Next Article in Journal
A Burned Area Mapping Algorithm for Chinese FengYun-3 MERSI Satellite Data
Previous Article in Journal
Considering Inter-Frequency Clock Bias for BDS Triple-Frequency Precise Point Positioning
Article Menu
Issue 7 (July) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(7), 731; doi:10.3390/rs9070731

Continued Reforestation and Urban Expansion in the New Century of a Tropical Island in the Caribbean

Department of Environmental Science, University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras, San Juan, PR 00936, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 22 April 2017 / Revised: 22 June 2017 / Accepted: 12 July 2017 / Published: 15 July 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Remote Sensing)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [3374 KB, uploaded 16 July 2017]   |  

Abstract

Accurate and timely monitoring of tropical land cover/use (LCLU) changes is urgent due to the rapid deforestation/reforestation and its impact on global land-atmosphere interaction. However, persistent cloud cover in the tropics imposes the greatest challenge and retards LCLU mapping in mountainous areas such as the tropic island of Puerto Rico, where forest transition changed from deforestation to reforestation due to the economy shift from agriculture to industry and service after the 1940s. To improve the LCLU mapping in the tropics and to evaluate the trend of forest transition of Puerto Rico in the new century, we integrated the optical Landsat images with the L-band SAR to map LC in 2010 by taking advantage of the cloud-penetrating ability of the SAR signals. The results showed that the incorporation of SAR data with the Landsat data significantly, although not substantially, enhanced the accuracy of LCLU mapping of Puerto Rico, and the Kappa statistic reached 90.5% from 88.4% without SAR data. The enhancement of mapping by SAR is important for urban and forest, as well as locations with limited optical data caused by cloud cover. We found both forests and urban lands continued expanding in the new century despite the declining population. However, the forest cover change slowed down in 2000–2010 compared to that in 1991–2000. The deforestation rate reduced by 42.1% in 2000–2010, and the reforestation was mostly located in the east and southeast of the island where Hurricane Georges landed and caused severe vegetation damage in 1998. We also found that reforestation increased, but deforestation decreased along the topography slope. Reforestation was much higher within the protected area compared to that in the surroundings in the wet and moist forest zones. View Full-Text
Keywords: land cover land use change; tropical forests; forest transition; Landsat TM/ETM; Synthetic Aperture Radar land cover land use change; tropical forests; forest transition; Landsat TM/ETM; Synthetic Aperture Radar
Figures

Figure 1

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).

Scifeed alert for new publications

Never miss any articles matching your research from any publisher
  • Get alerts for new papers matching your research
  • Find out the new papers from selected authors
  • Updated daily for 49'000+ journals and 6000+ publishers
  • Define your Scifeed now

SciFeed Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Wang, C.; Yu, M.; Gao, Q. Continued Reforestation and Urban Expansion in the New Century of a Tropical Island in the Caribbean. Remote Sens. 2017, 9, 731.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Remote Sens. EISSN 2072-4292 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top