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Stratification of forest density and its validation by NDVI analysis in a part of western Himalaya, India using Remote sensing and GIS techniques

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This study deals with the assessment of the status of forest density in the Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh, western Himalaya. A classified forest map of the area with an accuracy of 88.17% was produced using the hybrid classification method in Erdas Imagine. An IRS 1D LISS III satellite image was used for mapping and classification. Forest density was calculated in the ArcGIS environment by overlaying a mesh of uniform resolution cells (500 m×500 m) on a classified forest map. The forest density value of each cell was later used for the preparation of forest density contours. The forest density output was verified by Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) analyses. The forest cover of the study area was found to be 34.3%. Baroh area had the highest (45.87%) forest density and Baijnath (18.65%) the lowest. Central and western regions of the district showed high-value forest density contours (>50%). The derived NDVI values were compared against the forest density classes for assessing the accuracy of the results obtained. A positive correlation (r = 0.99) between NDVI values and forest density confirms the accuracy of the results.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Institute of Himalayan Bioresource Technology, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Palampur, Himachal Pradesh 176 061, India

Publication date: January 1, 2007

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