The Serra do Cipó, located in Cadeia do Espinhaço, north of Belo Horizonte (MG), inside of the domain of the Cerrado and with predominance of phytophysiognomy of rupestrian grassland, is characterized by a high richness and endemicity of herbaceous species. Cadeia do Espinhaço is the center of diversity of various group of plants, including more than 4000 species and, the region of Serra do Cipó, covering approximately 200 kilometers inside of the Espinhaço, shelter more than a third of this biodiversity. These regions are currently under great threat, mainly by tourism activity and mining. Therefore, is extremely important the development of new methods and approaches that allow the effective monitoring of these environments, and so making possible to better understand its operation and vulnerabilities. The Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), also known as Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPAs), are equipments that contribute for the studies and monitoring of both the environmental and ecologic vulnerabilities of such environments. However, such systems introduce many challenges for the analysis and automatic classification of surface elements, mainly because of the high spatial resolution of the sensors. In this context, the goal of this project will be to apply the classification method OBIA (Object Based Image Analysis) to four areas of the Serra do Cipó currently monitored by the project "e-Phenology: new technologies for monitoring phenology from leaves to ecosystems" (FAPESP/Microsoft Research 2013/50155-0)", aiming to characterize the space and temporal variation of different types of vegetation and evaluate how microtopography variations between monitored locals determine the distribution and vegetation phenology.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: