The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publications Copernicus
Articles | Volume XLIII-B3-2022
31 May 2022
 | 31 May 2022


C. Almeida, D. Silva, C. G. Messias, L. S. Soler, L. H. Gusmão, L. E. P. Maurano, T. Souza, I. Soares, D. Barradas, I. P. Cunha, E. Bastos, A. Belluzo, C. Quadros, B. Pechini, F. Pinheiro, and L. J. Silva

Keywords: Non-forest vegetation, mapping, natural vegetation removal, PRODES, Brazilian Amazon

Abstract. The increasing pressure from agriculture and pasture activities over non-forest vegetation areas revealed the need of INPE to extend forest regular monitoring to non-forested areas. Non-forest vegetation consists of savannahs, shrub lands, grasslands or seasonal floodplains that occupy 279 thousand km2 (6,63 %) of Brazilian Amazon biome extension. Addressed ecosystem services of non-forest vegetation vary from climate, soil, carbon storage, biodiversity, water and fire regulation to cultural benefits and living of the population. The challenge in monitoring non-forest removal lies in climatic seasonality, high variability of phytophysiognomies and cloud coverage. In this work we developed a method to map non-forest vegetation from 2000 to 2021 in a pilot area enclosing five municipalities in Roraima and Amapá states. Considering the total area of 47 thousand km2, 58 % was originally forest and 37 % was non-forest vegetation. In 2020, soybean planted areas occupied 60 thousands hectares in these municipalities. We adapted PRODES protocol to non-forest features using visual interpretation of Landsat and SENTINEL-2 satellite images. Regional expertise supported the interpretation keys to distinguish non-forest removal from seasonal changes or other land use changes. A baseline map for 2000 is provided together with biannual and annual increments for 2002–2018 and 2019–2021, respectively. Results show removal of non-forested areas even overpassing deforestation in some municipalities. Accumulated non-forest removal was 3.133,06 km2 or 17,44 % of the non-forest area enclosed. This work consolidated the method to be applied in the Brazilian Amazon biome allowing a uniform historical mapping series of deforestation and non-forest removal.