Eli Mitchell-Larson

Advisor: Gordon Geballe / Chad Oliver


The Perudica primeval forest in Bosnia and Herzegovina is one of the last of its kind in Europe and offers a unique case study of the role of old growth forests in the global carbon cycle. This project employs intermediate spatial resolution satellite images (LANDSAT TM) and SRTM DEM data to derive estimates of Gross Primary Productivity (GPP) for the Perudica reserve and several surrounding areas representative of different land cover types.

Building on remote sensing forest research methods designed for nearby Mediterranean forests, this project employs a simplified model of GPP that utilizes available solar radiation and the Fraction of Absorbed Photosynthetically Available Radiation (fPAR) index along with external data to derive its estimates. The quantitative results are presented with the intent that they be refined and confirmed through subsequent on-site field work which could provide valuable insight into the carbon content of these old growth forests. Through comparison of GPP values between seasons and across decades, land cover types were analyzed according to their significant in photosynthetic processes.