Special Issue "Spatial Analysis for Terrestrial Ecosystems: Advances in Mapping, Analyses and Management"

A special issue of ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information (ISSN 2220-9964).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (28 February 2019).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Jason K. Levy
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management, University of Hawaii, Kapolei, HI 96707, USA
Interests: disaster risk governance; sustainable hazard mitigation; emergency management decision making; natural–technological (na–tech) crises; health-related emergencies; fluvial and marine disasters; global climate change
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Spatial environmental analysis is undergoing a transformation with advances in remote sensing for environmental mapping, analyses and management. In particular, this Special Issue focuses on a range of terrestrial ecosystems, from forests (both tropical rain forests and temperate deciduous forests) to grasslands, tundra, and deserts. These terrestrial ecosystems are increasing under stress from anthropogenic activities and changes in the global environment. It is proposed that the analysis of terrestrial ecosystems over space and time can be transformed using advances in remote sensing and other spatial analysis tools. For example, forest characteristics (species composition, basal area, and stand tree density) can now be ascertained at a fine spatial resolution across large landscapes. Quantifying those metrics in an accurate and cost-effective manner across terrestrial ecosystems is essential to improve environmental planning processes.

This Special Issue encourages innovative and practical spatial approaches for understanding spatio-temporal physical environmental processes in terrestrial ecosystems. Theoretical remote sensing/geospatial methods and computational tools are also strongly encouraged. The Special Issue will also highlight advances in geospatial methodologies and software for efficiently mapping forest biomass and classifying fine-scale land cover across broad landscapes. Authors are encouraged to examine important spatial research questions, including the relationship between the National Agriculture Imagery Program (NAIP) Imagery FIA (Forest Inventory Analysis) and the use of such relationships to spatially map and characterize forest conditions over large regions.

This Special Issue is devoted to all aspects of spatial science related to Spatial Analysis for Terrestrial Ecosystems including:

  • terrestrial mapping
  • climate variability and change
  • geographic information systems
  • landscape patterns and ecology
  • environmental statistics
  • vegetation mapping
  • forest characteristics
  • land use change
  • erosion, sedimentation and soil management
  • remote sensing
  • species distribution modelling

Prof. Dr. Jason K. Levy
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Published Papers (15 papers)

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Research

Article
Application of Ordinary Kriging and Regression Kriging Method for Soil Properties Mapping in Hilly Region of Central Vietnam
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2019, 8(3), 147; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijgi8030147 - 19 Mar 2019
Cited by 23 | Viewed by 3576
Abstract
Soil property maps are essential resources for agricultural land use. However, soil properties mapping is costly and time-consuming, especially in the regions with complicated topographic conditions. This study was conducted in a hilly region of Central Vietnam with the following objectives: (i) to [...] Read more.
Soil property maps are essential resources for agricultural land use. However, soil properties mapping is costly and time-consuming, especially in the regions with complicated topographic conditions. This study was conducted in a hilly region of Central Vietnam with the following objectives: (i) to evaluate the best environmental variables to estimate soil organic carbon (SOC), total nitrogen (TN), and soil reaction (pH) with a regression kriging (RK) model, and (ii) to compare the accuracy of the ordinary kriging (OK) and RK methods. SOC, TN, and soil pH data were measured at 155 locations within the research area with a sampling grid of 2 km × 2 km for a soil layer from 0 to 30 cm depth. From these samples, 117 were used for interpolation, and the 38 randomly remaining samples were used for evaluating accuracy. The chosen environmental variables are land use type (LUT), topographic wetness index (TWI), and transformed soil adjusted vegetation index (TSAVI). The results indicate that the LUT variable is more effective than TWI and TSAVI for determining TN and pH when using the RK method, with a variance of 7.00% and 18.40%, respectively. In contrast, a combination of the LUT and TWI variables is the best for SOC mapping with the RK method, with a variance of 14.98%. The OK method seemed more accurate than the RK method for SOC mapping by 3.33% and for TN mapping by 10% but the RK method was found more precise than the OK method for soil pH mapping by 1.81%. Further selection of auxiliary variables and higher sampling density should be considered to improve the accuracy of the RK method. Full article
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Article
Combining Object-Based Image Analysis with Topographic Data for Landform Mapping: A Case Study in the Semi-Arid Chaco Ecosystem, Argentina
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2019, 8(3), 132; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijgi8030132 - 07 Mar 2019
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1582
Abstract
This paper presents an object-based approach to mapping a set of landforms located in the fluvio-eolian plain of Rio Dulce and alluvial plain of Rio Salado (Dry Chaco, Argentina), with two Landsat 8 images collected in summer and winter combined with topographic data. [...] Read more.
