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Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 65(7)

Contribution of L-band SAR to systematic global mangrove monitoring

Richard Lucas A M, Lisa-Maria Rebelo B, Lola Fatoyinbo C, Ake Rosenqvist D, Takuya Itoh E, Masanobu Shimada F, Marc Simard G, Pedro Walfir Souza-Filho H, Nathan Thomas A, Carl Trettin I, Arnon Accad J, Joao Carreiras K and Lammert Hilarides L

A Centre for Ecosystem Science, The University of New South Wales, High Street, Kensington, NSW 2052, Australia.
B International Water Management Institute, Regional Office for Southeast Asia and the Mekong, PO Box 4199, Vientiane, Lao People’s Democratic Republic.
C Biospheric Sciences Laboratory, Code 618, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, 8800 Greenbelt Road, Greenbelt, MD 20771, USA.
D Solo Earth Observation (soloEO), TTT Mid-Tower 5006, Kachidoki 6-3-2, Chuo-ku,Tokyo 104-0054, Japan.
E Remote Sensing Technology Center of Japan (RESTEC), Roppongi First Building 12F, 1-9-9 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-0032, Japan.
F Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, Earth Observation Research Center, Sengen 2-1-1 Tsukuba Ibaraki, 305-8505, Japan.
G Jet Propulsion Laboratory, MS 300-319D, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, Pasadena, California (CA 90039), USA.
H Universidade Federal do Pará Instituto de Geociências, Av. Augusto Correa 1, Caixa Postal 8608, CEP. 66075-110, Belém, Pará, Brasil; and Vale Institute of Tecnology, Rua Boaventura da Silva 955, 66055-090, Belém, Brazil.
I Center for Forested Wetlands Research, US Forest Service, Southern Research Station, 3734 Hwy 402, Cordesville, SC 29434, USA.
J Queensland Herbarium, Department of Science, Information Technology, Innovation and the Arts, Brisbane Botanic Gardens, Mt Coot-tha, Mt Coot-tha Road, Toowong, Qld 4066, Australia.
K Tropical Research Institute, Travessa do Conde da Ribeira, 9, 1400-142, Lisbon, Portugal.
L Wetlands International, PO Box 471, 6700 AL, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
M Corresponding author. Email: rml@aber.ac.uk

Marine and Freshwater Research 65(7) 589-603 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/MF13177
Submitted: 5 July 2013  Accepted: 23 January 2014   Published: 20 June 2014

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Information on the status of and changes in mangroves is required for national and international policy development, implementation and evaluation. To support these requirements, a component of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s (JAXA) Kyoto and Carbon (K&C) initiative has been to design and develop capability for a Global Mangrove Watch (GMW) that routinely monitors and reports on local to global changes in the extent of mangroves, primarily on the basis of observations by Japanese L-band synthetic aperture radar (SAR). The GMW aims are as follows: (1) to map progression of change within or from existing (e.g. Landsat-derived) global baselines of the extent of mangroves by comparing advanced land-observing satellite 2 (ALOS-2) phased array L-band SAR 2 (PALSAR-2) data from 2014 with that acquired by the Japanese earth resources satellite (JERS-1) SAR (1992–1998) and ALOS PALSAR (2006–2011); (2) to quantify changes in the structure and associated losses and gains of carbon on the basis of canopy height and above-ground biomass (AGB) estimated from the shuttle radar topographic mission (SRTM; acquired 2000), the ice, cloud and land-elevation satellite (ICESAT) geoscience laser altimeter system (GLAS; 2003–2010) and L-band backscatter data; (3) to determine likely losses and gains of tree species diversity through reference to International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) global thematic layers on the distribution of mangrove species; and (4) to validate maps of changes in the extent of mangroves, primarily through comparison with dense time-series of Landsat sensor data and to use these same data to describe the causes and consequences of change. The paper outlines and justifies the techniques being implemented and the role that the GMW might play in supporting national and international policies that relate specifically to the long-term conservation of mangrove ecosystems and the services they provide to society.

Additional keywords: climate change, forest dynamics, international conventions, remote sensing.


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