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Mapping National Mangrove Cover for Belize Using Google Earth Engine and Sentinel-2 Imagery

1
Department of Geography and Sociology, Samford University, Birmingham, AL 35229, USA
2
Smithsonian Marine Station, National Museum of Natural History, Fort Pierce, FL 34949, USA
3
Working Land and Seascapes, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC 20013, USA
4
Department of Geography, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487, USA
5
Department of Research and Conservation, Florida Oceanographic Society, Stuart, FL 34996, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(9), 4258; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11094258
Received: 9 April 2021 / Revised: 30 April 2021 / Accepted: 5 May 2021 / Published: 8 May 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Earth Sciences and Geography)
In this paper, we present the highest-resolution-available (10 m) national map of the mangrove ecosystems of Belize. These important ecosystems are increasingly threatened by human activities and climate change, support both marine and terrestrial biodiversity, and provide critical ecosystem services to coastal communities in Belize and throughout the Mesoamerican Reef ecoregion. Previous national- and international-level inventories document Belizean mangrove forests at spatial resolutions of 30 m or coarser, but many mangrove patches and loss events may be too small to be accurately mapped at these resolutions. Our 10 m map addresses this need for a finer-scale national mangrove inventory. We mapped mangrove ecosystems in Belize as of 2020 by performing a random forest classification of Sentinel-2 Multispectral Instrument imagery in Google Earth Engine. We mapped a total mangrove area of 578.54 km2 in 2020, with 372.04 km2 located on the mainland and 206.50 km2 distributed throughout the country’s islands and cayes. Our findings are substantially different from previous, coarser-resolution national mangrove inventories of Belize, which emphasizes the importance of high-resolution mapping efforts for ongoing conservation efforts. View Full-Text
Keywords: mangrove; Belize; Google Earth Engine; Sentinel-2 mangrove; Belize; Google Earth Engine; Sentinel-2
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MDPI and ACS Style

Cissell, J.R.; Canty, S.W.J.; Steinberg, M.K.; Simpson, L.T. Mapping National Mangrove Cover for Belize Using Google Earth Engine and Sentinel-2 Imagery. Appl. Sci. 2021, 11, 4258. https://doi.org/10.3390/app11094258

AMA Style

Cissell JR, Canty SWJ, Steinberg MK, Simpson LT. Mapping National Mangrove Cover for Belize Using Google Earth Engine and Sentinel-2 Imagery. Applied Sciences. 2021; 11(9):4258. https://doi.org/10.3390/app11094258

Chicago/Turabian Style

Cissell, Jordan R., Steven W. J. Canty, Michael K. Steinberg, and Loraé T. Simpson. 2021. "Mapping National Mangrove Cover for Belize Using Google Earth Engine and Sentinel-2 Imagery" Applied Sciences 11, no. 9: 4258. https://doi.org/10.3390/app11094258

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