Monitoring forest canopy cover change with ICESat-2 Data in fire-prone areas: A case study in Antalya, Türkiye


  • Emre Aktürk Department of Ecology and Conservation Biology, Texas A&M University, USA. | Department of Forest Engineering, Faculty of Forestry, Kastamonu University, Türkiye



This study presents an innovative approach for monitoring forest canopy cover changes in Antalya, Turkey, a region characterized by rich biodiversity, recurrent forest fires, and rapid rehabilitation efforts. Employing advanced remote sensing techniques, the research integrates ICESat-2 ATL08 segment data, Landsat satellite imagery, and Esri Sentinel-2 Land Cover datasets to generate forest canopy cover (FCC) maps for the years 2019 and 2022. The study area was chosen due to its high population, significant tourism industry, and frequent forest fires, making it a critical region for biodiversity and forest resources in Turkey. The Canopy Cover Estimation Method (CCEM) was employed, achieving accuracy percentages ranging from 77% to 86%, demonstrating its efficacy in estimating FCC without the need for fieldwork. The integration of annual updates from the Esri Sentinel-2 Land Cover dataset as auxiliary data greatly enhanced the reliability and accuracy of the analyses. Despite challenges posed by the study area and differences in spatial resolution among the datasets, the study successfully demonstrated the utility of integrating ICESat-2 segment data and Landsat imagery for understanding the dynamics of FCC in a complex environment. The results contribute to more informed decision-making in forest management and conservation efforts. Future research should focus on refining the methodologies to minimize spectral misclassification, improving the spatial resolution of the FCC maps, and leveraging advancements in remote sensing technology to obtain more accurate and reliable results.






Research article