Satellite data as indicators of oak forests canopy cover change Case study (Kamfirouze oak forests)
Keywords:Zagros Oak forests, ASTER satellite data, NDVI index, Plant canopy cover
Oak forests of Zagros mountainous ridge, provide important ecosystem services that play a major role in local communities' survival. Nearly all communities in the vicinity of these valuable forested areas are dependent on the ecosystem services from different views like water, fuel, and husbandry. Different factors like human activities, miss management, climate change, Oak roller moth population outbreak threat these valuable ecosystems survival and sustaining. To document the effect of these factors on the canopy covers change during recent years, we used ASTER satellite data and NDVI algorithm to document Kamfirouze oak forests canopy cover changes. Our analysis indicates that in spite of an increase in planted lands (29.35%) in recent decades, the total area of these forests decreased by 15.1 percent and bare lands area has been decreased by up to 7.5% as well. Decreasing trend of the forest canopy cover can be related to the land-use change as the most important factor as well as other factors like illegal timber consumption in the area. The overall finding of this project confirms a more than 10 percent decrease in recent years.
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