Title

Historical Changes in Seagrass Coverage on the Mississippi Barrier Islands, Northern Gulf of Mexico, Determined From Vertical Aerial Imagery (1940-2007)

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

10-20-2011

Department

Geography and Geology

Abstract

Vertical aerial image data were used with an edge-detection procedure and visual image interpretation to determine yearly to decadal changes in seagrass (predominantly Halodule wrightii Ascherson) coverage on the Mississippi barrier islands. On Horn Island, seagrass coverage declined from 77 ha in 1940 to 19 ha in 1971, but returned to its 1940 value by 2006. Coverage on Petit Bois declined from 54 ha in 1940 to 8–19 ha from 1952 through 2007. On East Ship, seagrass coverage varied at 2–19 ha from 1963 to 2007. On West Ship, coverage dropped to zero in 2003, but by 2007 it had increased to approximate its 1975 value of 1.8 ha. On Cat Island, coverage increased from 22 ha in 2003 to 71 ha in 2007. There was no apparent negative impact of Hurricane Camille or Hurricane Katrina on seagrass coverage, which could vary annually by a factor of two or more.

Publication Title

Geocarto International

Volume

26

Issue

8

First Page

663

Last Page

673

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