Satellite-based detection of bamboo expansion over the past 30 years in Mount Tianmushan, China.
The present work aims to detect bamboo expansion and its impact on carbon storage in a thick forest in the most recent 30 years. The research area is the national nature reserve of Tianmushan, Zhejiang Province, China, and the present paper monitored bamboo expansion from 1984 to 2015. Multi-spectral band and vegetation indices from Landsat images in summer and winter are used combined to improve the accuracy of detection using a support vector machine (SVM) classifier. Expansion of bamboo over this period is evident. Total expansion is 161%, the fastest annual rate being 11.6%. However, over recent decades the growth of bamboo has been inhibited by human activity and the total area has decreased by 21%. Evergreen broadleaf forest is the most vulnerable to invasion by bamboo at a ratio of about 65%, and this expanding trend has been brought under effective control. Carbon storage was estimated using sample plot surveys and modelling based on key ecological forests. According to our estimation using carbon storage models, the total carbon storage of Tianmushan has declined by circa 4.7% due to bamboo expansion in the past three decades.