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The effects of successional age and forest site type on radiance of forest clear-cut communities

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Remote sensing offers reliable information on the rate and pattern of clear-cut logging and provides this information as relatively frequent updates, over large areas, and at relatively low cost. Temporal gaps in yearly images in a multiyear data set ranging from 1 year to multiple years can lead to inaccuracies in the determination of the area of clear-cuts and the estimation of clear-cut age. This study tested the dependence of reflectance in Landsat Thematic Mapper bands 1–5 and 7 and normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) on forest age, gap size and forest type within the first 10 years following clear-cut logging in different seasons. The results of the study show that late winter images with snow-covered ground are phenologically the best timed images for detecting forest clear-cut area regionally. Spring and summer image are more useful for estimation of the successional age of clear-cut areas in various soil fertility and moisture conditions.

Keywords: Change detection; Landsat TM; forest site type; forest succession; multitemporal satellite image; phenological changes

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Institute of Botany and Ecology, Tartu University, Tartu, Estonia 2: Institute of Forestry and Rural Engineering, Estonian Agricultural University, Tartu, Estonia

Publication date: October 1, 2005

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