Date of Award

12-2014

Degree Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Geography and Geology

Committee Chair

Greg Carter

Committee Chair Department

Geography and Geology

Committee Member 2

Andy Reese

Committee Member 2 Department

Geography and Geology

Committee Member 3

Skeeter Dixon

Committee Member 3 Department

Geography and Geology

Abstract

Horn Island is part of the MS/AL barrier island chain in the northern Gulf of Mexico located approximately 18kn off the coast of Mississippi. This island’s habitats have undergone many transitions over the last several decades. The goal of this study was to quantify habitat change over a seventy year period using historical black and white photography from 1940. Using present NAIP imagery from the USDA, habitat structure was estimated by using geo-statistics, and second order statistics, from a co-occurrence matrix, to characterize texture for habitat classification. Percent land cover was then calculated to determine overall land cover change over a seventy year period. The geostatistic of the horizontal spectral variation (CV) of image textures was used to estimate habitat structure using a multi scale approach if any characteristics of habitat texture could be delineated from CV histograms. The classification met with a result of an 80% habitat map of Horn Island ca. 1940, at 21x21 window size proving, that CV can be used successfully to classify text of historical black and white imagery. It was, also proven that CV can be used to characterize relative patch size for slash pine woodland habitat types, but not for habitats with smaller horizontal variations (i.e., marsh, and dune herbland).

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