Emergence of indigenous vegetation classifications through integration of traditional ecological knowledge and remote sensing analyses

Robin Naidoo, Kim Hill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) can play an important role in the understanding of ecological systems. Although TEK has complemented scientific and managerial programs in a variety of contexts, its formal incorporation into remote sensing exercises has to date been limited. Here, we show that the vegetation classifications of the Ache, an indigenous hunter-gatherer tribe of the Mbaracayu Forest Reserve in Paraguay, are reflected in a supervised classification of satellite imagery of the reserve. Accuracy of classification was toward the low end of the range of published values, but was reasonable given the difficult nature of separating forest classes from satellite images. Comparison of the resultant map with a more traditionally elaborated vegetation map highlights differences between the two approaches and the gain in information obtained by considering TEK classifications. We suggest that integration of TEK and remote sensing may provide alternative insights into the ecology of vegetation communities and land cover, particularly in remote and densely forested areas where ecological field research is often limited by roads and/or trail systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)377-387
Number of pages11
JournalEnvironmental Management
Volume38
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2006
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

vegetation classification
Remote sensing
remote sensing
hunter-gatherer
vegetation
image classification
satellite imagery
land cover
road
ecology
Satellite imagery
Ecology
Satellites
incorporation
comparison
satellite image
programme
forest reserve

Keywords

  • Ache
  • Landsat
  • Mbaracayu
  • Paraguay
  • Rainforest
  • Tribal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry

Cite this

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