This paper presents an object-based approach to mapping a set of landforms located in the fluvio-eolian plain of Rio Dulce and alluvial plain of Rio Salado (Dry Chaco, Argentina), with two Landsat 8 images collected in summer and winter combined with topographic data. The research was conducted in two stages. The first stage focused on basic-spectral landform classifications where both pixel- and object-based image analyses were tested with five classification algorithms: Mahalanobis Distance (MD), Spectral Angle Mapper (SAM), Maximum Likelihood (ML), Support Vector Machine (SVM) and Decision Tree (DT). The results obtained indicate that object-based analyses clearly outperform pixel-based classifications, with an increase in accuracy of up to 35%. The second stage focused on advanced object-based derived variables with topographic ancillary data classifications. The combinations of variables were tested in order to obtain the most accurate map of landforms based on the most successful classifiers identified in the previous stage (ML, SVM and DT). The results indicate that DT is the most accurate classifier, exhibiting the highest overall accuracies with values greater than 72% in both the winter and summer images. Future work could combine both, the most appropriate methodologies and combinations of variables obtained in this study, with physico-chemical variables sampled to improve the classification of landforms and even of types of soil. Full article
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Article
Comparative Evaluation of the Spectral and Spatial Consistency of Sentinel-2 and Landsat-8 OLI Data for Igneada Longos Forest
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2019, 8(2), 56; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijgi8020056 - 28 Jan 2019
Cited by 23 | Viewed by 3255
Abstract
This study aims to test the spectral and spatial consistency of Sentinel-2 and Landsat-8 OLI data for the potential of monitoring longos forests for four seasons in Igneada, Turkey. Vegetation indices, including Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI) and Normalized [...] Read more.
This study aims to test the spectral and spatial consistency of Sentinel-2 and Landsat-8 OLI data for the potential of monitoring longos forests for four seasons in Igneada, Turkey. Vegetation indices, including Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI) and Normalized Difference Water Index (NDWI), were generated for the study area in addition to the five corresponding bands of Sentinel-2 and Landsat-8 OLI Images. Although the spectral consistency of the data was interpreted by cross-calibration analysis using the Pearson correlation coefficient, spatial consistency was evaluated by descriptive statistical analysis of investigated variables. In general, the highest correlation values were achieved for the images that were acquired in the spring season for almost all investigated variables. In the spring season, among the investigated variables, the Red band (B4), NDVI and EVI have the largest correlation coefficients of 0.94, 0.92 and 0.91, respectively. Regarding the spatial consistency, the mean and standard deviation values of all variables were consistent for all seasons except for the mean value of the NDVI for the fall season. As a result, if there is no atmospheric effect or data retrieval/acquisition error, either Landsat-8 or Sentinel-2 can be used as a combination or to provide the continuity data in longos monitoring applications. This study contributes to longos forest monitoring science in terms of remote sensing data analysis. Full article
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Article
Automatic Classification of Major Urban Land Covers Based on Novel Spectral Indices
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2018, 7(12), 453; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijgi7120453 - 22 Nov 2018
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 1897
Abstract
Urban land cover classification and mapping is an important and ongoing research field in monitoring and managing urban sprawl and terrestrial ecosystems. The changes in land cover largely affect the terrestrial ecosystem, thus information on land cover is important for understanding the ecological [...] Read more.
