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Remote Sens. 2015, 7(4), 3588-3612;

Detecting Clear-Cuts and Decreases in Forest Vitality Using MODIS NDVI Time Series

Université de Toulouse, INPT, Ecole d'Ingénieurs de Purpan, UMR 1201 Dynafor, 75 Voie du TOEC, F-31076 Toulouse Cedex 03, France
Laboratory of Geo-Information Science and Remote Sensing, Wageningen University, Droevendaalsesteeg 3, 6708 PB Wageningen, The Netherlands
INRA, UMR 1201 Dynafor, F-31326 Castanet-Tolosan, France
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Lars T. Waser, Josef Kellndorfer and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 15 October 2014 / Revised: 21 November 2014 / Accepted: 27 February 2015 / Published: 26 March 2015
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This paper examines the potential of MODIS-NDVI time series for detecting clear-cuts in a coniferous forest stand in the south of France. The proposed approach forms part of a survey monitoring the status of forest health and evaluating the forest decline phenomena observed over the last few decades. One of the prerequisites for this survey was that a rapid and easily reproducible method had to be developed that differentiates between forest clear-cuts and changes in forest health induced by environmental factors such as summer droughts. The proposed approach is based on analysis of the breakpoints detected within NDVI time series, using the “Break for Additive Seasonal and Trend” (BFAST) algorithm. To overcome difficulties detecting small areas on the study site, we chose a probabilistic approach based on the use of a conditional inference tree. For model calibration, clear-cut reference data were produced at MODIS resolution (250 m). According to the magnitude of the detected breakpoints, probability classes for the presence of clear-cuts were defined, from greater than 90% to less than 3% probability of a clear-cut. One of the advantages of the probabilistic model is that it allows end users to choose an acceptable level of uncertainty depending on the application. In addition, the use of BFAST allows events to be dated, thus making it possible to perform a retrospective analysis of decreases in forest vitality in the study area. View Full-Text
Keywords: time series; MODIS; NDVI; BFAST; forest decline; clear-cut detection time series; MODIS; NDVI; BFAST; forest decline; clear-cut detection

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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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Lambert, J.; Denux, J.-P.; Verbesselt, J.; Balent, G.; Cheret, V. Detecting Clear-Cuts and Decreases in Forest Vitality Using MODIS NDVI Time Series. Remote Sens. 2015, 7, 3588-3612.

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