Detection of spatio-temporal changes of Norway spruce forest stands in Ore Mountains using airborne hyperspectral imagery

Friday, 18 December 2015
Poster Hall (Moscone South)
Jan Misurec1, Veronika Kopačková1, Zuzana Lhotáková2, Jana Albrechtova3 and Petya K. E. Campbell4, (1)Czech Geological Survey, Prague, Czech Republic, (2)Charles University in Prague, Department of Experimental Plant Biology, Prague, Czech Republic, (3)Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic, (4)University of Maryland Baltimore County, Baltimore, MD, United States
The Ore Mountains are an example of the region that suffered from severe environmental pollution caused by long-term coal mining and heavy industry leading to massive dieback of the local Norway spruce forests between the 1970’s and 1990’s. The situation became getting better at the end of 1990’s after pollution loads significantly decreased. In 1998 and 2013, airborne hyperspectral data (with sensor ASAS and APEX, respectively) were used to study recovery of the originally damaged forest stands and compared them with those that have been less affected by environmental pollution. The field campaign (needle biochemical analysis, tree defoliation etc.) accompanied hyperspectral imagery acquisition. An analysis was conducted assessing a set of 16 vegetation indices providing complex information on foliage, biochemistry and canopy biophysics and structure. Five of them (NDVI, NDVI705, VOG1, MSR and TCARI/OSAVI) showing the best results were employed to study spatial gradients as well as temporal changes. The detected gradients are in accordance with ground truth data on representative trees. The obtained results indicate that the original significant differences between the damaged and undamaged stands have been generally levelled until 2013, although it is still possible to detect signs of the previous damages in several cases.