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MODIS-based vegetation index has sufficient sensitivity to indicate stand-level intra-seasonal climatic stress in oak and beech forests

Hlásny, T., Barka, I., Sitková, Z., Konôpka, M., Bucha, T. and Lukáč, M. ORCID: (2015) MODIS-based vegetation index has sufficient sensitivity to indicate stand-level intra-seasonal climatic stress in oak and beech forests. Annals of Forest Science, 72 (1). pp. 109-125. ISSN 1286-4560

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1007/s13595-014-0404-2


Context: Variation in photosynthetic activity of trees induced by climatic stress can be effectively evaluated using remote sensing data. Although adverse effects of climate on temperate forests have been subjected to increased scrutiny, the suitability of remote sensing imagery for identification of drought stress in such forests has not been explored fully. Aim: To evaluate the sensitivity of MODIS-based vegetation index to heat and drought stress in temperate forests, and explore the differences in stress response of oaks and beech. Methods: We identified 8 oak and 13 beech pure and mature stands, each covering between 4 and 13 MODIS pixels. For each pixel, we extracted a time series of MODIS NDVI from 2000 to 2010. We identified all sequences of continuous unseasonal NDVI decline to be used as the response variable indicative of environmental stress. Neural Networks-based regression modelling was then applied to identify the climatic variables that best explain observed NDVI declines. Results: Tested variables explained 84–97% of the variation in NDVI, whilst air temperature-related climate extremes were found to be the most influential. Beech showed a linear response to the most influential climatic predictors, while oak responded in a unimodal pattern suggesting a better coping mechanism. Conclusions: MODIS NDVI has proved sufficiently sensitive as a stand-level indicator of climatic stress acting upon temperate broadleaf forests, leading to its potential use in predicting drought stress from meteorological observations and improving parameterisation of forest stress indices.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Interdisciplinary Research Centres (IDRCs) > Walker Institute
Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development > Department of Crop Science
ID Code:37046


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