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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - Mountain Research and Development
Title Forest Condition Monitoring Using Very-High-Resolution Satellite Imagery in a Remote Mountain Watershed in Nepal
Volume 35
Issue 3
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2015
Page numbers 264-277
URL http://www.bioone.org/doi/full/10.1659/MRD-JOURNAL-D-14-00074.1
Satellite imagery has proven extremely useful for repetitive timeline-based data collection, because it offers a synoptic view and enables fast processing of large quantities of data. The changes in tree crown number and land cover in a very remote watershed (area 1305 ha) in Nepal were analyzed using a QuickBird image from 2006 and an IKONOS image from 2011. A geographic object-based image analysis (GEOBIA) was carried out using the region-growing technique for tree crown detection, delineation, and change assessment, and a multiresolution technique was used for land cover mapping and change analysis. The coefficient of determination for tree crown detection and delineation was 0.97 for QuickBird and 0.99 for IKONOS, calculated using a line-intercept transect method with 10 randomly selected windows (1×1 ha). The number of tree crowns decreased from 47,121 in 2006 to 41,689 in 2011, a loss of approximately 90 trees per month on average; the area of needle-leaved forest was reduced by 140 ha (23%) over the same period. Analysis of widely available very-high-resolution satellite images using GEOBIA techniques offers a cost-effective method for detecting changes in tree crown number and land cover in remote mountain valleys; the results provide the information needed to support improved local-level planning and forest management in such areas.

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