ASSESSING VEGETATION STRUCTURAL CHANGES IN OASIS AGRO-ECOSYSTEMS USING SENTINEL-2 IMAGE TIME SERIES: CASE STUDY FOR DRÂA-TAFILALET REGION MOROCCO
Keywords: LAI,Oasis, Vegetation Structure, Time Series Analysis, Change Detection, Remote Sensing, Sentinel-2, Tafilalet, Morocco
Abstract. Nowadays, Moroccan oasis agro-ecosystems are under intense effect of natural and anthropogenic factors. Therefore, this essay proposes to use Leaf Area Index (LAI) to assess the consequences of the oases long-term biodegradation. The index was used as a widely-applied parameter of vegetation structure and an important indicator of plant growth and health. Therefore, a new optical multispectral Sentinel-2 data were used to build a long term LAI time series for the area of the Erfoud and Rissani oases, Errachidia province in Drâa-Tafilalet region in Morocco. Nine images of LAI spatial distribution over the study area were obtained by means of SNAP Biophysical Processor over the period since July 2015 till May 2018. Time series analysis of the resultedmaps has revealed a stable trend towards the average LAI decreasing and vegetation structure simplification as a consequence.