Mirela G Tulbure

Mirela G Tulbure
North Carolina State University | NCSU · Center for Geospatial Analytics

PhD

About

51
Publications
31,933
Reads
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1,832
Citations
Introduction
My work focuses on the integration of ecological research with the application of remote sensing, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and spatial statistics across various spatial and temporal scales. I am currently conducting research on modelling extent of surface water and vegetation dynamics using remotely sensed data across the entire Murray-Darling River Basin (one of the largest basins in the world, >1million km^2, approximately the size of France or the four corner US States).
Additional affiliations
February 2012 - present
UNSW Sydney
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
January 2012 - present
UNSW Sydney
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
Description
  • My teaching interests are in increasing student’s ability to use satellite data to answer environmental questions and extract space time value with added information relevant for ecological applications.
January 2011 - December 2011
Murdoch University
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)

Publications

Publications (51)
Article
Full-text available
The concept of habitat networks represents an important tool for landscape conservation and management at regional scales. Previous studies simulated degradation of temporally fixed networks but few quantified the change in network connectivity from disintegration of key features that undergo naturally occurring spatiotemporal dynamics. This is par...
Article
Detailed information on the spatiotemporal dynamic in surface water bodies is important for quantifying the effects of a drying climate, increased water abstraction and rapid urbanization on wetlands. The Swan Coastal Plain (SCP) with over 1500 wetlands is a global biodiversity hotspot located in the southwest of Western Australia, where more than...
Article
The U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard calls for 136 billion liters of renewable fuels production by 2022. Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) has emerged as a leading candidate to be developed as a bioenergy feedstock. To reach biofuel production goals in a sustainable manner, more information is needed to characterize potential production rates of switch...
Article
Full-text available
Agricultural burning is an important land use practice in the central U.S. but has received little attention in the literature, whereas most of the focus has been on wildfires in forested areas. Given the effects that agricultural burning can have on biodiversity and emissions of greenhouse gasses, there is a need to quantify the spatial and tempor...
Article
Full-text available
Spatiotemporal quantification of surface water and flooding is essential given that floods are among the largest natural hazards. Effective disaster response management requires near real-time information on flood extent. Satellite remote sensing is the only way of monitoring these dynamics across vast areas and over time. Previous water and flood...
Article
Full-text available
Surface water is the most readily accessible water resource and provides an array of ecosystem services, but its availability and access are stressed by changes in climate, land cover, and population size. Understanding drivers of surface water dynamics in space and time is key to better managing our water resources. However, few studies estimating...
Article
Full-text available
Context Key to understanding forest water balances is the role of tree species regulating evapotranspiration (ET), but the synergistic impact of forest species composition, topography, and water availability on ET and how this shapes drought sensitivity across the landscape remains unclear. Objectives Our aims were to quantify (1) the effect of fo...
Article
Full-text available
Unprecedented amounts of analysis‐ready Earth Observation (EO) data, combined with increasing computational power and new algorithms, offer novel opportunities for analysing ecosystem dynamics across large geographic extents, and to support conservation planning and action. Much research effort has gone into developing global EO‐based land‐cover an...
Article
Full-text available
Basemap and Planet Fusion—derived from PlanetScope imagery—represent the next generation of analysis ready datasets that minimize the effects of the presence of clouds. These datasets have high spatial (3 m) and temporal (daily) resolution, which provides an unprecedented opportunity to improve the monitoring of on-farm reservoirs (OFRs)—small wate...
Article
Fresh water stored by on-farm reservoirs (OFRs) is an important component of surface hydrology and is critical for meeting global irrigation needs. Farmers use OFRs to store water during the wet season and for crop irrigation during the dry season, yet their seasonal and inter-annual variability and downstream impacts are not quantified. Therefore,...
Preprint
Full-text available
Abstract - Surface water is the most readily accessible water resource and provides an array of ecosystem services, but is stressed by changes in climate, land cover, and population size. Understanding drivers of surface water dynamics in space and time is key to better managing our water resources. However, few studies estimating changes in surfa...
Preprint
Full-text available
Context: Key to understanding forest water balances is the role of tree species regulating evapotranspiration (ET), but the synergistic impact of forest species composition, topography, and water availability on ET and how this shapes drought sensitivity across the landscape remains unclear. Objectives: Our aims were to quantify (1) the effect of f...
Article
Full-text available
