A significant amount of research conducted in the Sonoran Desert of North America has documented, both anecdotally and empirically, major vegetation changes over the past century due to human land use activities. However, many studies lack coincidental landscape-scale data characterizing the spatial and temporal manifestation of these changes. Vegetation changes in a binational (USA and Mexico) watershed were documented using a series of four land cover maps (1979-2009) derived from multispectral satellite imagery. Cover changes are compared to georeferenced, repeat oblique photographs dating from the late 19th century to present. Results indicate the expansion of grassland over the past 20 years following nearly a century of decline. Historical repeat photography documents early-mid 20th century mesquite invasions, but recent land cover data and rephotography demonstrate declines in xeroriparian/riparian mesquite communities in recent decades. These vegetation changes are variable over the landscape and influenced by topography and land management.
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|conference||MULTITEMP 2011, 6th International Workshop on the Analysis of Multitemporal Remote Sensing Images|