Change Detection of Tamarix spp. in the Upper Brazos River Corridor using Object-Based Image Analysis




Juarez Murphy, Tighearnan G.

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Woody phreatophytes are some of the most impactful invasive species in the upper Brazos River (UBR), with saltcedar (Tamarix spp.) being of most concern. Since saltcedar’s introduction to the eastern United States in the late 1800’s, it quickly grew to become a nuisance. This invasive species alters instream sedimentation dynamics, channel and floodplain morphology, and riparian vegetation throughout the southwestern United States. The removal and eradication of this species is a multi-million dollar per year project. This thesis uses high-resolution imagery and object-based image classification methods to measure changes in saltcedar cover within the UBR relative to pre- and post-management efforts, over the period of 2017-2020, led by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. During the study period, analysis revealed an overall decrease in saltcedar, indicating that management efforts have been effective in decreasing the amount of healthy saltcedar that occur in the UBR.



riparian vegetation, object-based image analysis, invasive species, saltcedar, change detection


Juarez Murphy, T. G. (2022). Change detection of Tamarix spp. in the upper Brazos River corridor using object-based image analysis (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.


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