Mapping tree plantations with multispectral imagery: preliminary results for seven tropical countries

Mapping tree plantations with multispectral imagery: preliminary results for seven tropical countries

Tree plantations continue to expand worldwide to meet demand for timber, wood fiber, fruits, and vegetable oils such as palm oil. Many countries report national statistics on the area of land in plantations, but the extent and locations of these plantations are often not documented. New corporate commitments to eliminate deforestation from agricultural supply chains have led to increased demand for detailed spatial information on plantation dynamics.

Recent advances in global land-cover mapping using Earth observation satellites offer a promising tool for mapping plantations. Several earlier efforts to use satellite imagery have yielded promising results. This study advances these efforts by mapping the location and extent of tree plantations in 2013 and 2014 in seven tropical countries through visual interpretation of moderate- and high-resolution satellite imagery and other ancillary spatial information. More than 45 million hectares of land in plantation systems were identified in these countries.

[adapted from abstract]

  1. How good is this research?

    Assessing the quality of research can be a tricky business. This blog from our editor offers some tools and tips.