Southern yellow pines such as loblolly, Virginia and shortleaf pines constitute forest products and contribute significantly to the economy of the United States (U.S.). However, little is understood about the temporal change in canopy cover and greenness of southern yellow pines, especially in Tennessee where they are used for timber and pulpwood. This study aims to map and monitor the canopy cover and greenness of southern yellow pines i.e., loblolly (Pinus taeda), shortleaf (Pinus echinata), and Virginia (Pinus Virginiana) pines in the years 1988, 1999 and 2016 in central-eastern Tennessee. Landsat time-series satellite data acquired in December 1988, November 1999 and February 2016 were used to map and monitor the canopy cover and greenness of loblolly, shortleaf and Virginia pines. The classification and mapping of the canopy cover of southern yellow pines were performed using a machine-learning random forest classification algorithm. Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) was used to monitor the temporal variation in canopy greenness. In total, the canopy cover of southern yellow pines decreased by about 35% between December 1988 and February 2016. This information could be used by foresters and forest managers to support forest inventory and management.
Akumu, C.; Smith, R.; Haile, S. Mapping and Monitoring the Canopy Cover and Greenness of Southern Yellow Pines (Loblolly, Shortleaf, and Virginia Pines) in Central-Eastern Tennessee Using Multi-Temporal Landsat Satellite Data. Forests 2021, 12, 499. https://doi.org/10.3390/f12040499