Mapping Land-Cover and Mangrove Structures with Remote Sensing Techniques: A Contribution to a Synoptic GIS in Support of Coastal Management in North Brazil


This article deals with the development and application of a cartographic database for a synoptic Geographic Information System (GIS). Its purpose is the storage and evaluation of the heterogeneous datasets of the interdisciplinary scientific research program MADAM (Mangrove Dynamics and Management), which aims to develop recommendations for a tailored integrated coastal management scheme for the mangrove ecosystem at Bragança (North Brazil). The article describes the integration of remote sensing data, aerial photographs, as well as point data provided by fieldwork from different scientific fields. Using various innovative processing techniques and different scale-resolution levels, an assessment of temporal–spatial changes of the mangrove peninsula and the adjacent rural socioeconomic impact area, the type of mangrove structure, as well as a land-use cover analyses was undertaken. The definition of the spatial level of detail was found to be a major issue in the development of the GIS, as well as during the processing and analysis procedures. A division between strong and weak patterns in the mangrove ecosystem could be made, which implies different management measures and sets of specific interdisciplinary studies and monitoring at hierarchical scales.

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Junior and Rui Cabral are thanked for their remarkable agility in the mangrove environment covering 25m high mangrove trees with 3 × 3m yellow plastic covers. Anke Huss, Bela H. Buck, Uta Berger, Jon Norberg, and three anonymous reviewers are thanked for their constructive structive comments on earlier drafts of this article.

This work was financially supported by the cooperation between the Centre for Tropical Marine Ecology (ZMT), Bremen, Germany and the Universidade Federal do Pará (UFPa), Belém, Brazil. This is MADAM contribution No. 57 under the Governmental Agreement on Co-operation in the Field of Scientific Research and Technological Development between Germany and Brazil financed by the German Ministry for Education, Science, Research and Technology (BMBF) (Project number: 03F0154A, Mangrove Management and Dynamics - MADAM) and the Conselho Nacional de Pesquisa e Tecnologia (CNPq).

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Correspondence to Gesche Krause.

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Krause, G., Bock, M., Weiers, S. et al. Mapping Land-Cover and Mangrove Structures with Remote Sensing Techniques: A Contribution to a Synoptic GIS in Support of Coastal Management in North Brazil. Environmental Management 34, 429–440 (2004).

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  • GIS
  • Remote sensing
  • Integrated coastal management
  • Spatial level
  • Geometrical matching
  • Multiscale approach
  • Strong and weak patterns