New vegetation type map of India prepared using satellite remote sensing: comparison with global vegetation maps and utilities

Partha Sarathi Roy, M. D. Behera, M. S. R. Murthy, Arijit Roy, Sarnam Singh, S. P. S. Kushwaha, C. S. Jha, S. Sudhakar, P. K. Joshi, Ch. Sudhakar Reddy, Stutee Gupta, Girish Pujar, C. B. S. Dutt, V. K. Srivastava, M. C. Porwal, Poonam Tripathi, J. S. Singh, Vishwas Chitale, A. K. Skidmore, G. RajshekharDeepak Kushwaha, Harish Karnatak, Sameer Saran, A. Giriraj, Hitendra Padalia, Manish Kale, Subrato Nandy, C. Jeganathan, C. P. Singh, C. M. Biradar, D. K. Singh, G. M. Devagiri, Gautam Talukdar, Rabindra K. Panigrahy, Harnam Singh, J. R. Sharma, K. Haridasan, Shivam Trivedi, K. P. Singh, L. Kannan, M. Daniel, M. K. Misra, Madhura Niphadkar, Nidhi Nagabhatla, Nupoor Prasad, O. P. Tripathi, P. Rama Chandra Prasad, Pushpa Dash, Qamer Qureshi, S. K. Tripathi, B. R. Ramesh, Balakrishnan Gowda, Sanjay Tomar, Shakil Romshoo, Shilpa Giriraj, Shirish A. Ravan, Soumit Kumar Behera, Subrato Paul, Ashesh Kumar Das, B. K. Ranganath, T. P. Singh, T. R. Sahu, Uma Shankar, A. R. R. Menon, Neeti, Subrat Sharma, U. B. Mohapatra, Ashok Peddi, Humayun Rashid, Irfan Salroo, P. Hari Krishna, P. K. Hajra, A. O. Vergheese, Shafique Matin, Swapnil A. Chaudhary, Sonali Ghosh, Udaya Lakshmi, Deepshikha Rawat, Kalpana Ambastha, Kalpana Ambastha, Akhtar H. Malik, B. S. S. Devi, K. C. Sharma, Prashant Mukharjee, Ajay Sharma, Priya Davidar, R. R. Venkata Raju, S. S. Katewa, Shashi Kant, Vatsavaya S. Raju, B. P. Uniyal, Bijan Debnath, D. K. Rout, Rajesh Thapa, Shijo Joseph, Pradeep Chhetri, Reshma M. Ramachandran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

85 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A seamless vegetation type map of India (scale 1: 50,000) prepared using medium-resolution IRS LISS-III images is presented. The map was created using an on-screen visual interpretation technique and has an accuracy of 90%, as assessed using 15,565 ground control points. India has hitherto been using potential vegetation/forest type map prepared by Champion and Seth in 1968. We characterized and mapped further the vegetation type distribution in the country in terms of occurrence and distribution, area occupancy, percentage of protected area (PA) covered by each vegetation type, range of elevation, mean annual temperature and precipitation over the past 100 years. A remote sensing-amenable hierarchical classification scheme that accommodates natural and semi-natural systems was conceptualized, and the natural vegetation was classified into forests, scrub/shrub lands and grasslands on the basis of extent of vegetation cover. We discuss the distribution and potential utility of the vegetation type map in a broad range of ecological, climatic and conservation applications from global, national and local perspectives. Weused 15,565 ground control points to assess the accuracy of products available globally (i.e., GlobCover, Holdridge's life zone map and potential natural vegetation (PNV) maps). Hence we recommend that the map prepared herein be used widely. This vegetation type map is the most comprehensive one developed for India so far. It was prepared using 23.5m seasonal satellite remote sensing data, field samples and information relating to the biogeography, climate and soil. The digital map is now available through a web portal (http://bis.iirs.gov.in).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)142-159
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation
Volume39
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2015
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Forest type
  • Accuracy assessment
  • Visual interpretation
  • Climate
  • GPS

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