Detecting subtle land use change in tropical forests
Source InformationApril 2009, Volume29(Issue2) Page201To211
This paper presents a study of land use and land cover dynamics in an indigenous community in the Amazon, in particular the methods used to deal with problems related to small size of cultivated plots, spectral similarity between land use classes, atmospheric haze and topographic shade. The main focus was on identifying and quantifying cultivated and fallow areas. Based on remote sensing alone, it was possible to identify about half of the fallows younger than 20 years of age. Combining remote sensing with field-based methods, however, it was possible to estimate the number and size of cultivated areas, the extent of fallows up to 65 years of age, as well as the rate of old-growth forest loss.