Comprehensive forest cover mapping is essential for making policy and management decisions. However, creating a forest cover map from raw remote sensing data is a barrier for many users. Here, we investigated the effects of different tree cover thresholds on the accuracy of forest cover maps derived from the Global Forest Change Dataset (GFCD) across different ecological zones in a country-scale evaluation of Myanmar. To understand the effect of different thresholds on map accuracy, nine forest cover maps having thresholds ranging from 10% to 90% were created from the GFCD. The accuracy of the forest cover maps within each ecological zone and at the national scale was assessed. The overall accuracies of ecological zones other than tropical rainforest were highest when the threshold for tree cover was less than 50%. The appropriate threshold for tropical rainforests was 80%. Therefore, different optimal tree cover thresholds were required to achieve the highest overall accuracy depending on ecological zones. However, in the unique case of Myanmar, we were able to determine the threshold across the whole country. We concluded that the threshold for tree cover for creating a forest cover map should be determined according to the areal ratio of ecological zones determined from large-scale monitoring. Our results are applicable to tropical regions having similar ecological zones.
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