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Forests 2016, 7(7), 138; doi:10.3390/f7070138

Estimating Aboveground Biomass and Carbon Stocks in Periurban Andean Secondary Forests Using Very High Resolution Imagery

1
Programa de Biología, Facultad de Ciencias Naturales y Matemáticas, Universidad del Rosario, Cr. 24 No 63C-69, Bogotá 111221, Colombia
2
Geomatics Program, School of Forest Resources and Conservation, University of Florida, 1200 N. Park Road, Plant City, FL 33563, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Eric J. Jokela
Received: 30 April 2016 / Revised: 4 July 2016 / Accepted: 4 July 2016 / Published: 9 July 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban and Periurban Forest Diversity and Ecosystem Services)
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Abstract

Periurban forests are key to offsetting anthropogenic carbon emissions, but they are under constant threat from urbanization. In particular, secondary Neotropical forest types in Andean periurban areas have a high potential to store carbon, but are currently poorly characterized. To address this lack of information, we developed a method to estimate periurban aboveground biomass (AGB)—a proxy for multiple ecosystem services—of secondary Andean forests near Bogotá, Colombia, based on very high resolution (VHR) GeoEye-1, Pleiades-1A imagery and field-measured plot data. Specifically, we tested a series of different pre-processing workflows to derive six vegetation indices that were regressed against in situ estimates of AGB. Overall, the coupling of linear models and the Ratio Vegetation Index produced the most satisfactory results. Atmospheric and topographic correction proved to be key in improving model fit, especially in high aerosol and rugged terrain such as the Andes. Methods and findings provide baseline AGB and carbon stock information for little studied periurban Andean secondary forests. The methodological approach can also be used for integrating limited forest monitoring plot AGB data with very high resolution imagery for cost-effective modelling of ecosystem service provision from forests, monitoring reforestation and forest cover change, and for carbon offset assessments. View Full-Text
Keywords: periurban forests; carbon offsets; ecosystem service mapping; Colombia; remote sensing; vegetation indices periurban forests; carbon offsets; ecosystem service mapping; Colombia; remote sensing; vegetation indices
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Clerici, N.; Rubiano, K.; Abd-Elrahman, A.; Posada Hoestettler, J.M.; Escobedo, F.J. Estimating Aboveground Biomass and Carbon Stocks in Periurban Andean Secondary Forests Using Very High Resolution Imagery. Forests 2016, 7, 138.

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