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Library Using a sub-pixel mapping model to improve the accuracy of landscape pattern indices

Using a sub-pixel mapping model to improve the accuracy of landscape pattern indices

Using a sub-pixel mapping model to improve the accuracy of landscape pattern indices

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Date of publication
December 2011
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ISBN / Resource ID

The assessment of landscape spatial patterns is a key issue in landscape management. Landscape pattern indices (LPIs) are tools appropriate for analyzing landscape spatial patterns. LPIs are often derived from raster land cover maps that are extracted from remotely sensed data through hard classification. However, pixel-based hard classification methods suffer from the mixed pixel problem (in which pixels contain more than one land cover class), making for inaccurate classification maps and LPIs. In addition, LPIs generated by hard classification methods are characterized by grain sizes (the sampling unit sizes) that limit the derived landscape pattern to a certain scale. Sub-pixel mapping (SPM) models can enable fine-scale estimation of the spatial patterns of land cover classes without requiring additional data; hence, this is an appropriate downscaling method for land cover mapping. The fraction images generated by soft classification estimate the area proportion of each land cover class within each pixel, and using these images as input enables SPM models to alleviate the mixed pixel problem. At the same time, by transforming fraction images into a finer-scaled hard classification map, SPM models can minimize the influence of grain size on LPIs calculation. In this research, simulated landscape thematic patterns that can provide different landscape spatial patterns, eight commonly used LPIs and a SPM model that maximizes the spatial dependence between neighbouring sub-pixels were applied to assess the efficiency of deriving LPIs from sub-pixel model maps. Results showed that the SPM model can more precisely characterize landscape patterns than hard classification methods can. Landscape fragmentation, class abundance, the uncertainty in SPM, and the spatial resolution of the remotely sensed data influenced LPIs derived from sub-pixel maps. The largest patch index, landscape division, and patch cohesion derived from remotely sensed data with different spatial resolutions through the SPM model were suitable for inter-comparison, whereas the patch density, mean patch area, edge density, landscape shape index, and area-weighted mean shape index derived from the sub-pixel maps were sensitive to the spatial resolution of the remotely sensed data.

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Authors and Publishers

Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s)

Li, Xiaodong
Du, Yun
Ling, Feng
Wu, Shengjun
Feng, Qi

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