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VEGETATION - 2000

Lake Maggiore - Italy, 3-6 April 2000


Monitoring Boreal Forest Resources in Northern Europe from the VEGETATION instrument

Jean-Luc Widlowski(1), Bernard Pinty(1), Nadine Gobron(1), Michel M. Verstraete(1)
(1) Space Applications Institute
EC Joint Research Centre
I--21020 Ispra (VA), Italy

Paper (pdf file, 649 k)

Boreal forests constitute a major renewable economic resource of north European countries. These ecosystems are threatened by the combined effects of increasing demand for timber and wood products, and by likely changes of climate resulting from the well known increase in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The VEGETATION sensor offers new opportunities to monitor the status and evolution of these resources, thanks to its four spectral bands. The synergy between these data and the existence of advanced models and techniques of data analysis has permitted the full exploitation of data generated by this instrument, despite the difficulties arising from low solar zenith angles and a variable atmospheric aerosol load. This project provides a map showing the likelihood of the presence of dense boreal forest in the Barents region. This information should be useful for the pre-operational management of northern Europe's boreal forest resources. The approach developed here will also be applicable to the operational management of other ecosystems.