|A Vegetation Map for the Catskill Park, NY, Derived from Multi-temporal Landsat Imagery and GIS Data|
Abstract - A map of the vegetation of the Catskill Park, NY, was created using multi-temporal Landsat Thematic Mapper TM data and ancillary spatial data to support ecological studies in Catskill watersheds. The map emphasizes forest types defined by dominant tree species and depicts 24 vegetation classes. Mapping included a series of supervised classifications in a decision tree framework that allowed forest types to be distinguished using spectral characteristics and other environmental relationships (e.g., landscape position, elevation). Traditional contingency table analysis (based on limited ground sampling) suggests overall map accuracy ranging from 28% to 90%, depending on the level of aggregation of the original 24 map classes. Fuzzy accuracy assessment based on the same ground data suggests a 71% level of acceptable classification. The map indicates that maple-dominated forests are predominant in the Catskill region, but that beech and birch-dominated forests become more important at higher elevations. Oak-dominated forests are very important along the eastern side of the Catskills, and conifer-dominated forests are largely restricted to mountaintops and stream bottoms.