Urban land cover classification and mapping is an important and ongoing research field in monitoring and managing urban sprawl and terrestrial ecosystems. The changes in land cover largely affect the terrestrial ecosystem, thus information on land cover is important for understanding the ecological environment. Quantification of land cover in urban areas is challenging due to their diversified activities and large spatial and temporal variations. To improve urban land cover classification and mapping, this study presents three new spectral indices and an automated approach to classifying four major urban land types: impervious, bare land, vegetation, and water. A modified normalized difference bare-land index (MNDBI) is proposed to enhance the separation of impervious and bare land. A tasseled cap water and vegetation index (TCWVI) is proposed to enhance the detection of vegetation and water areas. A shadow index (ShDI) is proposed to further improve water detection by separating water from shadows. An approach for optimizing the thresholds of the new indices is also developed. Finally, the optimized thresholds are used to classify land covers using a decision tree algorithm. Using Landsat-8 Operational Land Imager (OLI) data from two study sites (Hong Kong and Dhaka City, Bangladesh) with different urban characteristics, the proposed approach is systematically evaluated. Spectral separability analysis of the new indices is performed and compared with other common indices. The urban land cover classifications achieved by the proposed approach are compared with those of the classic support vector machine (SVM) algorithm. The proposed approach achieves an overall classification accuracy of 94–96%, which is superior to the accuracy of the SVM algorithm. Full article
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Article
Direct Impacts of Climate Change and Indirect Impacts of Non-Climate Change on Land Surface Phenology Variation across Northern China
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2018, 7(11), 451; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijgi7110451 - 19 Nov 2018
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1576
Abstract
Land surface phenology (LSP) is a sensitive indicator of climate change. Understanding the variation in LSP under various impacts can improve our knowledge on ecosystem dynamics and biosphere-atmosphere interactions. Over recent decades, LSP derived from remote sensing data and climate change-related variation of [...] Read more.
Land surface phenology (LSP) is a sensitive indicator of climate change. Understanding the variation in LSP under various impacts can improve our knowledge on ecosystem dynamics and biosphere-atmosphere interactions. Over recent decades, LSP derived from remote sensing data and climate change-related variation of LSP have been widely reported at the regional and global scales. However, the smoothing methods of the vegetation index (i.e., NDVI) are diverse, and discrepancies among methods may result in different results. Additionally, LSP is affected by climate change and non-climate change simultaneously. However, few studies have focused on the isolated impacts of climate change and the impacts of non-climate change on LSP variation. In this study, four methods were applied to reconstruct the MODIS enhanced vegetation index (EVI) dataset to choose the best smoothing result to estimate LSP. Subsequently, the variation in the start of season (SOS) and end of season (EOS) under isolated impacts of climate change were analyzed. Furthermore, the indirect effects of isolated impacts of non-climate change were conducted based on the differences between the combined impact (the impacts of both climate change and non-climate change) and isolated impacts of climate change. Our results indicated that the Savitzky-Golay method is the best method of the four for smoothing EVI in Northern China. Additionally, SOS displayed an advanced trend under the impacts of both climate change and non-climate change (hereafter called the combined impact), isolated impacts of climate change, and isolated impacts of non-climate change, with mean values of −0.26, −0.07, and −0.17 days per year, respectively. Moreover, the trend of SOS continued after 2000, but the magnitudes of changes in SOS after 2000 were lower than those that were estimated over the last two decades of the twentieth century (previous studies). EOS showed a delayed trend under the combined impact and isolated impacts of non-climate change, with mean values of 0.41 and 0.43 days per year, respectively. However, EOS advanced with a mean value of −0.16 days per year under the isolated impacts of climate change. Furthermore, the absolute mean values of SOS and EOS trends under the isolated impacts of non-climate change were larger than that of the isolated impacts of climate change, indicating that the effect of non-climate change on LSP variation was larger than that of climate change. With regard to the relative contribution of climatic factors to the variation in SOS and EOS, the proportion of solar radiation was the largest for both SOS and EOS, followed by precipitation and temperature. Full article
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Article
Using Satellite-Borne Remote Sensing Data in Generating Local Warming Maps with Enhanced Resolution
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2018, 7(10), 398; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijgi7100398 - 06 Oct 2018
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1569
Abstract
Warming, i.e., increments of temperature, is evident at the global, regional, and local level. However, understanding the dynamics of local warming at high spatial resolution remains challenging. In fact, it is very common to see extremely variable land cover/land use within built-up environments [...] Read more.
