Land Use Land Cover Change

Loss and degradation of native ecosystems is a major issue globally. Changes in native land cover due to anthropogenic pressures have the potential to cause major disturbance to the environment. Including disruptions to species habitats, regional vegetation patterns, hydrological regimes and increased erosion. 

This research documented páramo (a broad term used to describe land covers between the treeline and the line of permanent snow cover within the tropics) loss at Pambamarca, Ecuador from 1988 to 2007, using Landsat TM and ETM+ satellite images. The object based classification methodology that was utilised proved effective in mapping the extent of páramo cover, despite significant spectral overlap of páramo with other agricultural landcover classes. The ability of object based analysis to integrate contextual information from the image is the main reason for this success, in a situation where traditional pixel based classifiers are often limited. Classification accuracies for the páramo landcover ranged from 91.67 to 100 percent.

Results of this research can be found in the following publication: 

2014    Wigmore, O., and Gao, J., Spatiotemporal dynamics of a páramo ecosystem in the Northern Ecuadorian Andes 1988-2007, Journal of Mountain Science, 11(3), DOI: 10.1007/s11629-013-2365-6.