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Remote Sens. 2012, 4(8), 2401-2418; doi:10.3390/rs4082401
Article

Use of Landsat and SRTM Data to Detect Broad-Scale Biodiversity Patterns in Northwestern Amazonia

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Received: 20 June 2012; in revised form: 10 August 2012 / Accepted: 10 August 2012 / Published: 15 August 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Biological Diversity)
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Abstract: Vegetation maps are the starting point for the design of protected areas and regional conservation plans. Accurate vegetation maps are missing for much of Amazonia, preventing the development of effective and compelling conservation strategies. Here we used a network of 160 inventories across northwestern Amazonia to evaluate the use of Landsat and Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) data to identify floristic and edaphic patterns in Amazonian forests. We first calculated the strength of the relationship between these remotely-sensed data, and edaphic and floristic patterns in these forests, and asked how sensitive these results are to image processing and enhancement. We additionally asked if SRTM data can be used to model patterns in plant species composition in our study areas. We find that variations in Landsat and SRTM data are strongly correlated with variations in soils and plant species composition, and that these patterns can be mapped solely on the basis of SRTM data over limited areas. Using these data, we furthermore identified widespread patch-matrix floristic patterns across northwestern Amazonia, with implications for conservation planning and study. Our findings provide further evidence that Landsat and SRTM data can provide a cost-effective means for mapping these forests, and we recommend that maps generated from a combination of remotely-sensed and field data be used as the basis for conservation prioritization and planning in these vast and remote forests.
Keywords: Amazonia; Landsat; SRTM; floristic composition; geology; soils; pteridophytes; vegetation mapping; NDVI Amazonia; Landsat; SRTM; floristic composition; geology; soils; pteridophytes; vegetation mapping; NDVI
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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MDPI and ACS Style

Higgins, M.A.; Asner, G.P.; Perez, E.; Elespuru, N.; Tuomisto, H.; Ruokolainen, K.; Alonso, A. Use of Landsat and SRTM Data to Detect Broad-Scale Biodiversity Patterns in Northwestern Amazonia. Remote Sens. 2012, 4, 2401-2418.

AMA Style

Higgins MA, Asner GP, Perez E, Elespuru N, Tuomisto H, Ruokolainen K, Alonso A. Use of Landsat and SRTM Data to Detect Broad-Scale Biodiversity Patterns in Northwestern Amazonia. Remote Sensing. 2012; 4(8):2401-2418.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Higgins, Mark A.; Asner, Gregory P.; Perez, Eneas; Elespuru, Nydia; Tuomisto, Hanna; Ruokolainen, Kalle; Alonso, Alfonso. 2012. "Use of Landsat and SRTM Data to Detect Broad-Scale Biodiversity Patterns in Northwestern Amazonia." Remote Sens. 4, no. 8: 2401-2418.


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