Assessment of the Forest Health Through Remote Sensing Techniques in Valea Roșie Natura 2000 Site, Bihor County, Romania

Abstract

The present study deals with the estimation of the evolution tendency of the environmental stage of a protected habitat with predominant forest vegetation, during a short period of time, using techniques specific to remote sensing. Therefore, two important spectral indexes were tested while assessing the health of the forest ecosystems: i.e. the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and the Structure Insensitive Pigment Index (SIPI). The period of time taken into consideration for the study was, 2013 - 2019, having used medium resolution satellite photos, Landsat 8 OLI, having initially undergone standard pre-processing operations (resize data, radiometric calibration, atmospheric correction). The satellite images modified according to the Top of Atmosphere Reflectance and corrected topographically resulted into getting values for the two before mentioned indexes. The quantity-spatial results obtained, correlated to the monthly values of the precipitations processed in order to obtain the SPI (Standardized Precipitation Index), mostly reveal, in what SIPI and also NDVI are concerned, a slight decrease in the quality of the forest on the analysed area in the sense that the vegetation stress is increased under meteorological factors, expressed differently depending on the morphometric and pedological parameters of the habitat.

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