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Journal of Applied Remote Sensing • Open Access

Vegetation mapping from high-resolution satellite images in the heterogeneous arid environments of Socotra Island (Yemen)
Author(s): Luca Malatesta; Fabio Attorre; Alfredo Altobelli; Ahmed Adeeb; Michele De Sanctis; Nadim M. Taleb; Paul T. Scholte; Marcello Vitale

Paper Abstract

Socotra Island (Yemen), a global biodiversity hotspot, is characterized by high geomorphological and biological diversity. In this study, we present a high-resolution vegetation map of the island based on combining vegetation analysis and classification with remote sensing. Two different image classification approaches were tested to assess the most accurate one in mapping the vegetation mosaic of Socotra. Spectral signatures of the vegetation classes were obtained through a Gaussian mixture distribution model, and a sequential maximum a posteriori (SMAP) classification was applied to account for the heterogeneity and the complex spatial pattern of the arid vegetation. This approach was compared to the traditional maximum likelihood (ML) classification. Satellite data were represented by a RapidEye image with 5 m pixel resolution and five spectral bands. Classified vegetation relevés were used to obtain the training and evaluation sets for the main plant communities. Postclassification sorting was performed to adjust the classification through various rule-based operations. Twenty-eight classes were mapped, and SMAP, with an accuracy of 87%, proved to be more effective than ML (accuracy: 66%). The resulting map will represent an important instrument for the elaboration of conservation strategies and the sustainable use of natural resources in the island.

Paper Details

Date Published: 2 August 2013
PDF: 22 pages
J. Appl. Rem. Sens. 7(1) 073527 doi: 10.1117/1.JRS.7.073527
Published in: Journal of Applied Remote Sensing Volume 7, Issue 1
Show Author Affiliations
Luca Malatesta, Univ. degli Studi di Camerino (Italy)
Fabio Attorre, Univ. degli Studi di Roma La Sapienza (Italy)
Alfredo Altobelli, Univ. degli Studi di Trieste (Italy)
Ahmed Adeeb, Environmental Protection Authority (Yemen)
Michele De Sanctis, Univ. degli Studi di Roma La Sapienza (Italy)
Nadim M. Taleb, Environmental Protection Authority (Yemen)
Paul T. Scholte, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (Cameroon)
Marcello Vitale, Univ. degli Studi di Roma La Sapienza (Italy)

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