Next Article in Journal
UAV Remote Sensing for Urban Vegetation Mapping Using Random Forest and Texture Analysis
Next Article in Special Issue
Mapping Oil Palm Plantations in Cameroon Using PALSAR 50-m Orthorectified Mosaic Images
Previous Article in Journal
GRACE Gravity Satellite Observations of Terrestrial Water Storage Changes for Drought Characterization in the Arid Land of Northwestern China
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle

Mapping Deciduous Rubber Plantation Areas and Stand Ages with PALSAR and Landsat Images

School of Computer Science and Information, Southwest Forestry University, Kunming 650224, China
Faculty of Land Resource Engineering, Kunming University of Science and Technology, Kunming 650093, China
Department of Microbiology and Plant Biology, and Center for Spatial Analysis, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK 73019, USA
Institute of Biodiversity Science, Fudan University, Shanghai 200433, China
Centre for Mountain Ecosystem Studies (CMES), Kunming Institute of Botany (CAS), Lanhei Road132,Heilongtan, Kunming 650201, China
World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), Central and East Asia Office, Lanhei Road132, Heilongtan, Kunming 650201, China
College of Information & Electrical Engineering, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100083, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Nicolas Baghdadi and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Remote Sens. 2015, 7(1), 1048-1073;
Received: 10 September 2014 / Revised: 5 January 2015 / Accepted: 12 January 2015 / Published: 19 January 2015
PDF [47145 KB, uploaded 19 January 2015]


Accurate and updated finer resolution maps of rubber plantations and stand ages are needed to understand and assess the impacts of rubber plantations on regional ecosystem processes. This study presented a simple method for mapping rubber plantation areas and their stand ages by integration of PALSAR 50-m mosaic images and multi-temporal Landsat TM/ETM+ images. The L-band PALSAR 50-m mosaic images were used to map forests (including both natural forests and rubber trees) and non-forests. For those PALSAR-based forest pixels, we analyzed the multi-temporal Landsat TM/ETM+ images from 2000 to 2009. We first studied phenological signatures of deciduous rubber plantations (defoliation and foliation) and natural forests through analysis of surface reflectance, Normal Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI), and Land Surface Water Index (LSWI) and generated a map of rubber plantations in 2009. We then analyzed phenological signatures of rubber plantations with different stand ages and generated a map, in 2009, of rubber plantation stand ages (≤5, 6–10, >10 years-old) based on multi-temporal Landsat images. The resultant maps clearly illustrated how rubber plantations have expanded into the mountains in the study area over the years. The results in this study demonstrate the potential of integrating microwave (e.g., PALSAR) and optical remote sensing in the characterization of rubber plantations and their expansion over time. View Full-Text
Keywords: stand age; rubber plantations; phenology; Xishuangbanna; Landsat; PALSAR stand age; rubber plantations; phenology; Xishuangbanna; Landsat; PALSAR

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).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Kou, W.; Xiao, X.; Dong, J.; Gan, S.; Zhai, D.; Zhang, G.; Qin, Y.; Li, L. Mapping Deciduous Rubber Plantation Areas and Stand Ages with PALSAR and Landsat Images. Remote Sens. 2015, 7, 1048-1073.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



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