Recent Advances in Remote Sensing and Geoinformation Processing for Land Degradation Assessment

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ISBN 9780415397698
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Land degradation and desertification are amongst the most severe threats to human welfare and the environment, as they affect the livelihoods of some 2 billion people in the world’s drylands, and they are directly connected to pressing global environmental problems, such as the loss of biological diversity or global climate change. Strategies to combat these processes and mitigate their effects at the land-management and policy level require spatially explicit, up-to-date information, which can be provided based on remote sensing data and using geoinformation processing techniques.

Recent Advances in Remote Sensing and Geoinformation Processing for Land Degradation Assessment introduces the current state of the art in this field and provides an overview of both conceptual and technological advances of the recent past. With a specific focus on desertification and land degradation, the volume covers the assessment of related biophysical indicators, as well as complementary qualitative information at different spatial and temporal scales. It is shown how remote sensing data may be utilized in the context of assessing and monitoring affected ecosystems and how this information may be assimilated into integrated interpretation and modelling concepts. In addition, different case studies are provided to demonstrate the implementation of these methods in the frame of different local settings.

The volume will be of interest to scientists and students working at the interface of ecosystem services, land degradation/desertification, spatial ecology, remote sensing and spatial modelling, as well as to land managers and policy makers.

Table of Contents



Achim Röder & Joachim Hill, Remote sensing and geoinformation processing in land degradation assessment—an introduction

Part 1 Setting the scene: principles in remote sensing and spatial scene modelling for land degradation assessment

Eric F. Lambin, Helmut Geist, James F. Reynolds & D. Mark Stafford-Smith, Coupled human-environment system approaches to desertification: Linking people to pixels

Susan L. Ustin, Alacia Palacios-Orueta, Michael L. Whiting, Stéphane Jacquemoud & Lin Li, Remote sensing based assessment of biophysical indicators for land degradation and desertification

Mark Mulligan, Integrated environmental modelling to characterise processes of land degradation and desertification for policy support

Abdelghani Chehbouni, Jamal Ezzahar, Christopher J. Watts, Julio-César Rodriguez & Jaime Garatuza-Payan, Estimating area-averaged surface fluxes over contrasted agricultural patchwork in a semi-arid region

Part 2 The global perspective: strategies for large area mapping

Nadine Gobron, Michel M. Verstraete, Bernard Pinty, Malcolm Taberner & Ophélie Aussedat, Potential of long time series of FAPAR products for assessing and monitoring land surface changes: Examples in Europe and the Sahel

Karsten Friedrich & Dirk Koslowsky, Inter-comparison of MEDOKADS and NOAA/NASA pathfinder AVHRR land NDVI time series

Thomas Udelhoven & Joachim Hill, Change detection in Syria’s rangelands using long-term AVHRR data (1982–2004)

David Celis & Eddy De Pauw, ‘Hot spot’ assessment of land cover change in the CWANA region using AVHRR satellite imagery

Pietro Alessandro Brivio, Mirco Boschetti, Paola Carrara, Daniela Stroppiana & Gloria Bordogna, Fuzzy integration of satellite data for detecting environmental anomalies across Africa

Andrew Chappell & Clive T. Agnew, The spatial uncertainty of desiccation in the West African Sahel and its implications for land degradation

Yvon Carmen Hountondji, Nestor Sokpon, Jacques Nicolas & Pierre Ozer, Ongoing desertification processes in the sahelian belt of West Africa: An evidence from the rain-use efficiency

Part 3 Taking a closer look: biophysical indicators of vegetation and soils

Maxim Shoshany, Vegetation cover and biomass along climatic gradients: The synergy of remote sensing and field studies in two Eastern Mediterranean sites

Konstantin König, Marco Schmidt & Jonas V. Müller, Modelling species distributions with high resolution remote sensing data to delineate patterns of plant diversity in the Sahel zone of Burkina Faso

Joachim Hill, Achim Röder, Wolfgang Mehl & Georgios M. Tsiourlis, Retrieving rangeland vegetation characteristics through constrained inverse reflectance modelling of earth observation satellite imagery

Thomas Jarmer, Hanoch Lavée, Pariente Sarah & Joachim Hill, Using reflectance spectroscopy and Landsat data to assess soil inorganic carbon in the Judean Desert (Israel)

Andrew Chappell, John F. Leys, Grant H. McTainsh, Craig Strong & Ted M. Zobeck, Simulating Multi-angle Imaging Spectro-Radiometer (MISR) sampling and retrieval of soil surface roughness and composition changes using a bi-directional soil spectral reflectance model

Mónica García, Sergio Contreras, Francisco Domingo & Juan Puigdefábregas, Mapping land degradation risk: Potential of the non-evaporative fraction using Aster and MODIS data

Part 4 Stories behind pixels: process-based assessment of geospatial data

Achim Röder, Joachim Hill, Tobias Kuemmerle, Gabriel del Barrio, Vasilios P. Papanastasis & Georgios M. Tsiourlis, Geomatics-based characterization of spatial and temporal trends in heterogeneous Mediterranean rangelands of Northern Greece

Tal Svoray, Rakefet Shafran-Nathan, Eugene D. Ungar, Amir Arnon & Avi Perevolotsky, Integrating GPS technologies in dynamic spatio-temporal models to monitor grazing habits in dry rangelands

Arnon Karnieli, Uri Gilad & Tal Svoray, Satellite image processing and geo-statistical methods for assessing land degradation around watering points in the Ust-Urt Plateau, Kazakhstan

Barnaby J.F. Clark & Petri K.E. Pellikka, Landscape analysis using multi-scale segmentation and object-oriented classification

Yoshio Inoue, Jiaguo Qi, Yoshiyuki Kiyono, Yukinori Ochiai, Takeshi Horie, Tatsuhiko Shiraiwa, Hidetoshi Asai, Kazuki Saito, Linkham Dounagsavanh & Albert Olioso, Land use and carbon stock capacity in slash-and-burn ecosystems in mountainous mainlands of Laos

Author index

Subject index

ISPRS Book Series

Colour plates

Editor Bio(s)

Achim Röder is a senior scientist and lecturer with the Remote Sensing Department, University of Trier, and has been involved in research on desertification and land degradation for more than 10 years. His present research focuses on the characterization of landscape trends using time series analysis, and the derivation of biophysical indicators under consideration of scaling effects and transitions.

Joachim Hill has been head of the Remote Sensing Department, University of Trier, since 1994. His research focuses on the application of hyper- and multispectral remote sensing techniques to derive biophysical vegetation parameters and their assimilation in ecosystem models, and on mapping and monitoring land degradation phenomena in dryland ecosystems.