A geospatial data integration framework for mapping and monitoring tropical landscape diversity in Costa Rica's San Juan-La Selva Biological Corridor
Sesnie, Steven E.
MetadataShow full item record
Landcover change has substantially reduced the amount of tropical rain forests since the 1950s. Little is known about the extent of remaining forest types. A multivariate analysis of 144 forest plots across Costa Rica's San Juan-La Selva Biological Corridor resulted in eight floristically defined old-growth forest categories. Spectral separability was tested between categories using Landsat TM bands and vegetation indices for old-growth types, palm swamps, tree plantations and regrowth. Image filtering and NDVI increased spectral separability among categories by 30 per cent. Separability tests resulted in seven well-discriminated forest categories. Factors driving forest beta-diversity are not well quantified for wet tropical environments. We examined the relationship between rain forest composition and environmental variation for a 3000 km2 area in northeastern Costa Rica.