Journal of Forestry Research

, Volume 30, Issue 5, pp 1603–1617 | Cite as

Comparison of temporal and spatial changes in three major tropical forests based on MODIS data

  • Siyang Yin
  • Wenjin Wu
  • Xinwu LiEmail author
Original Paper


Numerous studies have shown that intact tropical forests account for half of the total terrestrial sink for anthropogenic carbon dioxide. Here, we analyzed and compared changes in three main tropical forest regions from 2000 to 2014, based on time-series analysis and landscape metrics derived from moderate-resolution imaging spectroradiometer data. We examined spatial-pattern changes in percentage of tree cover and net primary production (NPP) for three tropical forest regions—Amazon basin, Congo basin, and Southeast Asia. The results show that: the Amazon basin region had the largest tropical forest area and total NPP and a better continuity of TC distribution; the Southeast Asia region exhibited a sharp decrease in NPP and had comparatively separate spatial patterns of both TC and NPP; and the Congo basin region exhibited a dramatic increase in NPP and had better aggregation of forest NPP distribution. Results also show that aggregative patterns likely correlate with high NPP values.


Tropical forests Global forest change Landscape analysis 



The MODIS LCT and NPP products were retrieved from the online Data Pool, courtesy of the NASA EOSDIS Land Processes Distributed Active Archive Center (LP DAAC), USGS/Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, We would like to thank Editage [] for English-language editing.


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© Northeast Forestry University and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital EarthChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Key Laboratory of Earth ObservationHainanPeople’s Republic of China

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