The dataset contains estimates of the projected area of vegetation derived from the analysis of side-on photographs through the vegetation canopy and recorded for survey quadrats at six UK saltmarsh sites. Three of the sites were in Morecambe Bay, North West England and three of the sites were in Essex, South East England, each of these sites consisted of a saltmarsh area and adjacent mudflat area. Each site comprised 22 quadrats in the vegetated area of salt marsh. A calibrated camera was used to photograph through a 600 x 200mm section of vegetation against a red background. Calibrated images were then classified into vegetation and background classes and parameters of vegetation density in the horizontal were computed.
This data was collected as part of Coastal Biodiversity and Ecosystem Service Sustainability (CBESS): NE/J015644/1. The project was funded with support from the Biodiversity and Ecosystem Service Sustainability (BESS) programme. BESS is a six-year programme (2011-2017) funded by the UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) as part of the UK's Living with Environmental Change (LWEC) programme.
Publication date: 2016-02-29
The method followed that of Möller (2006). Side-on photography was undertaken in the field using a frame to ensure consistent geometry and a calibrated Fuji Finepix XP30 camera. Photographs were rectified using Matlab and exported in TIFF format to Erdas Imagine for classification. A 20-class unsupervised classification was performed followed by manual attribution of classes into "background" and vegetation". The binary image files were then analysed in Matlab based on pixel sizes derived from the camera calibration procedure against a chequerboard background. Further methodological details are contained in the supporting document.