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Satellite images as primers to target priority areas for field surveys of indicators of ecological sustainability in tropical forests

Naikoa Aguilar-Amuchastegui, University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Abstract

Sustainable management of tropical forests has been identified as one of the main objectives for global conservation of carbon stocks. In order to achieve this, managers need tools to establish whether or not their management practices are sustainable. Several tool development initiatives have undertaken the creation of sets of criteria and indicators to aid managers to target, if not achieve, sustainability. The question of how to assess these indicators remains to be answered from an operational viewpoint, where logistical constraints become critical and priorization becomes necessary. The present dissertation sought to determine whether satellite imagery can be used, in conjunction with standard forest management data, to identify priority areas for field surveys of indicators of ecological sustainability of managed tropical forests. It presents a novel approach to the assessment of CIFOR indicator I.2.1.2: "The change in diversity of habitats as a result of human interventions is maintained within critical limits as defined by natural variation and/or regional conservation objectives" by means of semivariography of remote sensing data. It shows the Wide Dynamic Range Vegetation Index (WDRVI) is a good alternative for the detection and quantification of tropical forests structural heterogeneity and its dynamic change. The differences observed between forest management units and natural areas forest structural heterogeneity were used to identify priority areas for field survey of ecological sustainability indicators and evaluate how these priorities were reflected in dung beetles community structure and composition. The link between forest structural heterogeneity dynamic change, forest logging intensity and dung beetle community structure and composition is established. A logging intensity threshold of 4 trees per hectare is identified as the limit between significant or not significant differences in forest structure dynamic changes and dung beetles community total species richness and diversity estimates. ^

Subject Area

Biology, Ecology|Agriculture, Forestry and Wildlife|Remote Sensing

Recommended Citation

Aguilar-Amuchastegui, Naikoa, "Satellite images as primers to target priority areas for field surveys of indicators of ecological sustainability in tropical forests" (2006). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3221295.
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/dissertations/AAI3221295

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