A State-of-the-Art Vegetation Map for Jordan: A New Tool for Conservation in a Biodiverse Country

Hatem Taifour, Kyle G. Dexter, Jawad Al-bakri, Anthony Miller, Sophie Neale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In many countries, including Jordan, the updating of vegetation maps is required to aid in formulating development and management plans for agriculture, forest, and rangeland sectors. Remote sensing data contributes widely to vegetation mapping at different scales by providing multispectral information that can separate and identify different vegetation groups at reasonable accuracy and low cost. Here, we implemented state-of-the-art approaches to develop a vegetation map for Jordan, as an example of how such maps can be produced in regions of high vegetation complexity. Specifically, we used a reciprocal illumination technique that combines extensive ground data (640 vegetation inventory plots) and Sentinel-2 satellite images to produce a categorical vegetation map (scale 1:50,000). Supervised classification was used to translate the spectral characteristics into vegetation types, which were first delimited by the clustering analyses of species composition data from the plots. From the satellite image interpretation, two maps were created: an unsupervised land cover/land use map and a supervised map of present-day vegetation types, both consisting of 18 categories. These new maps should inform ecosystem management and conservation planning decisions in Jordan over the coming years.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)174-194
JournalConservation
Volume2
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 Mar 2022

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