The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publications Copernicus
Articles | Volume XLVIII-2-2024
11 Jun 2024
 | 11 Jun 2024

Advancing Coral Structural Connectivity Analysis through Deep Learning and Remote Sensing: A Case Study of South Pacific Tetiaroa Island

Yunhan Zhang, Jiangying Qin, Ming Li, Qiyao Han, Armin Gruen, Deren Li, and Jiageng Zhong

Keywords: Coral reefs, Structural connectivity, Remote sensing, Ecological monitoring, Deep learning

Abstract. Structural connectivity is an important factor in preserving coral diversity. It maintains the stability and adaptability of coral reef ecosystems by facilitating ecological flow, species migration, and gene exchange between coral communities. However, there has always been a lack of consistent solutions for accurate structural connectivity describing and quantifying, which has hindered the understanding of the complex ecological processes in coral reefs. Based on this, this paper proposes a framework that uses advanced remote sensing and deep learning technologies to assess coral structural connectivity. Specifically, accurate coral patches are firstly identified through image segmentation techniques. And the structural connectivity is quantified by assessing the connectivity patterns between and within these coral patches. Furthermore, Tetiaroa Island in the South Pacific is used as a case study to validate the effectiveness and accuracy of the framework in assessing coral structural connectivity. The experimental results demonstrate that the framework proposed in this paper provides a powerful tool for understanding the internal ecological processes and external spatial patterns of coral reef ecosystems, thereby promoting scientific understanding and effective management of coral reef conservation.