During the 21st century, human–environment interactions will increasingly expose both systems to risks, but also yield opportunities for improvement as we gain insight into these complex, coupled systems. Human–environment interactions operate over multiple spatial and temporal scales, requiring large data volumes of multi‐resolution information fo...
Article
On-farm reservoirs (OFRs)—artificial water impoundments that retain water from rainfall and run-off—enable farmers to store water during the wet season to be used for crop irrigation during the dry season. However, monitoring the inter- and intra-annual change of these water bodies remains a challenging task because they are typically small (< 10 h...
Article
Full-text available
Landscape connectivity is increasingly promoted as a conservation tool to combat the negative effects of habitat loss, fragmentation, and climate change. Given its importance as a key conservation strategy, connectivity science is a rapidly growing discipline. However, most landscape connectivity models consider connectivity for only a single snaps...
Article
Spatiotemporal distribution and systematic quantification of surface water and their drivers of change are critical. However, quantifying this distribution is challenging due to a lack of spatially explicit and temporally dynamic em- pirical data of both surface water and its drivers of change at large spatial scales. We focused on one of the large...
Article
Full-text available
Detailed information on the number and density of trees is important for conservation and sustainable use of forest resources. In this respect, remote sensing technology is a reliable tool for deriving timely and fine-scale information on forest inventory attributes. However, to better predict and understand the functioning of the forest, fine-scal...
Article
Full-text available
Context: Despite calls for landscape connectivity research to account for spatiotemporal dynamics, studies have overwhelmingly evaluated the importance of habitats for connectivity at single or limited moments in time. Remote sensing time series represent a promising resource for studying connectivity within dynamic ecosystems. However, there is a...
Article
Full-text available
Landscape connectivity is important for the long-term persistence of species inhabiting dryland freshwater ecosystems, with spatiotemporal surface-water dynamics (e.g., flooding) maintaining connectivity by both creating temporary habitats and providing transient opportunities for dispersal. Improving our understanding of how landscape connectivity...
Article
Full-text available
Periodically inundated floodplain areas are hot spots of biodiversity and provide a broad range of ecosystem services but have suffered alarming declines in recent history. Despite their importance, their long-term surface water (SW) dynamics and hydroclimatic drivers remain poorly quantified on continental scales. In this study, we used a 26 year...
Article
Full-text available
Drought is a global issue that is exacerbated by climate change and increasing anthropogen-ic water demands. The recent occurrence of drought in California provides an important opportunity to examine drought response across ecosystem classes (forests, shrublands, grasslands, and wetlands), which is essential to understand how climate influences ec...
Article
Full-text available
Surface water is a critical resource in semi-arid areas. The Murray-Darling Basin (MDB) of Australia, one of the largest semi-arid basins in the world is aiming to set a worldwide example of how to balance multiple interests (i.e. environment, agriculture and urban use), but has suffered significant water shrinkages during the Millennium Drought (1...
Article
Full-text available
Australia is a continent subject to high rainfall variability, which has major influences on runoff and vegetation dynamics. However, the resulting spatial-temporal pattern of flooding and its influence on riparian vegetation has not been quantified in a spatially explicit way. Here we focused on the floodplains of the entire Murray-Darling Basin (...
Article
Full-text available
Surface water is a critical resource in semi-arid areas. The Murray-Darling Basin (MDB) of Australia, one of the largest semi-arid basins in the world is aiming to set a worldwide example of how to balance multiple interests (i.e. environment, agriculture and urban use), but has suffered significant water shrinkages during the Millennium Drought (1...
Article
Australia is a continent subject to high rainfall variability, which has major influences on runoff and vegetation dynamics. However, the resulting spatial-temporal pattern of flooding and its influence on riparian vegetation has not been quantified in a spatially explicit way. Here we focused on the floodplains of the entire Murray-Darling Basin (...
Article
Full-text available
The usage of time series of Earth observation (EO) data for analyzing and modeling surface water extent (SWE) dynamics across broad geographic regions provides important information for sustainable management and restoration of terrestrial surface water resources, which suffered alarming declines and deterioration globally. The main objective of th...
Article
Full-text available
The usage of time series of earth observation (EO) data for analyzing and modeling surface water dynamics (SWD) across broad geographic regions provides important information for sustainable management and restoration of terrestrial surface water resources, which suffered alarming declines and deterioration globally. The main objective of this rese...
Article
Full-text available
Aquatic ecosystems are under threat from multiple stressors, which vary in distribution and intensity across temporal and spatial scales. Monitoring and assessment of these ecosystems have historically focussed on collection of physical and chemical information and increasingly include associated observations on biological condition. However, ecosy...
Article
Full-text available
