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Spectral indices for estimating ecological indicators of karst rocky desertification

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Karst rocky desertification is a process of land desertification associated with human disturbance of the fragile eco-geological setting of karst ecosystems. The fractional cover of photosynthetic vegetation (PV), non-photosynthetic vegetation (NPV), bare soil and exposed bedrock are key ecological indicators of the extent and degree of land degradation in karst regions. In this study, field spectral-reflectance measurements were used to develop a karst rocky desertification synthesis index (KRDSI) based on unique spectral features observed in non-vegetation land-cover types (NPV, bare soil and exposed bedrock) and were used to estimate the fractional cover of NPV, bare soil and exposed bedrock. Compared with linear spectral unmixing (LSU) using a tied-spectrum transform, the KRDSI is more consistent with the field measurement of non-vegetation land-cover fractions. This study indicates that ecological indicators of karst rocky desertification can be extracted relatively simply with the combination of vegetation indices and KRDSI values.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Key Laboratory of Agro-ecological Processes in Subtropical Region, Institute of Subtropical Agriculture, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Hunan, China,Huanjiang Experimental Station of Karst Ecosystem, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Huanjiang, Guangxi Province, China 2: Center for Earth Observation and Digital Earth, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China 3: Institute of Remote Sensing Applications, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China 4: Institute of Space and Earth Information Science, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong 5: Key Laboratory of Agro-ecological Processes in Subtropical Region, Institute of Subtropical Agriculture, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Hunan, China

Publication date: 2010-03-01

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