Mapping major land cover types and retrieving the age of secondary forests in the Brazilian Amazon by combining single-date optical and radar remote sensing data

Awduron Sefydliadau
Math Erthygl
Iaith wreiddiolSaesneg
Tudalennau (o-i)16-32
Nifer y tudalennau17
CyfnodolynRemote Sensing of Environment
Dyddiad ar-lein cynnar24 Maw 2017
Dangosyddion eitem ddigidol (DOIs)
StatwsCyhoeddwyd - 01 Meh 2017
Arddangos ystadegau lawrlwytho
Gweld graff cysylltiadau
Fformatau enwi


Secondary forests play an important role in restoring carbon and biodiversity lost previously through deforestation and degradation and yet there is little information available on the extent of different successional stages. Such knowledge is particularly needed in tropical regions where past and current disturbance rates have been high but regeneration is rapid. Focusing on three areas in the Brazilian Amazon (Manaus, Santarém, Machadinho d'Oeste), this study aimed to evaluate the use of single-date Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) and Advanced Land Observing Satellite (ALOS) Phased Arrayed L-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (PALSAR) data in the 2007–2010 period for i) discriminating mature forest, non-forest and secondary forest, and ii) retrieving the age of secondary forests (ASF), with 100 m × 100 m training areas obtained by the analysis of an extensive time-series of Landsat sensor data over the three sites. A machine learning algorithm (random forests) was used in combination with ALOS PALSAR backscatter intensity at HH and HV polarizations and Landsat 5 TM surface reflectance in the visible, near-infrared and shortwave infrared spectral regions. Overall accuracy when discriminating mature forest, non-forest and secondary forest is high (95–96%), with the highest errors in the secondary forest class (omission and commission errors in the range 4–6% and 12–20% respectively) because of misclassification as mature forest. Root mean square error (RMSE) and bias when retrieving ASF ranged between 4.3–4.7 years (relative RMSE = 25.5–32.0%) and 0.04–0.08 years respectively. On average, unbiased ASF estimates can be obtained using the method proposed here (Wilcoxon test, p-value > 0.05). However, the bias decomposition by 5-year interval ASF classes showed that most age estimates are biased, with consistent overestimation in secondary forests up to 10–15 years of age and underestimation in secondary forests of at least 20 years of age. Comparison with the classification results obtained from the analysis of extensive time-series of Landsat sensor data showed a good agreement, with Pearson's coefficient of correlation (R) of the proportion of mature forest, non-forest and secondary forest at 1-km grid cells ranging between 0.97–0.98, 0.96–0.98 and 0.84–0.90 in the 2007–2010 period, respectively. The agreement was lower (R = 0.82–0.85) when using the same dataset to compare the ability of ALOS PALSAR and Landsat 5 TM data to retrieve ASF. This was also dependent on the study area, especially when considering mapping secondary forest and retrieving ASF, with Manaus displaying better agreement when compared to the results at Santarém and Machadinho d'Oeste