Warming, i.e., increments of temperature, is evident at the global, regional, and local level. However, understanding the dynamics of local warming at high spatial resolution remains challenging. In fact, it is very common to see extremely variable land cover/land use within built-up environments that create micro-climatic conditions. To address this issue, our overall goal was to generate a local warming map for the period 1961–2010 at 15 m spatial resolution over the southern part of the Canadian province of Alberta. Our proposed methods consisted of three distinct steps. These were the: (i) construction of high spatial resolution enhanced vegetation index (EVI) and normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) maps; (ii) conversion of air temperature (Ta) normal (i.e., 30 years average) at higher spatial resolution using vegetation indices (VI); and (iii) generation of a local warming map at 15m spatial resolution. In order to execute this study, we employed MODIS-driven air temperature data, EVI and NDVI data, and Landsat-driven vegetation indices. The study uncovered that around 58% (up to positive 1 °C) of areas in the considered study region were experiencing increased temperature; whereas only about 4% of areas underwent a cooling trend (more than negative 0.25 °C). The remaining 38% did not exhibit significant change in temperature. We concluded that remote sensing technology could be useful to enhance the spatial resolution of local warming maps, which would be useful for decision-makers considering efficient decisions in the face of increments in local temperature. Full article
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Article
Nesting Patterns of Loggerhead Sea Turtles (Caretta caretta): Development of a Multiple Regression Model Tested in North Carolina, USA
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2018, 7(9), 348; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijgi7090348 - 25 Aug 2018
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2317
Abstract
Numerous environmental conditions may influence when a female Loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) selects a nesting site. Limited research has used Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and statistical analysis to study sea turtle spatial patterns and temporal trends. Therefore, the goals of [...] Read more.
Numerous environmental conditions may influence when a female Loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) selects a nesting site. Limited research has used Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and statistical analysis to study sea turtle spatial patterns and temporal trends. Therefore, the goals of this research were to identify areas that were most prevalent for nesting and to test social and environmental variables to create a nesting suitability predictive model. Data were analyzed at all barrier island beaches in North Carolina, USA (515 km) and several variables were statistically significant: distance to hardened structures, beach nourishment, house density, distance to inlets, and beach elevation, slope, and width. Interestingly, variables that were not significant were population density, proximity to the Gulf Stream, and beach aspect. Several statistical techniques were tested and Negative Binomial Distribution produced good regional results while Geographically Weighted Regression models successfully predicted the number of nests with an average of 75% of the variance explained. Therefore, the combination of traditional and spatial statistics provided insightful predictive modeling results that may be incorporated into management strategies and may have important implications for the designation of critical Loggerhead nesting habitats. Full article
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Article
Prioritizing Abandoned Mine Lands Rehabilitation: Combining Landscape Connectivity and Pattern Indices with Scenario Analysis Using Land-Use Modeling
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2018, 7(8), 305; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijgi7080305 - 31 Jul 2018
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1489
Abstract
Connectivity modeling approaches for abandoned mine lands (AML) patches are limited in post-mining landscape restoration, especially where great land use changes might be expected due to large-scale land reclamation. This study presents a novel approach combining AML patch sizes with a proximity index [...] Read more.
Connectivity modeling approaches for abandoned mine lands (AML) patches are limited in post-mining landscape restoration, especially where great land use changes might be expected due to large-scale land reclamation. This study presents a novel approach combining AML patch sizes with a proximity index to characterize patch-scaled connectivity for determining the spatial positions of patches with huge sizes and high connectivity. Then this study propose a scenario-based method coupled with landscape-scale metrics for quantifying landscape-scaled connectivity, which aims at exploring the optimal reclamation scheme with the highest connectivity. Using the Mentougou District in Beijing, China, as a case study, this paper confirmed which patches should be reclaimed first to meet the predetermined reclamation numbers; then this paper tested three different reclamation scenarios (i.e., cultivated land-oriented, forest-oriented, and construction land-oriented scenarios) to describe the impact of the different development strategies on landscape connectivity. The research found that the forest-oriented scenario increased connectivity quantitatively, showing an increase in the integral index of connectivity (IIC) and other landscape-scale metrics. Therefore, this paper suggests that future land-use policies should emphasize converting AML into more forest to blend in with the surrounding land-use categories. The findings presented here can contribute to better understanding the quantitative analysis of the connectivity of AML patches at both the patch scale and the landscape scale, thus providing scientific support for AML management in mine-site rehabilitation. Full article
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Article
Phenology Response to Climatic Dynamic across China’s Grasslands from 1985 to 2010
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2018, 7(8), 290; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijgi7080290 - 24 Jul 2018
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1563
Abstract
Because the dynamics of phenology in response to climate change may be diverse in different grasslands, quantifying how climate change influences plant growth in different grasslands across northern China should be particularly informative. In this study, we explored the spatiotemporal variation of the [...] Read more.
