Chapter 17: Forest Health Monitoring in Southern California : High-temporal Monitoring Using Advanced Image Analysis Techniques (Project WC-EM-F-11-01)This article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
Developing an adaptive management strategy to aid in the restoration of ecosystem function and health requires timely monitoring information. Although plot-based data provide critical detailed information on the status of the ecosystem, they are costly, time consuming to acquire, and do not provide wall-to-wall spatial coverage. The lack of spatial coverage can underestimate certain forest dynamics that exhibit clustered spatial patterns on the landscape. Additionally, the temporal resolution is generally low, especially relative to the frequency of earth observation systems. For this project, we accessed the ability of the Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) plot data coupled with 30-m imagery from the Landsat5 archive to provide timely indicators of ecosystem status. Annual assessments can be provided by combining ground-plot data with large-scale imagery. It should be noted that an initial exploratory assessment of the FIA plots was conducted to assess forest mortality since we had two measurements between 2000 and 2010. Only 3 of 195 plots showed a measurable amount of mortality, making it impossible to determine forest trends from the plot data alone.