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Open AccessArticle

Land Cover Classification of Complex Agroecosystems in the Non-Protected Highlands of the Galapagos Islands

1
Geography, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA
2
Instituto de Geografía, Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Quito 170157, Ecuador
3
WEC, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(1), 65; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12010065
Received: 9 November 2019 / Revised: 6 December 2019 / Accepted: 12 December 2019 / Published: 23 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Human-Environment Interactions)
The humid highlands of the Galapagos are the islands’ most biologically productive regions and a key habitat for endemic animal and plant species. These areas are crucial for the region’s food security and for the control of invasive plants, but little is known about the spatial distribution of its land cover. We generated a baseline high-resolution land cover map of the agricultural zones and their surrounding protected areas. We combined the high spatial resolution of PlanetScope images with the high spectral resolution of Sentinel-2 images in an object-based classification using a RandomForest algorithm. We used images collected with an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to verify and validate our classified map. Despite the astounding diversity and heterogeneity of the highland landscape, our classification yielded useful results (overall Kappa: 0.7, R2: 0.69) and revealed that across all four inhabited islands, invasive plants cover the largest fraction (28.5%) of the agricultural area, followed by pastures (22.3%), native vegetation (18.6%), food crops (18.3%), and mixed forest and pioneer plants (11.6%). Our results are consistent with historical trajectories of colonization and abandonment of the highlands. The produced dataset is designed to suit the needs of practitioners of both conservation and agriculture and aims to foster collaboration between the two areas. View Full-Text
Keywords: agriculture; conservation; galapagos; image fusion; invasive species; land cover; planetscope; random forest; sentinel-2; uav agriculture; conservation; galapagos; image fusion; invasive species; land cover; planetscope; random forest; sentinel-2; uav
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    Doi: 10.6084/m9.figshare.11400840
    Link: https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.11400840
    Description: Figure S1: Land cover classification of Galapagos agroecosystems and their surrounding protected areas (2018).
MDPI and ACS Style

Laso, F.J.; Benítez, F.L.; Rivas-Torres, G.; Sampedro, C.; Arce-Nazario, J. Land Cover Classification of Complex Agroecosystems in the Non-Protected Highlands of the Galapagos Islands. Remote Sens. 2020, 12, 65.

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