Because the dynamics of phenology in response to climate change may be diverse in different grasslands, quantifying how climate change influences plant growth in different grasslands across northern China should be particularly informative. In this study, we explored the spatiotemporal variation of the phenology (start of the growing season [SOS], peak of the growing season [POS], end of the growing season [EOS], and length of the growing season [LOS]) across China’s grasslands using a dataset of the GIMMS3g normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI, 1985–2010), and determined the effects of the annual mean temperature (AMT) and annual mean precipitation (AMP) on the significantly changed phenology. We found that the SOS, POS, and EOS advanced at the rates of 0.54 days/year, 0.64 days/year, and 0.65 days/year, respectively; the LOS was shortened at a rate of 0.62 days/year across China’s grasslands. Additionally, the AMT combined with the AMP explained the different rates (ER) for the significantly dynamic SOS in the meadow steppe (R2 = 0.26, p = 0.007, ER = 12.65%) and typical steppe (R2 = 0.28, p = 0.005, ER = 32.52%); the EOS in the alpine steppe (R2 = 0.16, p < 0.05, ER = 6.22%); and the LOS in the alpine (R2 = 0.20, p < 0.05, ER = 6.06%), meadow (R2 = 0.18, p < 0.05, ER = 16.69%) and typical (R2 = 0.18, p < 0.05, ER = 19.58%) steppes. Our findings demonstrated that the plant phenology in different grasslands presented discrepant dynamic patterns, highlighting the fact that climate change has played an important role in the variation of the plant phenology across China’s grasslands, and suggested that the variation and relationships between the climatic factors and phenology in different grasslands should be explored further in the future. Full article
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Article
Distribution Pattern of Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes) Dens and Spatial Relationships with Sea Turtle Nests, Recreation, and Environmental Characteristics
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2018, 7(7), 247; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijgi7070247 - 23 Jun 2018
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1965
Abstract
Although sea turtles are formidable prey as adults, their nests are highly vulnerable to terrestrial predation. Along the Southeastern coast of the United States, a primary predator of sea turtle nests is the red fox (Vulpes vulpes). Examining the relationship between [...] Read more.
Although sea turtles are formidable prey as adults, their nests are highly vulnerable to terrestrial predation. Along the Southeastern coast of the United States, a primary predator of sea turtle nests is the red fox (Vulpes vulpes). Examining the relationship between fox populations and nest predation is often difficult due to coastal development. Masonboro Island, North Carolina is an undeveloped, natural, 13-km-long barrier island complex that is a component of the North Carolina National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR). Masonboro Island consists of beaches, a dune ridge, back barrier flats, an expansive salt marsh, a lagoon, and spoil islands seaward of the Intracoastal Waterway. A field survey, which was conducted each spring from 2009 through 2012, recorded den entrance coordinates based upon recent use by foxes. Sea turtle nests were located using a similar survey methodology, which identifies viable and predated nests as well as false crawls. A series of spatial-temporal pattern analysis techniques were used to identify trends through time. The results indicated that: (1) fox den entrances and predated sea turtle nests were clustered throughout the island (p = 0.01); (2) den entrances in the northern part of the island were closer to the sea turtle nests than other locations on the island; (3) fox den entrances were positively correlated (p = 0.01) with dune height, (4) fox den entrances were located closer to the island boat access sites than expected (p = 0.01). A variety of spatial sensitivity tests were used to test the validity of the statistically significant cluster analyses. A Geographically Weighted Regression model was created to predict the location of fox dens using dune elevation, the distance to predated sea turtle nests, and the distance to boat access sites. The model accounted for 40% of the variance and had a small residual error, which indicates that the independent variables were statistically valid. Results from this project will be used by the NC NERR staff to develop management plans and to further study fox-related impacts on the island. For example, given the higher density of fox den entrances on the northern part of the island, managers may consider targeted wildlife control measures during the sea turtle nesting season to diminish predation. Full article
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Article
Characterizing Light Pollution Trends across Protected Areas in China Using Nighttime Light Remote Sensing Data
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2018, 7(7), 243; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijgi7070243 - 22 Jun 2018
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 2175
Abstract
Protected areas (PAs) with natural, ecological, and cultural value play important roles related to biological processes, biodiversity, and ecosystem services. Over the past four decades, the spatial range and intensity of light pollution in China has experienced an unprecedented increase. Few studies have [...] Read more.
