A Multi-Temporal Object-Based Image Analysis to Detect Long-Lived Shrub Cover Changes in Drylands
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Author/sGuirado Hernández, Emilio; Blanco Sacristán, Javier; Rigol Sánchez, Juan Pedro; Alcaraz Segura, Domingo; Cabello Piñar, Francisco Javier
Climate change and human actions condition the spatial distribution and structure of vegetation, especially in drylands. In this context, object-based image analysis (OBIA) has been used to monitor changes in vegetation, but only a few studies have related them to anthropic pressure. In this study, we assessed changes in cover, number, and shape of Ziziphus lotus shrub individuals in a coastal groundwater-dependent ecosystem in SE Spain over a period of 60 years and related them to human actions in the area. In particular, we evaluated how sand mining, groundwater extraction, and the protection of the area affect shrubs. To do this, we developed an object-based methodology that allowed us to create accurate maps (overall accuracy up to 98%) of the vegetation patches and compare the cover changes in the individuals identified in them. These changes in shrub size and shape were related to soil loss, seawater intrusion, and legal protection of the area measured by average minimum distance...
time series classification
very high-resolution images
Cabo de Gata-Níjar Natural Park