The Assessment of Land Degradation and Desertification in Mexico: Mapping Regional Trend Indicators with Satellite Data
Understanding the patterns of land degradation and desertification to develop mitigation strategies requires identification of methods for accurate and spatially explicit assessment and monitoring. Remote sensing data offer the possibility to develop strategies that outline degradation and desertification. The free access policy on satellite imagery enables a new pathway to measure, assess, and monitor land degradation using indicators derived from multispectral satellite data. This chapter seeks to explore a methodology for land degradation and desertification assessment and monitoring, based on freely available multispectral satellite data. The method identifies net primary productivity (NPP) and canopy cover (CC) as indicators of degradation. The trajectories of these indicators show patterns and trends over time. The methodological development presented here is intended to be a tool for regional landscape monitoring and assessment, enabling the formulation of corrective action plans. This methodology was tested in a semi-deciduous ecosystem in the southeast of Mexico.
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