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Combining geostatistical models and remotely sensed data to improve tropical tree richness mapping
Acceso Abierto
Information on the spatial distribution and composition of biological communities is essential in designing effective strategies for biodiversity conservation and management. Reliable maps of species richness across the landscape can be useful tools for these purposes. Acquiring such information through traditional survey techniques is costly and logistically difficult. The kriging interpolation method has been widely used as an alternative to predict spatial distributions of species richness, as long as the data are spatially dependent. However, even when this requirement is met, researchers often have few sampled sites in relation to the area to be mapped. Remote sensing provides an inexpensive means to derive complete spatial coverage for large areas and can be extremely useful for estimating biodiversity. The aim of this study was to combine remotely sensed data with kriging estimates (hybrid procedures) to evaluate the possibility of improving the accuracy of tree species richness maps. We did this through the comparison of the predictive performance of three hybrid geostatistical procedures, based on tree species density recorded in 141 sampling quadrats: co-kriging (COK), kriging with external drift (KED), and regression kriging (RK). Reflectance values of spectral bands, computed NDVI and texture measurements of Landsat 7 TM imagery were used as ancillary variables in all methods. The R2 values of the models increased from 0.35 for ordinary kriging to 0.41 for COK, and from 0.39 for simple regression estimates to 0.52 and 0.53 when using simple KED and RK, respectively. The R2 values of the models also increased from 0.60 for multiple regression estimates to 0.62 and 0.66 when using multiple KED and RK, respectively. Overall, our results demonstrate that these procedures are capable of greatly improving estimation accuracy, with multivariate RK being clearly superior, because it produces the most accurate predictions, and because of its flexibility in modeling multivariate relationships between tree richness and remotely sensed data. We conclude that this is a valuable tool for guiding future efforts aimed at conservation and management of highly diverse tropical forests.
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15171.pdfCo-kriging; Image texture; Kriging with external drift; Regression kriging; Tree richness; Tropical forest1.73 MBAdobe PDFView/Open