Tracking Rates of Forest Disturbance and Associated Carbon Loss in Areas of Illegal Amber Mining in Ukraine Using Landsat Time Series

Myroniuk V, Bilous A, Khan Y, Terentiev A, Kravets P, Kovalevskyi S, & See L ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2665-7065 (2020). Tracking Rates of Forest Disturbance and Associated Carbon Loss in Areas of Illegal Amber Mining in Ukraine Using Landsat Time Series. Remote Sensing 12 (14): e2235. DOI:10.3390/rs12142235.

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Abstract

Mapping forest disturbance is crucial for many applications related to decision-making for sustainable forest management. This study identified the effect of illegal amber mining on forest change and accumulated carbon stock across a study area of 8125.5 ha in northern Ukraine. Our method relies on the Google Earth Engine (GEE) implementation of the Landsat-based Detection of Trends in Disturbance and Recovery (LandTrendr) temporal segmentation algorithm of Landsat time-series (LTS) to derive yearly maps of forest disturbance and recovery in areas affected by amber extraction operations. We used virtual reality (VR) 360 interactive panoramic images taken from the sites to attribute four levels of forest disturbance associated with the delta normalized burn ratio (dNBR) and then calculated the carbon loss. We revealed that illegal amber extraction in Ukraine has been occurring since the middle of the 1990s, yielding 3260 ha of total disturbed area up to 2019. This study indicated that the area of forest disturbance increased dramatically during 2013–2014, and illegal amber operations persist. As a result, regrowth processes were mapped on only 375 ha of total disturbed area. The results were integrated into the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) quality management system in the region to categorize Forest Management Units (FMUs) conforming to different disturbance rates and taking actions related to their certification status. Moreover, carbon loss evaluation allows the responsible forest management systems to be streamlined and to endorse ecosystem service assessment.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Landsat time series; dNBR; LandTrendr; TimeSync; Google Earth Engine; live biomass
Research Programs: Ecosystems Services and Management (ESM)
Depositing User: Michaela Rossini
Date Deposited: 13 Jul 2020 06:35
Last Modified: 13 Jul 2020 06:47
URI: http://pure.iiasa.ac.at/16566

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