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Mapping Forest Successional Stages in the Brazilian Amazon Using Forest Heights Derived From TanDEM-X SAR Interferometry

Bispo, Polyanna and Pardini, Matteo and Papathanassiou, Konstantinos and Kugler, Florian and Balzter, Heiko and Rains, Dominik and Dos Santos, Joao Roberto and Rizaev, Igor and Tansey, Kevin and Dos Santos, Maiza and Spinelli-Araujo, Luciana (2019) Mapping Forest Successional Stages in the Brazilian Amazon Using Forest Heights Derived From TanDEM-X SAR Interferometry. Remote Sensing of Environment, pp. 1-16. Elsevier. ISSN 0034-4257.

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Official URL: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0034425719302068


Knowledge of the spatial patterns of successional stages (i.e., primary and secondary forest) in tropical forests allows to monitor forest preservation, mortality and regeneration in relation to natural and anthropogenic disturbances. Different successional stages have also different capabilities of re-establishing carbon stocks. Therefore, a successful discrimination of successional stages over wide areas can lead to an improved quantification of above ground biomass and carbon stocks. The reduction of the mapping uncertainties is especially a challenge due to high heterogeneity of the tropical vegetation. In this framework, the development of innovative remote sensing approaches is required. Forests (top) height (and its spatial distribution) are an important structural parameter that can be used to differentiate between different successional stages, and can be provided by Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) acquisitions. In this context, this paper investigates the potential of forest heights estimated from TanDEM-X InSAR data and a LiDAR digital terrain model (DTM) for separating successional stages (primary or old growth and secondary forest at different stages of succession) by means of a maximum likelihood classification. The study was carried out in the region of the Tapajós National Forest (Pará, Brazil) in the Amazon biome. The forest heights for three years (2012, 2013 and 2016) were estimated from a single-polarization in bistatic mode using InSAR model-based inversion techniques aided by the LiDAR digital terrain model. The validation of the TanDEM-X forest heights with independent LiDAR H100 datasets was carried out in the location of seven field inventory plots (measuring 50 × 50 m, equivalent to 0.25 ha), also allowing for the validation of the LiDAR datasets against the field data. The validation of the estimated heights showed a high correlation (r = 0.93) and a low uncertainty (RMSE = 3 m). The information about the successional stages and forest heights from field datasets was used to select training samples in the LiDAR and TanDEM-X forest heights to classify successional stages with a maximum likelihood classifier. The identification of different stages of forest succession based on TanDEM-X forest heights was possible with an overall accuracy of about 80%.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/130939/
Document Type:Article
Title:Mapping Forest Successional Stages in the Brazilian Amazon Using Forest Heights Derived From TanDEM-X SAR Interferometry
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iD
Bispo, PolyannaUniversity of LeicesterUNSPECIFIED
Pardini, MatteoMatteo.Pardini (at) dlr.dehttps://orcid.org/0000-0003-2018-7514
Papathanassiou, KonstantinosKostas.Papathanassiou (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Balzter, HeikoUniversity of LeicesterUNSPECIFIED
Rains, DominikUniversity of LeicesterUNSPECIFIED
Dos Santos, Joao RobertoNational Institute of Space Research (INPE)UNSPECIFIED
Rizaev, IgorUniversity of BristolUNSPECIFIED
Tansey, KevinUniversity of LeicesterUNSPECIFIED
Dos Santos, MaizaBrazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (EMBRAPA)UNSPECIFIED
Spinelli-Araujo, LucianaBrazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (EMBRAPA)UNSPECIFIED
Date:October 2019
Journal or Publication Title:Remote Sensing of Environment
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Page Range:pp. 1-16
Keywords:Tropical forests; Successional stages; Forest height; Synthetic Aperture Radar; Interferometry; TanDEM-X
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Earth Observation
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R EO - Earth Observation
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Projekt TanDEM-X (old)
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:Microwaves and Radar Institute > Radar Concepts
Deposited By: Pardini, Dr.-Ing. Matteo
Deposited On:21 Nov 2019 10:26
Last Modified:10 Dec 2019 10:31

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