Monitoring year-to-year variability in dry mixed-grass prairie yield using multi-sensor remote sensing

  • Author / Creator
    Wehlage, Donald C.
  • The Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and harvested biomass were compared to assess rangeland productivity (above-ground green biomass or “yield”) in southern Albertan dry mixed-grass prairie. Seasonal trends during the 2009 and 2010 growing seasons were investigated using harvested biomass and NDVI derived from ground spectrometry and the Aqua and Terra Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometers (MODIS) and Système Pour l'Observation de la Terre (SPOT) satellite platforms. Drought in 2009 and high precipitation in 2010 provided contrasting “treatments” that were captured with measurements of NDVI. NDVI showed a saturating response to green plant biomass, with the strongest correlation (R2=0.97) arising from mid-summer measurements. NDVI from satellite remote sensing can accurately estimate interannual variation in standing green biomass, and field spectrometry can provide validation for satellite data. These methods can be used to identify the effects of yearly precipitation variability on above-ground biomass in the dry mixed-grass prairie.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2012
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.