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Diverse relationships between forest growth and the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index at a global scale

Journal article
Authors S. M. Vicente-Serrano
J. J. Camarero
J. M. Olano
N. Martin-Hernandez
M. Pena-Gallardo
M. Tomas-Burguera
A. Gazol
Cesar Azorin-Molina
U. Bhuyan
A. El Kenawy
Published in Remote Sensing of Environment
Volume 187
Pages 14-29
ISSN 0034-4257
Publication year 2016
Published at Department of Earth Sciences
Pages 14-29
Language en
Keywords Dendrochronology, Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), Tree rings, Forest growth, net primary production, leaf-area index, maximum latewood density, tree-ring analysis, climate-change, norway spruce, ecosystem, productivity, semiarid ecosystems, seasonal dynamics, secondary forests, Environmental Sciences & Ecology, Remote Sensing, Imaging Science &, Photographic Technology
Subject categories Earth and Related Environmental Sciences


This study compared the densest available database of tree-ring growth with the longest Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) information available at the global scale to quantify the relationship between annual forest growth and the NDVI across different forest types and regions and to characterize the patterns of response of forest growth to NDVI values at different temporal scales. We found a general positive relationship between the inter-annual NDVI variability and the annual tree growth in most of the analyzed forests. Nevertheless, there were strong differences in the tree growth responses to NDVI, given that the annual tree-ring records in each forest responded in a different way to the magnitude, seasonality and accumulation period of the NDVI values. Thus, we found eight main patterns of tree-ring response to the NDVI, which were related to the forest type and climate conditions of each corresponding site. The identified patterns may be useful for determining early-warning signals of changes in forest growth over large areas based on remote sensing information.

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