Date of Award

Spring 2012

Project Type


Program or Major

Natural Resources

Degree Name

Master of Science

First Advisor

Barrett N Rock


Mangroves are recognized worldwide as a major ecosystem that provides significant ecosystem services. They are threatened due to rising pressures from human overpopulation and economic development. The Caribbean Coast of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula contains mangrove habitat that have been negatively impacted by the development of the region's tourist industry. However, little research has been done to map and quantify the extent of mangrove in the region. This study used remote sensing techniques to identify mangrove in the Municipality of Tulum located in Quintana Roo, and to produce an accurate vector based thematic map that inventories these areas. Anatomical differences were analyzed and related to high-resolution field spectral data for each mangrove species. A vector map of mangrove habitat, including areas of inland mangrove, was produced with an overall accuracy of 88%. The 19,262 ha. of mangrove identified by this study represents a 140% increase in area over previous studies.