Applying the Global Disturbance Index for Detecting Vegetation Changes in Lao Tropical Forests


Land cover change is a major challenge for many developing countries. Spatiotemporal information on this change is essential for monitoring global terrestrial ecosystem carbon, climate and biosphere exchange, and land use management. A combination of LST and the EVI indices in the global disturbance index (DI) has been proven to be useful for detecting and monitoring of changes in land covers at continental scales. However, this model has not been adequately applied or assessed in tropical regions. We aimed to demonstrate and evaluate the DI algorithm used to detect spatial change in land covers in Lao tropical forests. We used the land surface temperature and enhanced vegetation index of the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer time-series products from 2006-2012. We used two dates Google EarthTM images in 2006 and 2012 as ground truth data for accuracy assessment of the model. This research demonstrated that the DI was capable of detecting vegetation changes during seven-year periods with high overall accuracy; however, it showed low accuracy in detecting vegetation decrease.

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Phompila, C. , Lewis, M. , Clarke, K. and Ostendorf, B. (2015) Applying the Global Disturbance Index for Detecting Vegetation Changes in Lao Tropical Forests. Advances in Remote Sensing, 4, 73-82. doi: 10.4236/ars.2015.41007.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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