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Assessing the status of methods for detecting mangrove degradation through geospatial analysis

Supervisor: Trevor Jones
Location: desk (UK) and/or desk/field (Madagascar)
Duration: min 3-6 months

Madagascar’s west coast includes approximately 213,000 hectares of mangrove ecosystems, which sequester significant amounts of carbon dioxide, support high levels of biodiversity and provide vital goods and services to increasingly poor and vulnerable coastal communities.
Despite their importance, Madagascar’s mangroves are being rapidly overexploited resulting in widespread degradation and deforestation. While the techniques for mapping and monitoring mangrove deforestation (i.e., forest conversion) are comparatively advanced, accurately quantifying subtle degradation (i.e., forest modification) remains a vexing challenge.
This project involves an exhaustive desk-based inventory, review and analysis of methods for quantifying mangrove degradation with satellite imagery and geophysical GIS data-sets. The second phase involves using Landsat, SPOT, Worldview and/or Quickbird data to conduct a comparative analysis of merits and weaknesses for different degradation detection methodologies.
Results will contribute to a growing body of research which will finalize the method employed for mapping and monitoring subtle degradation throughout Madagascar’s mangroves.

Independent research projects (2013-2014) - Madagascar

Independent research projects (2013-2014) - Belize