The feasibility of using low-altitude aerial photography to identify beds of submersed macrophytes is demonstrated. True color aerial photos and collateral ground survey information for submersed aquatic macrophyte beds at 10 sites in the St.Clair-Detroit River system were obtained in September 1978. Using the photos and collateral ground survey information, a dichotomous key was developed for the identification of six classes - beds of five genera of macrophytes and one substrate type. A test was prepared to determine how accurately photo interpreters could identify the six classes. The test required an interpreter to examine an unlabeled, outlined area on photographs and identify it using the key. Six interpreters were tested. One pair of interpreters was trained in the interpretation of a variety of aerial photos, a second pair had field experience in the collection and identification of submersed macrophytes in the river system, and a third pair had neither training in the interpretation of aerial photos nor field experience. The criteria that we developed were applied equally well by the interpretors, regardless of their training or experience. Overall accuracy (i.e., omission errors) of all six classes combined was 68% correct, whereas, overall accuracy of individual classes ranged from 50 to 100% correct. Mapping accuracy (i.e. omission and commission errors) of individual classes ranged from 36 to 75%. Although the key developed for this study has only limited application outside the context of the data and sites examined in this study, it is concluded that low-altitude aerial photography, together with limited amounts of collateral ground survey information, can be used to economically identify beds of submersed macrophytes in the St. Clair-Detroit River system and other similar water bodies.
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|conference||Tenth Biennial Workshop on Color Aerial Photography in the Plant Sciences|