Monitoring the spatial and temporal dynamics of the Brazilian Cerrado physiognomies with spectral vegetation indices: An assessment within the Large-Scale Biosphere-Atmosphere Experiment in Amazonia (LBA)
AuthorFerreira, Laerte Guimaraes
AdvisorHuete, Alfredo R.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe large extension and diversity of the Cerrado vegetative cover, the second largest biome in South America, has a strong impact on regional, and possibly global, energy, water, and carbon balances. Nevertheless, as a major farming frontier in Brazil, it is estimated that about 40% of the Cerrado land cover has already been converted into cultivated pastures, field crops, urban development, and degraded areas. Despite this aggressive pace of land conversion, there have been few investigations on the operational utilization of remote sensing data to effectively monitor and understand this biome. Within this context, and within the goals and framework of the Large Scale Biosphere-Atmosphere Experiment in Amazonia (LBA), we evaluated the usefulness of spectral vegetation indices (VIs), to effectively monitor the Cerrado, detect land conversions, and discriminate and assess the conditions of the major structural types of Cerrado vegetation. Using a full hydrologic year (1995) of AVHRR, local-area-coverage (LAC), data over the Cerrado, converted to normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and soil adjusted vegetation index (SAVI), we were able to spatially discriminate three major communities based on their phenologic patterns. These included savanna formations and pasture sites, forested areas, and agricultural crops. We also analyzed wet and dry season, aircraft-based radiometric data and a ground-based set of biophysical measurements, collected over the Brasilia National Park (BNP), the largest LBA core site in the Cerrado biome. Overall, we found the MODIS vegetation indices, which include a continuity NDVI and the new enhanced vegetation index (EVI), to provide better performance capabilities with improved dynamic ranges and contrasts in seasonal dynamics. Land cover discrimination was favored by the NDVI, while the EVI more strongly responded to the seasonal contrast of the vegetative cover. Thus, the synergistic use of the MODIS VI products will very likely result in an improved monitoring capability and understanding of the Cerrado biome.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Soil, Water and Environmental Science