Characterization of landscape patterns of deforestation in tropical rain forests
Patterns due to clearance and cultivation in the tropical rain forest are analysed and interpreted using high resolution remote sensing data. Within a wide variety of pattern indices, some are selected on statistical criteria to enable a cross-site comparison over different sites around the tropical belt and to monitor the landscape dynamics on one of them. The in-site variability of these indices is analysed to identify several landscape patterns of distinct land uses and to stratify the image on different landscape patterns. A cross site comparison reveals high differences of deforestation patterns between sites in terms of landscape configuration and complexity, of distribution and isolation of patches, and of degree of fragmentation. And the monitoring of landscape dynamic on a Brazilian site shows tremendous changes over the last 25 years and landscape pattern indices help to identify trends and quantify landscape changes: percentage forest decreases with forest cover, while Matheron index increases with fragmentation of landscape and fractal index increases with complexity of landscape pattern. Thus landscape pattern indices provide useful quantification to better analyse in-site variability, cross site comparison and changes over time.