The Earth’s forests fix carbon from the atmosphere during photosynthesis, Scientists are concerned that massive forest removals may promote an increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide, with possible global warming and related environmental effects. Space-based remote sensing may enable the production of accurate world forest maps needed to examine this concern objectively. To test the limits of remote sensing for large-area forest mapping, we use LANDSAT data acquired over a site in the forested mountains of southern California to examine the relative capacities of a variety of popular image processing algorithms to discriminate different forest types. Results indicate that certain algorithms are best suited to forest classification. Differences in performance between the algorithms tested appear related to variations in their sensitivities to spectral variations caused by background reflectance, differential illumination, and spatial pattern by species. Results emphasize the complexity between the land-cover regime, remotely sensed data and the algorithms used to process these data.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)