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Trends analysis of Rangeland Condition Monitoring Assessment and Projection (RCMAP) fractional component time series (1985–2020)

August 5, 2022

Rangelands have a dynamic response to climate change, fire, and other anthropogenic disturbances. The Rangeland Condition, Monitoring, Assessment, and Projection (RCMAP) product aims to capture this response by quantifying the percent cover of eight rangeland components, associated error, and trends across the western United States using Landsat from 1985 to 2020. The current generation of RCMAP has been improved with more training data, regional-scale Landsat composites, and more robust change detection. We assess the temporal patterns in each component with a linear model and a structural change method that determines break points using an 8-year temporal moving window. The linear and structural change methods generally agreed on patterns of change, but the latter found breaks more often, with at least one break point in most pixels. The structural change model provides more robust statistics on the significant minority of pixels with non-monotonic trends, while detrending some interannual signal potentially superfluous from a long-term perspective. Although break point density within one year of fire and vegetation treatments was ~10× and ~4× that of unburned areas, respectively, break point detection in the correct year of fire was only moderately accurate. Climate responses in break points proved more robust, with strong spatiotemporal relation in break point density with both aridity index values and aridity index change. Break point density strongly responds to both increased and decreased aridity and is reflective of ecosystem resilience. Data provide spatiotemporal information on the occurrence of breaks, but even more importantly, attribute those change events to specific component(s).

Publication Year 2022
Title Trends analysis of Rangeland Condition Monitoring Assessment and Projection (RCMAP) fractional component time series (1985–2020)
DOI 10.1080/15481603.2022.2104786
Authors Hua Shi, Matthew B. Rigge, Kory Postma, Brett Bunde
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title GIScience & Remote Sensing
Index ID 70233932
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center