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Unravelling long-term vegetation change patterns in a binational watershed using multitemporal land cover data and historical photography

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Abstract

A significant amount of research conducted in the Sonoran Desert of North America has documented, both anecdotally and empirically, major vegetation changes over the past century due to human land use activities. However, many studies lack coincidental landscape-scale data characterizing the spatial and temporal manifestation of these changes. Vegetation changes in a binational (USA and Mexico) watershed were documented using a series of four land cover maps (1979-2009) derived from multispectral satellite imagery. Cover changes are compared to georeferenced, repeat oblique photographs dating from the late 19th century to present. Results indicate the expansion of grassland over the past 20 years following nearly a century of decline. Historical repeat photography documents early-mid 20th century mesquite invasions, but recent land cover data and rephotography demonstrate declines in xeroriparian/riparian mesquite communities in recent decades. These vegetation changes are variable over the landscape and influenced by topography and land management.

Additional publication details

Publication type Conference Paper
Publication Subtype Conference Paper
Title Unravelling long-term vegetation change patterns in a binational watershed using multitemporal land cover data and historical photography
Year Published 2011
Language English
Publisher World Scientific
Contributing office(s) Western Geographic Science Center
Description 4 p.
Larger Work Type Conference Paper
Larger Work Title Proceedings of MULTITEMP 2011, 6th International Workshop on the Analysis of Multitemporal Remote Sensing Images
Last page 101
Conference Title MULTITEMP 2011, 6th International Workshop on the Analysis of Multitemporal Remote Sensing Images
Conference Location Trento, Italy
Conference Date July 12-14 2011
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N