Estimating a temporal window for hyperspectral remote sensing of restored peatland; moorland plant phenology

Julia Mcmorrow, E. Lowe, M. Evans, J. Walker

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Upland peatlands provide many ecosystem services, especially carbon storage and biodiversity. However, large areas of UK peatlands are degrading. A landscape-scale restoration ecology scheme is underway in the Peak District National Park of northwest England to restore badly eroded peatland to blanket bog in ‘favourable condition’. The Moors for the Future Partnership (MFF) is reseeding exposed peat with nurse grasses to stabilise the surface and re-establish ecosystem function. Monitoring is crucial to judge the progress of revegetation and floristic succession to blanket bog species; however, traditional field-based plot surveys are time consuming and expensive. This paper uses full wavelength field spectroradiometry to establish a spectral library of phenological change for key moorland species, and from this to recommend optimum spectral windows for annual monitoring by airborne or satellite remote sensing. Spectral response over the growing season was recorded for key moorland and reseeded species at single species plots and mixed plots, and related to phenological change. Vegetation and water Indices, such as NDVI, NDWI, REP and CAI, using absorption features in the visible to mid infrared and the SWIR, were used to characterise the changing response. The paper presents results from two consecutive growing seasons. Early July is suggested as the best time for separation of the different species.The study is part of a broader project with Natural England to assess the suitability of high resolution remote sensing as an alternative monitoring tool at the landscape scale. The ultimate aim is to be able to determine key habitat condition variables such as percentage vegetation cover and species composition and to make recommendations about operation monitoring by remote sensing
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationhost publication
Place of PublicationParis
PublisherEuropean Association of Remote Sensing Laboratories (EARSeL)
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2011
EventEARSeL Special Interest Group in Imaging Spectroscopy Workshop, Edinburgh -
Duration: 11 Apr 201113 Apr 2011


ConferenceEARSeL Special Interest Group in Imaging Spectroscopy Workshop, Edinburgh


  • peatland
  • vegetation phenology
  • restoration ecology
  • hyperspectral
  • remote sensing
  • moorland
  • spectroradiometry


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