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Gewählte Publikation:

Senf, C; Pflugmacher, D; Hostert, P; Seidl, R.
(2017): Using Landsat time series for characterizing forest disturbance dynamics in the coupled human and natural systems of Central Europe
ISPRS J PHOTOGRAMM. 2017; 130: 453-463. FullText FullText_BOKU

Abstract:
Remote sensing is a key information source for improving the spatiotemporal understanding of forest ecosystem dynamics. Yet, the mapping and attribution of forest change remains challenging, particularly in areas where a number of interacting disturbance agents simultaneously affect forest development. The forest ecosystems of Central Europe are coupled human and natural systems, with natural and human disturbances affecting forests both individually and in combination. To better understand the complex forest disturbance dynamics in such systems, we utilize 32-year Landsat time series to map forest disturbances in five sites across Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Poland, and Slovakia. All sites consisted of a National Park and the surrounding forests, reflecting three management zones of different levels of human influence (managed, protected, strictly protected). This allowed for a comparison of spectral, temporal, and spatial disturbance patterns across a gradient from natural to coupled human and natural disturbances. Disturbance maps achieved overall accuracies ranging from 81% to 93%. Disturbance patches were generally small, with 95% of the disturbances being smaller than 10 ha. Disturbance rates ranged from 0.29% yr(-1) to 0.95% yr(-1), and differed substantially among management zones and study sites. Natural disturbances in strictly protected areas were longer in duration (median of 8 years) and slightly less variable in magnitude compared to human-dominated disturbances in managed forests (median duration of 1 year). However, temporal dynamics between natural and human-dominated disturbances showed strong synchrony, suggesting that disturbance peaks are driven by natural events affecting managed and unmanaged areas simultaneously. Our study demonstrates the potential of remote sensing for mapping forest disturbances in coupled human and natural systems, such as the forests of Central Europe. Yet, we also highlight the complexity of such systems in terms of agent attribution, as many natural disturbances are modified by management responding to them outside protected areas. (C) 2017 International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, Inc. (ISPRS). Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Autor/innen der BOKU Wien:
Seidl Rupert
BOKU Gendermonitor:


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Landsat
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