Forest cover and vegetation degradation was monitored across the Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA) in southern Africa and the performance of three different methods in detecting degradation was assessed using reference data. Breaks for Additive Season and Trend (BFAST) Monitor was used to identify potential forest cover and vegetation degradation using Landsat Normalized Difference Moisture Index (NDMI) time series data. Parametric probability-based magnitude thresholds, non-parametric random forest in conjunction with Soil-Adjusted Vegetation Index (SAVI) time series, and the combination of both methods were evaluated for their suitability to detect degradation for six land cover classes ranging from closed canopy forest to open grassland. The performance of degradation detection was largely dependent on tree cover and vegetation density. Satisfactory accuracies were obtained for closed woodland (user’s accuracy 87%, producer’s accuracy 71%) and closed forest (user’s accuracy 92%, producer’s accuracy 90%), with lower accuracies for open canopies. The performance of the three methods was more similar for closed canopies and differed for land cover classes with open canopies. Highest user’s accuracy was achieved when methods were combined, and the best performance for producer’s accuracy was obtained when random forest was used.
Schultz, M., Shapiro, A., Clevers, J., Beech, C., & Herold, M. (2018). Forest Cover and Vegetation Degradation Detection in the Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area Using BFAST Monitor. Remote Sensing, 10(11), . https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10111850