Investigation on Zagros forests cover changes under the recent droughts using satellite imagery

https://doi.org/10.17221/61/2018-JFSCitation:Goodarzi M., Pourhashemi M., Azizi Z. (2019): Investigation on Zagros forests cover changes under the recent droughts using satellite imagery. J. For. Sci., 65: 9-17.
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Oak decline phenomenon has recently led to considerable dieback within Zagros forests, western Iran. In the present study, Landsat imagery (2005 to 2016) and synoptic station data were used to study the forest dieback in Dorood, Lorestan province. Sixteen vegetation indices were calculated and values in each year were obtained. The correlations between the index and climatic parameters of rainfall, temperature and relative humidity were investigated. Results showed that the correlation of some indices with rainfall and the correlation of other indices with temperature were more than 70%. Optimized soil adjusted vegetation index had 80% correlation with annual rainfall and the modification of normalized difference water index was correlated with average annual temperature by 75%. Using the numerical value changes of the indices, a map of forest cover change was prepared in four classes; healthy, weak, moderate and severe dieback and the process of its change were compared with the trend of variations in regard with rainfall values in the study period. There was a close relationship between changes in the area of forest cover dieback and rainfall and temperature values.

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