Remote Sensing of Bush Honeysuckle in the Middle Blue River Basin, Kansas City, Missouri, 2016–17

Scientific Investigations Map 3421
Prepared in cooperation with the Mid-America Regional Council



Amur honeysuckle bush (Lonicera maackii) and Morrow’s honeysuckle (Lonicera morrowii) are two of the most aggressively invasive species to become established throughout areas along the Blue River in metropolitan Kansas City, Missouri. These two large, spreading shrubs (locally referred to as bush honeysuckle in the Kansas City metropolitan area) colonize the understory, crowd out native plants, and may be allelopathic, producing a chemical that restricts growth of native species. Removal efforts have been underway for more than a decade by local conservation groups such as Bridging The Gap and Heartland Conservation Alliance, who are concerned with the loss of native species diversity associated with the spread of bush honeysuckle. Bush honeysuckle produces leaves early in the spring before almost all other vegetation and retains leaves late in the fall after almost all other species have lost their leaves. Appropriately timed imagery can be used during early spring and late fall to map the extent of bush honeysuckle. Using multispectral imagery collected in February 2016 and true color aerial imagery collected in March 2016, a coverage map of bush honeysuckle was made to investigate the extent of bush honeysuckle in a study area along the middle reach of the Blue River in the Kansas City metropolitan area in Jackson County, Missouri. The coverage map was further classified into unlikely, low-, and high-density bush honeysuckle density at a 30-foot cell size. The unlikely density class correctly predicted the absence and approximate density of bush honeysuckle for 86 percent of the field-verification points, the low-density class predicted the presence and approximate density with 73-percent confidence, and the high-density class was predicted with 67-percent confidence.

Suggested Citation

Ellis, J.T., 2018, Remote sensing of bush honeysuckle in the Middle Blue River Basin, Kansas City, Missouri, 2016–17: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map 3421, 1 sheet,

ISSN: 2329-132X (online)

Study Area

Table of Contents

  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Methods
  • Discussion of Remote-Sensing Results
  • Summary
  • References
Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Remote sensing of bush honeysuckle in the Middle Blue River Basin, Kansas City, Missouri, 2016–17
Series title Scientific Investigations Map
Series number 3421
DOI 10.3133/sim3421
Year Published 2018
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Central Midwest Water Science Center
Description Sheet: 36.0 x 40.0 inches; Data Release
Country United States
State Missouri
City Kansas City
Other Geospatial Middle Blue River Basin
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details