marshes are vital sources of ecosystem services, but pressures from nearby populations can increase the risk of invasion by foreign species. Anthropogenic modification of ecosystems can change dynamics of nutrient flow, species competition, and landscape architecture that promote or exacerbate invasions. Along the Atlantic coast of the Unites States, the common reed Phragmites australis (Cav.) Trin. ex Steud (P. australis) is becoming a widespread invasive competitor of the native marsh grasses Spartina alterniflora and Juncus roemerianus. Modification of the landscape in this coastal area from development, road construction, storm water management and other alterations all potentially contribute to the expansion of P. australis.

Management of P. australis is both costly and time consuming due to its incredibly hardy nature. Stands can rebound within a single growing season after pesticide and/or fire treatment, even with many years of application. Remote sensing technologies play a vital role in monitoring the expansion and management of P. australis. Multispectral imagery captured from unmanned aerial systems and satellites can be used to index the current and historical extent of invasions. Combining multi-year and multi-scale image classifications of vegetation and land use offers a unique look into how anthropogenic modification of ecosystems may be contributing to P. australis expansion in Southeastern North Carolina.