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Summary of Proposal LAN1725

TitleMeasuring Interannual Variability in Seasonally Dry Tropical Forest Deciduousness in the Mexican Southern Yucatán
Investigator Cuba, Nick - Clark University, Geography
Team Member
Dr. Rogan, John - Clark University, Geography
Mr. Cuba, Nicholas - Clark University, Geography
Summary

Rates of deforestation in the dry tropical forests of the Mexican Yucatan have declined in recent decades, but increases in the intensity and spatial extent of dry season deciduousness in the region may impact biosphere-atmosphere interactions by decreasing ecosystem carbon storage, and increasing the quantity of aerosols emitted by burning. Remote sensing instruments offer spatially continuous, multi-year, and temporally dense observations of forest phenological life-cycles, but few remote sensing studies examine the drivers or consequences of dry tropical deciduousness at a fine scale. Radar data may provide improvements over multispectral data for monitoring the extent, intensity, and timing of deciduousness, especially during time periods during which high and persistent cloud cover is typically observed. Data from the TerraSAR-X sensor has been successfully used to classify forest and approximate forest stand parameters in temperate forest ecosystems, and this project seeks to leverage high resolution, X-band data to better discriminate between forests that are typically deciduous or evergreen, and to spatially and temporally monitor changes in the intensity of tropical forest deciduousness.

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