Copernicus Sentinel-2 Monitoring

Mapping Habitat Management and Heath Plant's Life-Cycles

The Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission from the European Space Agency (ESA) allows us to monitor the extent, fragmentation and conservation status of broad scale habitat units. For that purpose, the project team developed a procedure that analysis optical satellite time series to delineate habitat types such as Calluna heath, xeric-grasslands, fresh meadows and forest types. We can further distinguish between different life-cycle phases from space that characterizes the regrowth in heathlands after management.


A time series of Sentinel-2 satellite imagery enables the identification of consecutive time steps in which the heather was mowed or burned. The procedure automatically assigns probabilities of life history states for the species Calluna vulgaris. Old degenerated heather as well as shrub encroachment can be mapped spatially explicit. It helps to better locate management activities and thus increases the efficiency of management measures in the field.

images & text by Dr. Carsten Neumann