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Radar Remote Sensing to Support Tropical Forest Management - Tropenbos Guyana Series 5

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Authors: Sanden, J.J.

Guyana - 1997

ISBN: 90-5485-778-1

ISSN: 1566-6506

Language: English

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This PhD thesis describes an investigation into the potential of radar remote sensing for application to tropical forest management. The information content of various radar images is compared and assessed with regard to the information requirements of parties involved in tropical forest management at the global, national and local spatial levels. The study distinguishes between the use of radar remote sensing for application in forest resource assessment and forest resource monitoring. Both are essential information collection procedures for sustainable forest management. Radar systems make potentially outstanding tools in support of these processes because of their capability to image the Earth"s tropical forests regardless of atmospheric conditions and in a systematic, synoptic and repetitive manner. On the basis of the study it is concluded that forest managers with the option to apply images from airborne radar systems have a better chance of satisfying their information needs than those who are dependent on images from satellite radar images. Images from currently available radar satellites prove to be acceptable sources of information for the assessment and/or monitoring of forests, non-forest, burned areas, clear-cuts and roads. Images from airborne radar systems are shown to make better basis for the assessment and/or monitoring of the aforementioned parameters. Moreover, airborne radar images are found to facilitate the assessment and/or monitoring of primary forest types, secondary forest, logged over forest and selected indicators of sustainable forest management. Field data for this study were collected at the Tropenbos sites in Colombia and Guyana. The study was carried out at Wageningen Agricultural University with financial support of the Netherlands Remote Sensing Board (BCRS).

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