Does S2GLC 2017 map detect forests five years after regeneration?

Radosław Jagiełło, Szymon Pikulik

Abstract


Land cover and use maps are great sources of generalised information. Focusing on forestry, they could be employed to assess forested areas and their changes in time. Together with advances in technology we are able to capture images with a high spatial resolution, reaching 10 m for images from satellites of the Sentinel-2 mission. Our goal was to evaluate the applicability of maps resulting from the S2GLC project (Seninel-2 Global Land Cover) in assessing forest cover of areas five years after regeneration. Sample plots (n=33) were surveyed in a conventional manner by the Forest Service to assess forest cover. Then land cover maps were referred to data from the Polish Forest Data Bank and forest cover was assessed using two different programs: ImageJ (manually) and QGIS plug-in RasterStats (automatically). Assessment conducted on site indicated 94% total forest cover on all plots taken together. Both programs based on the data from the maps showed a lower forest cover amounting to 71 and 73%, respectively. In turn, RastrStats classified many more pixels than had been expected and a potential source of error was here discussed. Forest juvenile phases may be partially misinterpreted and classified on land cover maps also as marshes, peatbogs, herbaceous vegetation or cultivated areas. Hence, when areas after reforestation are defined as forest, land cover map used here may to some extent underestimate the actual area covered by forests. 

Keywords


forest regeneration, ImageJ, land cover, land use, optical satellites, RasterStats

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References


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Forestry Letters  eISSN 2450-4920

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