Protected areas (PAs) with natural, ecological, and cultural value play important roles related to biological processes, biodiversity, and ecosystem services. Over the past four decades, the spatial range and intensity of light pollution in China has experienced an unprecedented increase. Few studies have been documented on the light pollution across PAs in China, especially in regions that provide a greater amount of important biodiversity conservation. Here, nighttime light satellite images from the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program Operational Linescan System (DMSP-OLS) were selected to characterize light pollution trends across PAs using nighttime light indexes and hot spot analysis, and then the light pollution changes in PAs were classified. Furthermore, the causes of light pollution changes in PAs were determined using high-resolution satellite images and statistical data. The results showed the following: (1) Approximately 57.30% of PAs had an increasing trend from 1992 to 2012, and these PAs were mainly located in the eastern region, the central region, and a small part of the western region of China. Hot spot analysis showed that the patterns of change for the total night light and night light mean had spatial agglomeration characteristics; (2) The PAs affected by light pollution changes were divided into eight classes, of which PAs with stable trends accounted for 41%, and PAs with high increasing trends accounted for 10%. PAs that had high increasing trends with low density accounted for the smallest amount, i.e., only 1%; (3) The factors influencing light pollution changes in PAs included the distance to urban areas, mineral exploitation, and tourism development and the migration of residents. Finally, based on the status of light pollution encroachment into PAs, strategies to control light pollution and enhance the sustainable development of PAs are recommended. Full article
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Article
A Regional Mapping Method for Oilseed Rape Based on HSV Transformation and Spectral Features
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2018, 7(6), 224; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijgi7060224 - 16 Jun 2018
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2092
Abstract
This study proposed a colorimetric transformation and spectral features-based oilseed rape extraction algorithm (CSRA) to map oilseed rape at the provincial scale as a first step towards country-scale coverage. Using a stepwise analysis strategy, our method gradually separates vegetation from non-vegetation, crop from [...] Read more.
This study proposed a colorimetric transformation and spectral features-based oilseed rape extraction algorithm (CSRA) to map oilseed rape at the provincial scale as a first step towards country-scale coverage. Using a stepwise analysis strategy, our method gradually separates vegetation from non-vegetation, crop from non-crop, and oilseed rape from winter wheat. The wide-field view (WFV) images from Chinese Gaofen satellite no. 1 (GF-1) at six continuous flowering stages in Wuxue City, Hubei Province, China are used to extract the unique characteristics of oilseed rape during the flowering period and predict the parameter of the CSRA method. The oilseed rape maps of Hubei Province from 2014 to 2017 are obtained automatically based on the CSRA method using GF-1 WFV images. As a result, the CSRA-derived provincial oilseed rape maps achieved at least 85% overall accuracy of spatial consistency when comparing with local reference oilseed rape maps and lower than 20% absolute error of provincial planting areas when comparing with agricultural census data. The robustness of the CSRA method is also tested on other satellite images including one panchromatic and multispectral image from GF-2 and two RapidEye images. Moreover, the comparison between the CSRA and other previous methods is discussed using the six GF-1 WFV images of Wuxue City, showing the proposed method has better mapping accuracy than other tested methods. These results highlight the potential of our method for accurate extraction and regional mapping capacity for oilseed rape. Full article
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Article
New Geospatial Approaches for Efficiently Mapping Forest Biomass Logistics at High Resolution over Large Areas
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2018, 7(4), 156; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijgi7040156 - 20 Apr 2018
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2233
Abstract
Adequate biomass feedstock supply is an important factor in evaluating the financial feasibility of alternative site locations for bioenergy facilities and for maintaining profitability once a facility is built. We used newly developed spatial analysis and logistics software to model the variables influencing [...] Read more.
