author =   {Eric A. Lehmann and Jeremy F. Wallace and Peter A. Caccetta and Suzanne L. Furby and Katherine Zdunic},
  title =    {Forest cover trends from time series Landsat data for the Australian continent},
  journal =  {International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation},
  volume =   {21},
  number =   {},
  pages =    {453–-462},
  month =    {April},
  year =     {2013},
  abstract = {In perennial and natural vegetation systems, monitoring changes in vegetation over time is of fundamental interest for identifying and quantifying impacts of management and natural processes. Subtle changes in vegetation cover can be identified by calculating the trends of a vegetation density index over time. In this paper, we apply such an index-trends approach, which has been developed and applied to time series Landsat imagery in rangeland and woodland environments, to continental-scale monitoring of disturbances within forested regions of Australia. This paper describes the operational methods used for the generation of National Forest Trend (NFT) information, which is a time-series summary providing visual indication of within-forest vegetation changes (disturbance and recovery) over time at 25m resolution. This result is based on a national archive of calibrated Landsat TM/ETM+ data from 1989 to 2006 produced for Australia’s National Carbon Accounting System (NCAS). The NCAS was designed in 1999 initially to provide consistent fine-scale classifications for monitoring forest cover extent and changes (i.e. land use change) over the Australian continent using time series Landsat imagery. NFT information identifies more subtle changes within forested areas and provides a capacity to identify processes affecting forests which are of primary interest to ecologists and land managers. The NFT product relies on the identification of an appropriate Landsat-based vegetation cover index (defined as a linear combination of spectral image bands) that is sensitive to changes in forest density. The time series of index values at a location, derived from calibrated imagery, represents a consistent surrogate to track density changes. To produce the trends summary information, statistical summaries of the index response over time (such as slope and quadratic curvature) are calculated. These calculated index responses of woody vegetation cover are then displayed as maps where the different colours indicate the approximate timing, direction (decline or increase), magnitude and spatial extent of the changes in vegetation cover. These trend images provide a self-contained and easily interpretable summary of vegetation change at scales that are relevant for natural resource management (NRM) and environmental reporting.}