Context: Landscape-scale research quantifying ecological connectivity is required to maintain the viability of populations in dynamic environments increasingly impacted by anthropogenic modification and environmental change. Objective: To evaluate how surface water network structure, landscape resistance to movement, and flooding affect the connec...
Article
Full-text available
Land surface phenology (LSP) characterizes episodes of greening and browning of the vegetated land surface from remote sensing imagery. LSP is of interest for quantification and monitoring of crop yield, wildfire fuel accumulation, vegetation condition, ecosystem response and resilience to climate variability and change. Deriving LSP represents an...
Article
Full-text available
Land surface phenological cycles of vegetation greening and browning are influenced by variability in climatic forcing. Quantitative spatial information on phenological cycles and their variability is important for agricultural applications, wildfire fuel accumulation, land management, land surface modeling, and climate change studies. Most phenolo...
Article
Crop residue is potentially a major biomass feedstock for bio-based industries. Spatial and interannual variability of crop residue yield potential in relation to climatic variability in average of daily mean temperature and total precipitation during crop growing season at regional scale has not previously been investigated. Crop yield data were u...
Article
Full-text available
A climate envelope approach was used to model the response of switchgrass, a model bioenergy species in the United States, to future climate change. The model was built using general additive models (GAMs), and switchgrass yields collected at 45 field trial locations as the response variable. The model incorporated variables previously shown to be...
Article
Full-text available
Nonnative Phragmites is among the most invasive plants in the U.S. Atlantic coast tidal wetlands, whereas the native Phragmites has declined. Native and nonnative patches growing side by side provided an ideal setting for studying mechanisms that enable nonnative Phragmites to be a successful invader. We conducted an inventory followed by genetic a...
Article
Coastal wetland vegetation along the Great Lakes differs strongly with latitude, but most studies of Great Lakes wetland condition have attempted to exclude the effect of latitude to discern anthropogenic effects on condition. We developed an alternative approach that takes advantage of the strong relationship between latitude and coastal wetland f...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Background/Question/Methods The recent U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard calls for 36 billion gallons of ethanol production by 2022 with over half produced from plant biomass. The goals of our research are to evaluate different empirical modeling approaches of feedstock crop yields and assess the sensitivity of biomass feedstock production to climate ch...
Article
Full-text available
The invasion and expansion of the non-native Phragmites australis in Great Lakes coastal wetlands is of increasing concern, but quantitative studies of the extent, rate, and causes of invasion have been lacking. Here we revisited 307 plots in 14 wetlands along the Great Lakes coast in 2005 that had previously been sampled for vegetation in 2001–200...
Article
Full-text available
The wetland complex is the functional ecological unit of the prairie pothole region (PPR) of central North America. Diverse complexes of wetlands contribute high spatial and temporal environmental heterogeneity, productivity, and biodiversity to these glaciated prairie landscapes. Climate- warming simulations using the new model WETLANDSCAPE (WLS)...
Article
Assessment of vegetation is an important part of evaluating wetland condition, but it is complicated by the variety of plant communities that are naturally present in freshwater wetlands. We present an approach to evaluate wetland condition consisting of: (1) a stratified random sample representing the entire range of anthropogenic stress, (2) fiel...
Article
Great Lakes coastal wetlands are subject to water level fluctuations that promote the maintenance of coastal wetlands. Point au Sauble, a Green Bay coastal wetland, was an open water lagoon as of 1999, but became entirely vegetated as Lake Michigan experienced a prolonged period of below-average water levels. Repeat visits in 2001 and 2004 document...
Article
Emergent plants can be suitable indicators of anthropogenic stress in coastal wetlands if their responses to natural environmental variation can be parsed from their responses to human activities in and around wetlands. We used hierarchical partitioning to evaluate the independent influence of geomorphology, geography, and anthropogenic stress on c...
Article
Full-text available
QuickBird multispectral satellite images taken in September 2002 (peak biomass) and April 2003 (pre-growing season) were used to map emergent wetland vegetation communities, particularly invasive Phragmites australis and Typha spp., within a diked wetland at the western end of Lake Erie. An unsupervised classification was performed on a nine-layer...
Article
Plant taxa identified in 90 U.S. Great Lakes coastal emergent wetlands were evaluated as indicators of physical environment. Canonical correspondence analysis using the 40 most common taxa showed that water depth and tussock height explained the greatest amount of species-environment interac-tion among ten environmental factors measured as continuo...

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Projects (2)
Project
Drought is a global issue that is exacerbated by climate change and increasing anthropogenic water demands. The recent occurrence of drought in California provides an important opportunity to examine drought response across ecosystem classes, which is essential to understand how climate influences ecosystem structure and function.