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Estimating east Mediterranean forest parameters using Landsat ETM

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The conservation of Jordan's Mediterranean forest requires the use of remote sensing. Among the most important parameters needed are the crown-cover percentage (C) and above-ground biomass (A). This study aims to: (1) identify the best predictor(s) of C using Landsat Enhanced Thematic Mapper (ETM) bands and the derived transformed normalized difference vegetation index (TNDVI); (2) determine if C is a good predictor of A, volume (V), Shannon diversity index (S) and basal area (B); and (3) generate maps of all these parameters. A Landsat ETM image, aerial photographs and ground surveys are used to model C using multiple regression. C is then modelled to A, V, S and B using linear regression. The relationship between C and Landsat ETM bands (1 and 7) plus the TNDVI is significantly high (coefficient of determination R2 = 0.8) and is used to produce the C map. The generated C map is used to predict A (R2 = 0.56), V (R2 = 0.58), S (R2 = 0.50) and B (R2 = 0.43). Cross validation for the predicted C map (cross-validation error = 5.3%) and for the predicted forest-parameter maps (cross-validation error = 13.7%-19.9%) shows acceptable error levels. Results indicate that Jordan's east Mediterranean forest parameters can be mapped and monitored for biomass accumulation and carbon dioxide (CO2) flux using Landsat ETM images.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Natural Resources & Environment, Faculty of Agriculture, Jordan University of Science and Technology, P.O. Box 3030, Irbid, Jordan 2: Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture, Stephen F. Austin State University, P.O. Box 6109, SFA Station, Nacogdoches, TX, USA

Publication date: March 1, 2011

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