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Open AccessArticle

Semi-Supervised Classification and Landscape Metrics for Mapping and Spatial Pattern Change Analysis of Tropical Forest Types in Thua Thien Hue Province, Vietnam

1
Mientrung Institute for Scientific Research, Thua Thien Hue Province 530000, Vietnam
2
Graduate School of Agriculture, Hokkaido University, Sapporo 060-8589, Japan
3
Research Faculty of Agriculture, Hokkaido University, Sapporo 060-8589, Japan
4
Central Sub Forest Inventory and Planning Institute, Thua Thien Hue Province 530000, Vietnam
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Forests 2019, 10(8), 673; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10080673
Received: 3 July 2019 / Revised: 7 August 2019 / Accepted: 7 August 2019 / Published: 9 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impact of Land Use Change on Forest Biodiversity)
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Abstract

Research Highlights: In this study, we classified natural forest into four forest types using time-series multi-source remotely sensed data through a proposed semi-supervised model developed and validated for mapping forest types and assessing forest transition in Vietnam. Background and Objectives: Data on current forest state and changes detection are always essential for forest management and planning. There is, therefore, a need for improved tools to classify and evaluate forest dynamics more accurately and effectively. Our objective is to develop such tools using a semi-supervised model and landscape metrics to classify and map changes in natural forest types by using multi-source remotely sensed data. Materials and Methods: A combination of Landsat data with PALSAR and PALSAR-2 was used for forest classification through the proposed semi-supervised model. This model turned a kernel least square into a self-learning algorithm, trained by a small number of samples with given labels, and then used this classifier to assign labels to the unlabeled data. The overall accuracy, kappa, user’s accuracy, and producer’s accuracy were used to evaluate the classification accuracy by comparing the classified image with the results of ground truth interpretation. Based on the classified images, forest transition was evaluated using certain landscape metrics at the class and landscape levels. Results: The multi-source data approach achieved improved discrimination of forest types compared to only using single data (optical or radar data). Good classification accuracies were obtained, with kappas of 0.81, 0.76, and 0.74 for the years 2007, 2010, and 2016, respectively. The analysis of landscape metrics indicated that there were different behaviors in the four forest types, as well as provided much information about the trends in spatial pattern changes. Conclusions: This study highlights the utilization of a semi-supervised model in forest classification, and the analysis of forest transition using landscape metrics. However, future research should include a comparison of different models to estimate the improvement of the proposed model. Another important study that should be conducted is to test the proposed method on larger areas. View Full-Text
Keywords: forest types classification; forest transition; semi-supervised model; landscape metrics; Landsat data; synthetic aperture radar forest types classification; forest transition; semi-supervised model; landscape metrics; Landsat data; synthetic aperture radar
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Cat Tuong, T.T.; Tani, H.; Wang, X.; Quang Thang, N. Semi-Supervised Classification and Landscape Metrics for Mapping and Spatial Pattern Change Analysis of Tropical Forest Types in Thua Thien Hue Province, Vietnam. Forests 2019, 10, 673.

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