Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 447455
Title Assessing the effects of subtropical forest fragmentation on leaf nitrogen distribution using remote sensing data
Author(s) Cho, M.A.; Ramoelo, A.; Debba, P.; Mutanga, O.; Mathieu, R.; Deventer, H. van; Ndlovu, N.
Source Landscape Ecology 28 (2013)8. - ISSN 0921-2973 - p. 1479 - 1491.
DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/s10980-013-9908-7
Department(s) Resource Ecology
Biometris (WU MAT)
PE&RC
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2013
Keyword(s) red-edge - tropical deforestation - spatial heterogeneity - chlorophyll content - multispectral data - eucalyptus leaves - land-use - landscape - reflectance - savanna
Abstract Subtropical forest loss resulting from conversion of forest to other land-cover types such as grassland, secondary forest, subsistence crop farms and small forest patches affects leaf nitrogen (N) stocks in the landscape. This study explores the utility of new remote sensing tools to model the spatial distribution of leaf N concentration in a forested landscape undergoing deforestation in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Leaf N was mapped using models developed from RapidEye imagery; a relatively new space-borne multispectral sensor. RapidEye consists of five spectral bands in the visible to near infra-red (NIR) and has a spatial resolution of 5 m. MERIS terrestrial chlorophyll index derived from the RapidEye explained 50 % of the variance in leaf N across different land-cover types with a model standard error of prediction of 29 % (i.e. of the observed mean leaf N) when assessed on an independent test data. The results showed that indigenous forest fragmentation leads to significant losses in leaf N as most of the land-cover types (e.g. grasslands and subsistence farmlands) resulting from forest degradation showed lower leaf N when compared to the original indigenous forest. Further analysis of the spatial variation of leaf N revealed an autocorrelation distance of about 50 m for leaf N in the fragmented landscape, a scale corresponding to the average dimension of subsistence fields (2,781 m2) in the region. The availability of new multispectral sensors such as RapidEye thus, moves remote sensing closer to widespread monitoring of the effect of tropical forest degradation on leaf N distribution.
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