Elijah W. Ramsey and Amina Rangoonwala
US Geological Survey, 2017-1098
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20171098 | Published online: 28 July 2017
Multiyear remote sensing mapping of the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) was carried out as an indicator of live biomass composition of the Phragmites australis (hereafter Phragmites) marsh in the lower Mississippi River Delta (hereafter delta) from 2014 to 2017. Maps of NDVI change showed that the Phragmites condition was fairly stable between May 2014 and July 2015. From July 2015 to April 2016 NDVI change indicated Phragmites suffered a widespread decline in the live biomass proportion. Between April and September 2016, most marsh remained unchanged from the earlier period or showed improvement; although there were pockets of continued decline scattered throughout the lower delta. From September 2016 to May 2017 a pronounced and widely exhibited decline in the condition of Phragmites marsh again occurred throughout the lower delta. This final NDVI change mapping supported field observations of Phragmites decline during the same period.