Adequate biomass feedstock supply is an important factor in evaluating the financial feasibility of alternative site locations for bioenergy facilities and for maintaining profitability once a facility is built. We used newly developed spatial analysis and logistics software to model the variables influencing feedstock supply and to estimate and map two components of the supply chain for a bioenergy facility: (1) the total biomass stocks available within an economically efficient transportation distance; (2) the cost of logistics to move the required stocks from the forest to the facility. Both biomass stocks and flows have important spatiotemporal dynamics that affect procurement costs and project viability. Though seemingly straightforward, these two components can be difficult to quantify and map accurately in a useful and spatially explicit manner. For an 8 million hectare study area, we used raster-based methods and tools to quantify and visualize these supply metrics at 10 m2 spatial resolution. The methodology and software leverage a novel raster-based least-cost path modeling algorithm that quantifies off-road and on-road transportation and other logistics costs. The results of the case study highlight the efficiency, flexibility, fine resolution, and spatial complexity of model outputs developed for facility siting and procurement planning. Full article
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Article
Mapping Forest Characteristics at Fine Resolution across Large Landscapes of the Southeastern United States Using NAIP Imagery and FIA Field Plot Data
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2018, 7(4), 140; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijgi7040140 - 03 Apr 2018
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 2280
Abstract
Accurate information is important for effective management of natural resources. In the field of forestry, field measurements of forest characteristics such as species composition, basal area, and stand density are used to inform and evaluate management activities. Quantifying these metrics accurately across large [...] Read more.
Accurate information is important for effective management of natural resources. In the field of forestry, field measurements of forest characteristics such as species composition, basal area, and stand density are used to inform and evaluate management activities. Quantifying these metrics accurately across large landscapes in a meaningful way is extremely important to facilitate informed decision-making. In this study, we present a remote sensing based methodology to estimate species composition, basal area and stand tree density for pine and hardwood tree species at the spatial resolution of a Forest Inventory Analysis (FIA) program plot (78 m by 70 m). Our methodology uses textural metrics derived at this spatial scale to relate plot summaries of forest characteristics to remotely sensed National Agricultural Imagery Program (NAIP) aerial imagery across broad extents. Our findings quantify strong relationships between NAIP imagery and FIA field data. On average, models of basal area and trees per acre accounted for 43% of the variation in the FIA data, while models identifying species composition had less than 15.2% error in predicted class probabilities. Moreover, these relationships can be used to spatially characterize the condition of forests at fine spatial resolutions across broad extents. Full article
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Article
Fine Resolution Probabilistic Land Cover Classification of Landscapes in the Southeastern United States
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2018, 7(3), 107; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijgi7030107 - 14 Mar 2018
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2763
Abstract
Land cover classification provides valuable information for prioritizing management and conservation operations across large landscapes. Current regional scale land cover geospatial products within the United States have a spatial resolution that is too coarse to provide the necessary information for operations at the [...] Read more.
Land cover classification provides valuable information for prioritizing management and conservation operations across large landscapes. Current regional scale land cover geospatial products within the United States have a spatial resolution that is too coarse to provide the necessary information for operations at the local and project scales. This paper describes a methodology that uses recent advances in spatial analysis software to create a land cover classification over a large region in the southeastern United States at a fine (1 m) spatial resolution. This methodology used image texture metrics and principle components derived from National Agriculture Imagery Program (NAIP) aerial photographic imagery, visually classified locations, and a softmax neural network model. The model efficiently produced classification surfaces at 1 m resolution across roughly 11.6 million hectares (28.8 million acres) with less than 10% average error in modeled probability. The classification surfaces consist of probability estimates of 13 visually distinct classes for each 1 m cell across the study area. This methodology and the tools used in this study constitute a highly flexible fine resolution land cover classification that can be applied across large extents using standard computer hardware, common and open source software and publicly available imagery. Full article
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