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Remote Sens. 2012, 4(11), 3544-3570; doi:10.3390/rs4113544

Estimating CO2 Sequestration by Forests in Oita Prefecture, Japan, by Combining LANDSAT ETM+ and ALOS Satellite Remote Sensing Data

1,* , 2
 and 1
1 Graduate School of Asia Pacific Studies, Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University, 1-1 Jumonjibaru, Beppu, Oita 874-8577, Japan 2 Graduate School of Science, Chiba University, 1-33 Yayoi-cho, Inage-ku, Chiba, Chiba 263-8522, Japan
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 6 September 2012 / Revised: 12 November 2012 / Accepted: 13 November 2012 / Published: 19 November 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing by Synthetic Aperture Radar Technology)
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CO2 sequestration of the forests in Oita Prefecture, Japan, was estimated using satellite remote sensing data. First, hybrid classification of the optical LANDSAT ETM+ data was performed using GIS to produce a detailed land cover map. CO2 sequestration for each forest type was calculated using the sequestration rates per unit area multiplied by the forest areas obtained from the land cover map This results in 3.57 MtCO2/yr for coniferous, 0.77 MtCO2/yr for deciduous broadleaf, and 2.25 MtCO2/yr for evergreen broadleaf, equivalent to a total of 6.60 MtCO2/yr for all the forest covers in Oita. Then, two different methodologies were used to improve these estimates by considering tree ages: the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and the stem volume methods. Calculation using the NDVI method shows the limitation of this method in providing detailed estimations for trees older than 15 years, because of NDVI saturation beyond this age. In the stem volume method, tree ages were deduced from stem volume values obtained by using PALSAR backscattering data. Sequestration based on tree age forest subclasses yields 2.96 MtCO2/yr (coniferous) and 0.31 MtCO2/yr (deciduous broadleaf forests). These results show the importance of using not only detailed forest types, but also detailed tree age information for more realistic CO2 sequestration estimates. In so doing, overestimation of the sequestration capacity of forests could be avoided, and the information on the status and location of forest resources could be improved, thereby leading to sounder decision making in sustainable management of forest resources.
Keywords: LANDSAT; ALOS; land use/land cover maps; CO2 sequestration; GIS LANDSAT; ALOS; land use/land cover maps; CO2 sequestration; GIS
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.

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Sanga-Ngoie, K.; Iizuka, K.; Kobayashi, S. Estimating CO2 Sequestration by Forests in Oita Prefecture, Japan, by Combining LANDSAT ETM+ and ALOS Satellite Remote Sensing Data. Remote Sens. 2012, 4, 3544-3570.

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