Monitoring the world's savanna biomass by earth observation

K.M. Viergever, I.H. Woodhouse, N. Stuart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Savannas constitute approximately 40% of the tropics and occur primarily in developing countries. Their net primary productivity rates are third only to tropical and temperate forests. Due to their high carbon sequestration potential savannas are likely to become important areas under Kyoto Protocol initiatives for removing CO2 from the atmosphere. They are, however, prone to human pressure. It is therefore important that accurate methods for the estimation of savanna biomass are developed which can be repeated for monitoring purposes. The paper examines research conducted to evaluate the use of Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) for estimating the biomass of the woody vegetation within a savanna in Belize, Central America. Results show that established SAR methods for estimating biomass for closed canopy forest are not directly transferable to the non-continuous cover woodlands that frequently occur in savanna areas. This has important implications for Earth observation satellites launched for the purpose of global biomass estimation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)218-225
Number of pages8
JournalScottish Geographical Journal
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2008


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