EVALUATION OF THE FEASIBTY OF REMOTE SENSING TECHNIQUES IN FOREST DEGRADATION ANALYSIS : A CASE STUDY OF PEPPARA PH:ME SANCTUARYA.O. Varghese and A.R.R. Menon
Tropical forests are the most complex biome on earth and contain far greater biotic diversity than any other biome. It is all the more regrettable, then, that these forests are getting disturbed and degraded faster than any other biome. Highly heterogeneous forests of southern Western Ghats in respect to successional and edaphic conditions pose many obstacles for analysing the forest status. In this paper aerial photographs at a scale of I : 15,000 were used to evaluate the feasibility of aerial remote sensing for assessing the disturbed and degraded nature of forests. Before density slicing, stratification of forest types were done and in each forest type different stratification schemes were adopted. Canopy density slicing was done as per dot sampling device. Bamboos were stratified separately according to the forest type in which it was found mixed or as pure bamboo brakes. Detailed stratification of the forests with respect to sucussional status, disturbed nature, degradation stages, dominant types, encroachment, virgin forest, etc., were achieved with a high level of accuracy (95%).
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