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RE: Hunting the Elusive Morel Mushroom Using Spatial Data and GIS

in #foraging5 years ago

Hey great work here ! Is there any known connection between morels and different soil types that may be more suited for the soil moisture range you said they prefer? If so I would suggest looking into soil classification maps and overlay that tree data to refine a search.

Also if you look into multi-spectral data you could see if they have a specific reflectance value on a index such as NDVI (normalized difference vegetation index) where you could use open source software like QGIS or R/ RStudio to create classifications of pixels that would be considered a sample of morel!

Again, really cool work!

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Thanks for the great questions! Since morels like a moderate level of moisture, a well-drained sandy or silty soil is often a hospitable location for them to thrive. The SSURGO data set is a great place to start if you are in the US. Filtering through this dataset and overlaying the desired soil types with forest boundary and tree stand data would be an excellent way to further refine the search.

As for the NDVI processing, I have worked a little with Landsat imagery and in theory this is totally possible. Getting the reflectance signature of the certain favorable trees seems within the reach of Landsat resolution. If you are wanting to find morel patches directly with spatial data, you probably need higher-resolution multiband imagery. Even with the resolution, you would need imagery from the right dates in early spring and tree leaf cover would probably conceal most patches. While the largest ones can grow as big as a basketball or larger, most are the size of a baseball or smaller.

I am glad to find another GIS enthusiast! Thanks again for your input.

Yes the Landsat imagery would be good for determining tree species, I have not used but am aware of some in-situ remote sensing devices that are for on the ground monitoring. I believe that you would be right though in that the leaf cover would crate too much of a challenge to use multi-spectral sensors. Looks like you will have to stick with the old school method of actually going to the sites in person!

It would be nice to build up a GIS community on Steemit where people can actually earn value for their contributions to others work around the world when answering or debating questions/ techniques.

I agree, there is a definite lack of spatial data posts on here and yet so many concepts that could be discussed and explored.

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