Remotely sensed vegetation indices (VI) such as the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) are increasingly used as a proxy indicator of the state and condition of the land cover/vegetation, including forest. However, the Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI) on the outcome of forest change detection has not been widely investigated. We compared the influence of using EVI and NDVI on the number and time of detected changes by applying Breaks for Additive Seasonal and Trend (BFAST), a change detection algorithm. We used MODIS 16-day NDVI and EVI composite images (April 2000-April 2012) of three pixels (pixels 352, 378, and 380) in the tropical peat swamp forest area around the flux tower of Palangka Raya, Central Kalimantan. The results of BFAST method were compared to the Normalized Difference Fraction Index (NDFI) maps and the maps were validated by the hotspot of the Infrastructure and Operational MODIS-Based Near Real-Time Fire(INDOFIRE). Overall, the number and time of changes detected in the three pixels differed with both time series data because of the data quality due to the cloud cover. Nonetheless, we found that EVI is more sensitive than NDVI for detecting abrupt changes such as the forest fires of August 2009-October 2009 that occurred in our study area and it was verified by the NDFI and the hotspot data. Our results demonstrated that the EVI for forest monitoring in the tropical peat swamp forest area which is covered by intense cloud cover is better than that NDVI. Nonetheless, further research with improving spatial resolution of satellite images for application of NDFI is highly recommended.
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