Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): Benjamin C. BrightAndrew T. Hudak; Arjan J. H. Meddens; Joel M. Egan; Carl L. Jorgensen
    Date: 2020
    Source: Remote Sensing. 12: 1655.
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (1.0 MB)

    Description

    Forest insect outbreaks have caused and will continue to cause extensive tree mortality worldwide, affecting ecosystem services provided by forests. Remote sensing is an effective tool for detecting and mapping tree mortality caused by forest insect outbreaks. In this study, we map insect-caused tree mortality across three coniferous forests in the Western United States for the years 1984 to 2018. First, we mapped mortality at the tree level using field observations and high-resolution multispectral imagery collected in 2010, 2011, and 2018. Using these high-resolution maps of tree mortality as reference images, we then classified moderate-resolution Landsat imagery as disturbed or undisturbed and for disturbed pixels, predicted percent tree mortality with random forest (RF) models. The classification approach and RF models were then applied to time series of Landsat imagery generated with Google Earth Engine (GEE) to create annual maps of percent tree mortality. We separated disturbed from undisturbed forest with overall accuracies of 74% to 80%. Cross-validated RF models explained 61% to 68% of the variation in percent tree mortality within disturbed 30-m pixels. Landsat-derived maps of tree mortality were comparable to vector aerial survey data for a variety of insect agents, in terms of spatial patterns of mortality and annual estimates of total mortality area. However, low-level tree mortality was not always detected. We conclude that our methodology has the potential to generate reasonable estimates of annual tree mortality across large extents.

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to rmrspubrequest@fs.fed.us to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.

    Citation

    Bright, Benjamin C.; Hudak, Andrew T.; Meddens, Arjan J. H.; Egan, Joel M.; Jorgensen, Carl L. 2020. Mapping multiple insect outbreaks across large regions annually using Landsat time series data. Remote Sensing. 12: 1655.

    Cited

    Google Scholar

    Keywords

    forest, insects, bark beetles, defoliators, tree mortality, Landsat, time series, mapping

    Related Search


    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page
https://www.fs.usda.gov/treesearch/pubs/60281