New paper: Estimating changes and trends in ecosystem extent with dense time‐series satellite remote sensing

Calvin Lee

One of the main ways we can do to track ecosystem status is by looking at its extent change over time, as decreasing extent is associated with reduced carrying capacity, niche diversity, and resources, leading to increased competition, predation, and threats. In our recent study, we demonstrated a new method of using satellite data to estimate ecosystem extent and trend that uses all Landsat images available over the region while requiring no field data.

We used Hukaung Valley Wildlife Sanctuary as our case-study area. Here, goldmining has become an important source of income for local communities, but these mines have resulted in extensive deforestation. We aimed to quantify forest extent change in the region between 1999-2018.

By taking advantage of Google Earth Engine’s capacity to run more than 650 classification models based on Landsat imagery, we then used Generalised Additive Mixed Models (GAMMs) to calculate ecosystem extent trend through…

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