Evans, B.R.; Möller, I.; Spencer, T.

Coastal Biodiversity and Ecosystem Service Sustainability (CBESS) projected area of vegetation in saltmarsh habitats

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

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Supporting documentation

Format of the dataset : Comma-separated values (CSV)

Access and use conditions

This resource is made available under the terms of the Open Government Licence

You must cite: Evans, B.R.; Möller, I.; Spencer, T. (2016). Coastal Biodiversity and Ecosystem Service Sustainability (CBESS) projected area of vegetation in saltmarsh habitats. NERC Environmental Information Data Centre. https://doi.org/10.5285/936e04d0-c8ae-47ec-a858-518a77667c70


© University of Cambridge


Study area
Temporal extent
2012-10-01    to    2013-09-01

Supplemental information

Other useful information regarding this dataset:

Möller, I. (2006). Quantifying saltmarsh vegetation and its effect on wave height dissipation: Results from a UK East coast saltmarsh. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 69(3-4), 337-351


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.


Evans, B.R.
University of Cambridge
Möller, I.
University of Cambridge
Spencer, T.
University of Cambridge

Other contacts

Point Of Contact
Spencer, T.
University of Cambridge
Institution: Cambridge Coastal Research Unit, Department of Geography, University of Cambridge, Downing Place
NERC Environmental Information Data Centre


Spatial representation type
Tabular (text)
Spatial reference system
OSGB 1936 / British National Grid


Topic categories
Other keywords
vegetation density
projected area
image analysis
Habitats and Biotopes
Place keywords
Morecambe Bay
United Kingdom
Theme keywords

Dataset identifiers



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