Jiansheng Wu, Tong Wang, Kuangyi Pan, et al
INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF REMOTE SENSING
The damaged vegetation detection
In early 2008, forest ecosystems in southern China suffered damage due to a severe ice storm disaster. The area and degree of forest damage caused by the ice storm was assessed using Satellite Pour l’Observation de la Terre (SPOT)-Vegetation images for Guangdong Province acquired between 1999 and 2008. By using the maximum value composition method and image thresholding techniques, the forest vegetation loss, expressed as the change in net primary productivity (NPP) and two indicators (I1, I2), was estimated. The damage threshold was determined by comparing the standard deviation of pixels of the undamaged areas in 2008 and other years without any disaster, which was 10%. The area of damaged forest vegetation was 47,670 km2, with the northern Guangdong Province most seriously affected. The total loss of NPP for forest vegetation was 50,578,055 t (DW) year−1, with 52 counties (43.7%) suffering forest vegetation damage. Evergreen coniferous forest was most widely affected, but evergreen broad-leaved forest was the most severely damaged vegetation type. Terrain topography influenced the damage to forest vegetation, which was found to increase with increasing elevation and slope gradient. The range and degree of damaged forest determined by remote-sensing data is consistent with the extent of the ice storm, indicating that this study provides a new approach for rapid assessment of forest disasters at a regional scale.