Tracking Reforestation in the Loess Plateau, China after the "Grain for Green" Project through Integrating PALSAR and Landsat Imagery

Hui Zhou, Fu Xu, Jinwei Dong, Zhiqi Yang, Guosong Zhao, Jun Zhai, Yuanwei Qin, Xiangming Xiao
2019 Remote Sensing  
An unprecedented reforestation process happened in the Loess Plateau, China due to the ecological restoration project 'Grain for Green Project', which has affected regional carbon and water cycles as well as brought climate feedbacks. Accurately mapping the area and spatial distribution of emerged forests in the Loess Plateau over time is essential for forest management but a very challenging task. Here we investigated the changes of forests in the Loess Plateau after the forest reconstruction
more » ... est reconstruction project. First, we used a pixel and rule-based algorithm to identify and map the annual forests from 2007 to 2017 in the Loess Plateau by integrating 30 m Landsat data and 25 m resolution PALSAR data in this study. Then, we carried out the accuracy assessment and comparison with several existing forest products. The overall accuracy (OA) and Kappa coefficient of the resultant map, were about 91% and 0.77 in 2010, higher than those of the other forest products (FROM-GLC, GlobeLand30, GLCF-VCF, JAXA, and OU-FDL) with OA ranging from 83.57% to 87.96% and Kappa coefficients from 0.52 to 0.68. Based on the annual forest maps, we found forest area in the Loess Plateau has increased by around 15,000 km2 from 2007 to 2017. This study clearly demonstrates the advantages of data fusion between PALSAR and Landsat images for monitoring forest cover dynamics in the Loess Plateau, and the resultant forest maps with lower uncertainty would contribute to the regional forest management.
doi:10.3390/rs11222685 fatcat:7plk7ajxsfb3xnxwkowh4segzq