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Mapping of the tropical forest cover of insular Southeast Asia from SPOT4-Vegetation images

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The objective of this study was to refine the methodology for a regional assessment of tropical forest cover in insular Southeast Asia from coarse resolution satellite images. SPOT4-Vegetation 10-day composites from 1998 to 2000 were used for the generation of a cloud free sub-regional mosaic image. Pixel selection was based on minimum values in the short-wave (monthly composites) and near-infrared spectral bands (annual composites), providing a maximum discrimination between forest and non-forest. A forest cover map was derived from digital classification of the dataset. The classification result was validated by comparison with the interpretation of 19 Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) reference sites distributed over the sub-region. Forest area estimates were derived from the map and compared to Forest Resources Assessment 2000 data compiled by the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. Results show that the new coarse resolution satellite sensor can provide sufficient information for mapping of tropical forest cover at the regional and sub-regional level.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Institute for Environment and Sustainability Global Vegetation Monitoring Unit, European Commission Joint Research Centre TP440, I-21020 Ispra (Va) Italy 2: RSS GmbH Wörthstrasse 49 D-81667 München Germany

Publication date: September 1, 2003

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