Publication Detail

Remote identification of the invasive tunicate Didemnum vexillum using reflectance spectroscopy

Thomas Leeuw, Seth O. Newburg, Emmanuel Boss, Wayne Slade, Michael Soroka, Judith A. Pederson, Chrys Chryssostomidis, Franz Hover
7 pp.
MITSG 13-13
$5.50 DOM / $7.50 INT

Benthic coverage of the invasive tunicate Didemnum vexillum on Georges Bank is largely unknown. Monitoring of D. vexillum coverage is vital to understanding the impact this invasive species will have on the productive fishing grounds of Georges Bank. Here we investigate using reflectance spectroscopy as a method for remote identification of D. vexillum. Using two different systems, a NightSea Dive-Spec and a combination of LED light sources with a hyperspectral radiometer, we collected in-situ measurements of reflectance from D. vexillum colonies. In comparison to reflectance spectra of other common benthic substrates, D. vexillum appears to have a unique spectral signature between 500 and 600 nm. Measuring the slope of the spectrum between these wavelengths appears to be the most robust method for spectral identification. Using derivative analysis or principal component analysis, the reflectance spectra of D. vexillum can be identified among numerous other spectra of common benthic substrates. An optical system consisting of a radiometer, light source, and camera was deployed on a remotely operated vehicle to test the feasibility of using reflectance to assess D. vexillum coverage. Preliminary results, analyzed here, prove the method to be successful for the areas we surveyed and open the way for its use on large-scale surveys.

type: Journal, book, proceeding reprints

Parent Project

Project No.: 2010-R/RCM-29-REG
Title: Using Technology to Assess the Invasive Sea Squirt, Didemnum vexillum, Impacts on Fisheries and Ecosystems