Detecting the evolution of large-area landscape patterns using long-term remote-sensing images is helpful in supporting research on the relationship between landscape patterns and ecological processes, as well as the development of ecological process simulations and spatiotemporal interaction models. However, detection methods have generally been developed as separate applications, each with a separate type of landscape pattern change; remote-sensing images are acquired at epochal timesteps. Consequently, in practical applications, many omission changes for some types of pattern changes and inaccurate evolution time are presented in the detected map. In this article, state-and-evolution detection models (SEDMs) are promoted to obtain complete information about the evolution of landscape patterns based on yearly land cover data. In the proposed framework, we first define the major categories of landscape pattern changes to comprehensively reveal the characteristics of landscape pattern changes associated with real change cases. Next, a morphological rule-based pattern recognition approach is proposed for quantitative discrimination among these categories. This approach is then applied in annual land cover data to continuously detect landscape pattern evolution processes and evolution time. Finally, the detected evolution time in different evolution processes is applied to measure the timestep between two disparate types. The performances of the SEDMs are presented by Landsat-derived land cover evolution in Shanxi, China. The detected results are indirectly verified by the land cover conversion matrix and connect index, indicating strong robustness and generalization ability of the SEDMs.
Article link: https://doi.org/10.1109/TGRS.2021.3088537