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Remote Sens. 2016, 8(2), 92; doi:10.3390/rs8020092

Detection of Spatio-Temporal Changes of Norway Spruce Forest Stands in Ore Mountains Using Landsat Time Series and Airborne Hyperspectral Imagery

1
Czech Geological Survey, Klárov 3, Prague 118 21, Czech Republic
2
Faculty of Science, Department of Applied Geoinformatics and Cartography, Charles University, Albertov 6, Prague 128 43, Czech Republic
3
Faculty of Science, Department of Experimental Plant Biology, Charles University, Viničná 5, Prague 128 44, Czech Republic
4
Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology, University of Maryland Baltimore County and Biospheric Sciences, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Ioannis Gitas and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 24 November 2015 / Revised: 10 January 2016 / Accepted: 16 January 2016 / Published: 26 January 2016
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Abstract

The study focuses on spatio-temporal changes in the physiological status of the Norway spruce forests located at the central and western parts of the Ore Mountains (northwestern part of the Czech Republic), which suffered from severe environmental pollution from the 1970s to the 1990s. The situation started improving after the pollution loads decreased significantly at the end of the 1990s. The general trends in forest recovery were studied using the tasseled cap transformation and disturbance index (DI) extracted from the 1985–2015 time series of Landsat data. In addition, 16 vegetation indices (VIs) extracted from airborne hyperspectral (HS) data acquired in 1998 using the Advanced Solid-State Array Spectroradiometer (ASAS) and in 2013 using the Airborne Prism Experiment (APEX) were used to study changes in forest health. The forest health status analysis of HS image data was performed at two levels of spatial resolution; at a tree level (original 2.0 m spatial resolution), as well as at a forest stand level (generalized to 6.0 m spatial resolution). The temporal changes were studied primarily using the VOG1 vegetation index (VI) as it was showing high and stable sensitivity to forest damage for both spatial resolutions considered. In 1998, significant differences between the moderately to heavily damaged (central Ore Mountains) and initially damaged (western Ore Mountains) stands were detected for all the VIs tested. In 2013, the stands in the central Ore Mountains exhibited VI values much closer to the global mean, indicating an improvement in their health status. This result fully confirms the finding of the Landsat time series analysis. The greatest difference in Disturbance Index (DI) values between the central (1998: 0.37) and western Ore Mountains stands (1998: −1.21) could be seen at the end of the 1990s. Nonetheless, levelling of the physiological status of Norway spruce was observed for the central and western parts of the Ore Mountains in 2013 (mean DI values −1.04 (western) and −0.66 (central)). Although the differences between originally moderately-to-heavily damaged, and initially damaged stands generally levelled out by 2013, it is still possible to detect signs of the previous damage in some cases. View Full-Text
Keywords: forest health; Norway spruce; hyperspectral imagery; Tasseled Cap; Landsat; Ore Mountains forest health; Norway spruce; hyperspectral imagery; Tasseled Cap; Landsat; Ore Mountains
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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

Mišurec, J.; Kopačková, V.; Lhotáková, Z.; Campbell, P.; Albrechtová, J. Detection of Spatio-Temporal Changes of Norway Spruce Forest Stands in Ore Mountains Using Landsat Time Series and Airborne Hyperspectral Imagery. Remote Sens. 2016, 8, 92.

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