What is the Tree Cover Layer?

What is the Tree Cover Layer and how do I use it?

This dataset shows Version 5.0 of the Commonwealth National Forest and Spare Woody Vegetation Dataset. This dataset is broken in 3 categories :

1) No Woody Vegetation - Between 0-5 per cent canopy coverage. 

2) Spare Woody Vegetation - Sparse woody is defined as woody vegetation with a canopy cover between 5-19 per cent.

3) Forest - A forest is defined as woody vegetation with a minimum 20 per cent canopy cover, at least 2 metres high and a minimum area of 0.2 hectares.

This data has been collect since 1988 via Landsat and is used for:

  1. Environmental monitoring: Vegetation canopy coverage can be used to monitor changes in forest cover, which can provide insights into forest health, deforestation, and land-use change. By tracking changes in vegetation canopy coverage over time, researchers can assess the impact of human activities on the environment and inform conservation and management decisions.

  2. Climate modelling: Vegetation canopy coverage is an important input variable for climate models, as it affects the amount of solar radiation that is absorbed and reflected by the Earth's surface. Accurate estimates of vegetation canopy coverage are therefore essential for modelling climate processes and predicting the impact of climate change.

  3. Agricultural planning: Vegetation canopy coverage can be used to assess the suitability of land for different types of agriculture. For example, areas with high vegetation canopy coverage may be suitable for crops that require shade, while areas with low vegetation canopy coverage may be suitable for crops that require full sun exposure.

  4. Urban planning: Vegetation canopy coverage is an important factor in urban planning, as it affects the temperature and air quality of urban areas. Vegetation canopy coverage can help to reduce the urban heat island effect, improve air quality, and provide other ecosystem services.

  5. Biodiversity conservation: Vegetation canopy coverage is a key indicator of habitat quality for many species of plants and animals. Areas with high vegetation canopy coverage may provide habitat for a diverse range of species, while areas with low vegetation canopy coverage may support fewer species.

Overall, vegetation canopy coverage is an important measure that can provide valuable information for a range of applications, from environmental monitoring and climate modelling to agricultural planning, urban planning, and biodiversity conservation.