Determine accurate spatial resolution necessary to classify upland heather moors using high resoluion aerial imagery
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Upland moors are dominated by Heather (Calluna Valguris), the most characteristic vegetation type in Scotland. These moorlands have significant economic and conservative value. However, due to increasing pressure from a range of environmental stresses such as over grazing, recreational use, species invasion and aforistation. the extent and quality of vegetation cover is declining in these upland moors leading to a reduction in peat accumulation, habitat loss, erosion and landscape change. As rates of habitat and ecosystem destruction continue to rise, the need for proper understanding, conserving and up-to-date inventories become a very sensitive issue and of utmost importance (Wilson, 1998). Therefore, vegetation mapping and classification is needed to generate accurate and timely information of upland moors. However, due to the extent and remoteness of uplands, manual survey is difficult. Remote Sensing offers an alternative approach to classify heather canopies, but the most appropriate spatial resolution for specific levels of classification accuracy still needs to be determined.