EVALUATION OF ANNUAL MODIS PTC DATA FOR DEFORESTATION AND FOREST DEGRADATION ANALYSIS
Keywords: MODIS VCF, Percent Tree Cover (PTC), deforestation, forest degradation, regeneration, reforestation, SPOT-5
Abstract. Anthropogenic land-cover change, e.g. deforestation and forest degradation cause carbon emissions. To estimate deforestation and forest degradation, it is important to have reliable data on forest cover. In this analysis, we evaluated annual MODIS Percent Tree Cover (PTC) data for the detection of forest change including deforestation, forest degradation, reforestation and revegetation. The annual MODIS PTC data (2000 – 2010) were pre-processed by applying quality layer. Based on the PTC values of the annual MODIS data, forest change maps were produced and assessed by comparing with the data from visual interpretation of SPOT-5 images. The assessment was applied to two case-studies: Ayuquila Basin and Monarch Reserve. Results show that the detected deforestation patches by visual interpretation are roughly 4 times in quantity more than those by MODIS PTC data, which can be partially due to the much higher spatial resolution of SPOT-5, being able to pick up small deforestation patches. This analysis found poor spatial overlapping for both case-studies. Possible reasons for the discrepancy in quantity and spatial coincidence were provided. It is necessary to refine the methodology for forest change detection by PTC images; also to refine the validation data in terms of data periods and forest change categories to ensure a better assessment.