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Quantifying landscape-level land-use intensity patterns through radar-based remote sensing
Howison, R.A.; Piersma, T.; Kentie, R.; Hooijmeijer, C.E.W.; Olff, H. (2018). Quantifying landscape-level land-use intensity patterns through radar-based remote sensing. J. Appl. Ecol. 55(3): 1276-1287. https://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1365-2664.13077
In: Journal of Applied Ecology. British Ecological Society: Oxford. ISSN 0021-8901, meer
Peer reviewed article  

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Author keywords
    black-tailed godwit; change detection; habitat preference; land-useintensity; MODIS EVI; mowing frequency; radar; remote sensing; SentinelC-SAR; temporal stability

Auteurs  Top 
  • Howison, R.A.
  • Piersma, T., meer
  • Kentie, R., meer
  • Hooijmeijer, C.E.W.
  • Olff, H.

Abstract
    1. The increasing availability of high resolution and high frequency, radar-basedremotesensing data (i.e. observations on land surface characteristics, insensitive tocloud interference), makes it possible to track land-useintensity more precisely atthe whole landscape scale.2. Here, we develop a new radar-basedremote sensing technique for large-scalequantification of agricultural land-useintensity across human-dominatedlandscapes.We compare the respective abilities of Sentinel-1C-bandradar (C-SAR,C-bandsynthetic aperture radar) remote sensing data with the more traditionaloptical data, as MODIS enhanced vegetation indices (MODIS EVI), in capturing seasonalityand the magnitude of land-useintensity (quantity and frequency of biomassremoval). Linking our novel radar-basedchange detection algorithm toagricultural management activities on the ground, we quantify a whole landscapeaccording to timing of mowing, a key grassland disturbance, thus capturing thedynamics of mowing regimes in grasslands.3. We found that the radar-basedproxy provides a rapid and reliable measure of land-useintensity, reliably predicting plant community composition at the landscapescale.4. We tested this methodology using data on black-tailedgodwits (Limosa limosalimosa), a specialist breeder of lowland meadows which, over the last 50 years, hasshown dramatic declines. During territory establishment, black-tailedgodwits preferentiallyused fields corresponding to intermediate radar-sensedland-useintensities.However, the present-daytiming of mowing in these habitats was such thatmost godwit broods were less likely to be successful than broods in grasslands usedat a lower intensity.5. Synthesis and applications. The newly developed radar-basedland-useintensityquantification is a powerful tool that makes it possible for ecologists and land managersto include agricultural land-useintensity measurements in population studiesof the plants, insects, birds and mammals using these landscapes, at the spatialscale of entire populations. Applications of this tool include evaluating the effectivenessof European agri-environmentschemes aiming to increase biodiversity

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