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Remote Sens. 2017, 9(6), 564; doi:10.3390/rs9060564

Mapping Torreya grandis Spatial Distribution Using High Spatial Resolution Satellite Imagery with the Expert Rules-Based Approach

1
Key Laboratory of Carbon Cycling in Forest Ecosystems and Carbon Sequestration of Zhejiang Province, School of Environmental & Resource Sciences, Zhejiang Agriculture and Forestry University, Lin An 311300, Hangzhou, China
2
Center for Global Change and Earth Observations, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48823, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Lars T. Waser and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 21 April 2017 / Revised: 26 May 2017 / Accepted: 1 June 2017 / Published: 6 June 2017
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Abstract

Rapid expansion of Torreya forests in the mountainous region in Zhejiang Province in the past three decades has produced many environmental problems such as soil erosion and poor water quality, requiring an update of its spatial distribution in a timely way. However, to date there are no suitable approaches available for mapping Torreya forest distribution, especially the new Torreya plantations, due to the complex landscapes. This research used high spatial resolution Chinese Gaofen (GF-1) and Ziyuan (ZY-3) satellite images and digital elevation model (DEM) data to extract old Torreya forests and new Torreya plantations using a newly proposed expert rules-based approach. Different variables such as spectral bands, vegetation indices, textural images, and DEM-derived variables were examined, and separability analyses of different land covers were explored. An expert rules-based approach was developed for the extraction of old Torreya forests and new Torreya plantations. The accuracy assessment using field survey data and Google Earth images indicates that this newly-proposed approach can effectively distinguish both old Torreya forests and new Torreya plantations from other land covers with producer’s accuracies of 84% and 92%, and user’s accuracies of 77% and 85%, respectively, much better classification accuracies than the maximum likelihood classifier. This new approach may be used for other study area for extracting Torreya forest distribution. This research provides valuable data sources for better managing existing Torreya forests and planning potential Torreya expansions in this region in the near future. View Full-Text
Keywords: old Torreya forests; new Torreya plantations; high spatial resolution data; spatial distribution; expert rules-based approach; Zhejiang Province old Torreya forests; new Torreya plantations; high spatial resolution data; spatial distribution; expert rules-based approach; Zhejiang Province
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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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Wang, Y.; Lu, D. Mapping Torreya grandis Spatial Distribution Using High Spatial Resolution Satellite Imagery with the Expert Rules-Based Approach. Remote Sens. 2017, 9, 564.

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