Land use and land cover changes in South East Asia: The effects of land transformations on biophysical variables in Indonesia

Land use changes in South-East Asia during the last decades have caused biodiversity loss, greenhouse gas emissions and changes in biomass and carbon. The contribution of land use changes to greenhouse gas emissions and exchange between land use types and the atmosphere is uncertain due to scarce information about land use changes and exchange between land use types and the atmosphere. Using Remote Sensing can acquire fast and current information on land use and land cover changes. In combination with Eddy correlation measurements of carbon and energy fluxes, land surface models can be used to estimate the contribution and thus the effect of land use changes on energy and carbon fluxes.

This research will investigate, with remote sensing and field measurements, the effects of LULC changes on carbon and energy fluxes by quantifying and analyzing LULC changes and the associated carbon and energy fluxes in Indonesia. First, the LULC changes which have occurred in the last decade in the Jambi province in Indonesia will be quantified. Here, it is interesting to know whether and how rapid LULC changes can be detected (i.e. at which temporal and/or spatial scale). Next, in relation to changing LULC, the changes of the biophysical variables - e.g. albedo, emissivity, Surface Temperature (Ts) and Evapo-Transpiration (ET) - will be determined. Here I will derive these biophysical variables from RS imagery and compare them with in situ measurements.

Furthermore, carbon and energy fluxes of tropical forest and palm oil plantations in Indonesia will be quantified. The questions here are whether it is possible to detect oil palm fluxes from satellite data, and how the carbon and energy fluxes of palm oil plantations compare to tropical forests.