Landsat Phenological Metrics and Their Relation to Aboveground Carbon in the Brazilian Savanna


The quantification and spatially explicit mapping of carbon stocks in terrestrial ecosystems is important to better understand the global carbon cycle and to monitor and report change processes, especially in the context of international policy mechanisms such as REDD+ or the implementation of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Especially in heterogeneous ecosystems, such as Savannas, accurate carbon quantifications are still lacking, where highly variable vegetation densities occur and a strong seasonality hinders consistent data acquisition. In order to account for these challenges we analyzed the potential of land surface phenological metrics derived from gap-filled 8-day Landsat time series for carbon mapping. We selected three areas located in different subregions in the central Brazil region, which is a prominent example of a Savanna with significant carbon stocks that has been undergoing extensive land cover conversions. Here phenological metrics from the season 2014/2015 were combined with aboveground carbon field samples of cerrado sensu stricto vegetation using Random Forest regression models to map the regional carbon distribution and to analyze the relation between phenological metrics and aboveground carbon.

Carbon Balance and Management