Center for Environmental Policy and Administration

Application of Merged 1-m and 4-m Resolution Satellite Data to Research and Mangement in Tropical Forests

Author:Jane M. Read, David B. Clark, Eduardo M. Venticinque and Marcelo P. Moreira
Date: January 2003
Publication:Journal of Applied Ecology, 40(3), pp. 592-600

Until very recently there have been no digital data from satellites for stuying events that occur at scales of 10-1000 square meters over large areas (100-100,000 ha). Many phenomena of interest to ecologists, such as impacts of selective logging on forest processes, occur over large extents but at local scales. Here we report results from a pilot project to evaluate through visual interpretation the potential of newly available 1-m panchromatic and 4-m multi-spectral data from the IKONOS satellite, for studying forest structure, dynamics and logging impacts in logged and old-growth tropical moist forest. The study area, the Mil AMadeireira Itacoatiara Ltda site of Precious Woods Amazon, near Itacoatiara, Amozonas, Brazil is managed using reduced-impact logging practices to minimize environmental impacts and thus represents a lower bound for logging impacts in tropical rain forests. SYNTHESIS AND APPLICATIONS: IKONOS 1-m and 4-m data were found to be useful for identifying individual trees as well as some logging management features in a tropical moist forest in central Amazonia. These data will have many applications for research and management of intervened and old-growth tropical forests, including planning and assessment of logging activities, as well as monitoring adherence to certification criteria such as those of the Forest Stewardship Council. Rapid development of these applications will come from building on existing data on forest structure and function, and by fostering collaborations between remote sensing scientists, ecologists and natural resource managers.


Jane Read
Center for Environmental Policy and Administration
The Maxwell School, Syracuse University
Revised 06/14/2006 13:06:05