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Selective logging and forest canopy damage in Amazonia from Landsat ETM+ and EO-1 Hyperion data.
ASNER, GREGORY*,1, KELLER, MICHAEL2, SILVA, JOSE3, 1 Department of Global Ecology, Stanford, CA2 Complex Systems Research Center, Durham, NH3 EMBRAPA, Belem, PA, Brazil
ABSTRACT- Selective logging is now a dominant form of land use in the Brazilian Amazon, but the annual area of forest undergoing timber harvests is hotly contested. The intensity of logging and the resulting canopy damage is poorly known. The effects of logging on carbon cycling, nutrient dynamics, and many other ecological processes remain unclear. Previous satellite studies have failed to quantify the extent or intensity of selective logging in humid tropical forests. Using Landsat ETM+ and EO-1 Hyperion satellite imagery, we developed new methods to measure the extent, spatial patterning and canopy damage resulting from selective logging in the Amazon. Estimates of forest canopy gap fraction, surface slash/litter cover, and bare soil exposure are now proving highly accurate. These measured surface features are spatially correlated with the biomass-carbon removed from harvested sites, the production of coarse woody debris, and other factors determining the Amazon forest functioning following selective logging.
KEY WORDS: amazon basin, selective logging, carbon cycling, canopy gap fraction