Textural analysis of high resolution imagery to quantify bush encroachment in Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa, 1955-1996
Fire suppression associated with decades of cattle grazing can result in bush encroachment in savannas. Textural analyses of historical, high resolution images was used to characterize bush densities across a South African study landscape. A control site, where vegetation was assumed to have changed minimally for the duration of the image record (1955-1996), was used to standardize textural values between multidate images. Standardized textural values were then converted to estimates of percent woody canopy cover using a simple linear regression model. Results indicate a 30% relative increase in percent woody cover between 1955 and 1996.