Fine temporal resolution satellite sensors with global coverage:an opportunity for landscape ecologists

Pazúr, R. and Price, B. and Atkinson, P.M. (2021) Fine temporal resolution satellite sensors with global coverage:an opportunity for landscape ecologists. Landscape Ecology, 36. pp. 2199-2213. ISSN 0921-2973

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Context: Open data policies and accessible computation platforms allow efficient extraction of information from remote sensing data for landscape research. Landscape ecology is strongly influenced by remote sensing, and the value of fine resolution temporal information for characterising landscapes is under-explored. Objectives: We highlighted the importance of temporal information extracted from remote sensing data gathered over a period of time for landscape research. A case study approach was used to show how time-series information can benefit the mapping of land cover and landscape elements in a heterogeneous landscape dominated by agricultural land use. Methods: We constructed four composite images of the study area, each incorporating different levels of temporal information. The images either represent a single date or summarise temporal information into single values as the median of spectral bands or vegetation indices. Random forest and k-means clustering methods were used to classify the images. Results: The overall accuracy of the landscape classifications ranged between 0.3 to 0.8, increasing substantially when including temporal information, for mapping both land cover and small landscape elements. Using temporal information and a RF-based classification it was generally possible to map crop and forest types. The size of landscape elements was overestimated, although the clustering model predicted elements close to their true size and complexity. Conclusions: The approach highlights the importance of temporal resolution for landscape ecology research. The easy-to-implement methodology offers an opportunity for landscape ecologists to increase the accuracy of landscape mapping and identify ecologically important landscape elements that might otherwise be missed. © 2021, The Author(s).

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Journal Article
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Landscape Ecology
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19 Aug 2021 15:35
Last Modified:
16 Sep 2023 02:21