Monitoring long-term forest dynamics with scarce data: a multi-date classification implementation in the Ecuadorian Amazon


ABSTRACTMonitoring long-term forest dynamics is essential for assessing human-induced land-cover changes, and related studies are often based on the multi-decadal Landsat archive. However, in areas such as the Tropical Andes, scarce data and the resulting poor signal-to-noise ratio in time series data render the implementation of automated time-series analysis algorithms difficult. The aim of this research was to investigate a novel approach that combines image compositing, multi-sensor data fusion, and postclassification change detection that is applicable in data-scarce regions of the Tropical Andes, exemplified for a case study in Ecuador. We derived biennial deforestation and reforestation patterns for the period from 1992 to 2014, achieving accuracies of 82 ± 3% for deforestation and 71 ± 3% for reforestation mapping. Our research demonstrated that an adapted methodology allowed us to derive the forest dynamics from the Landsat time series, despite the abundant regional data gaps in the archive, namely across the Tropical Andes. This study, therefore, presented a novel methodology in support of monitoring long-term forest dynamics in areas with limited historical data availability.

European Journal of Remote Sensing
Patrick Hostert
Patrick Hostert
Principal Investigator