Space-time LAI Variability in Northern Puglia (Italy) From SPOT VGT Data

Environ Monit Assess. 2015 Jul;187(7):434. doi: 10.1007/s10661-015-4603-6. Epub 2015 Jun 16.

Abstract

The vegetation space-time variability during 1999-2010 in the North of the Apulian region (Southern Italy) was analysed using SPOT VEGETATION (VGT) sensor data. Three bands of VEGETATION (RED, NIR and SWIR) were used to implement the vegetation index named reduced simple ratio (RSR) to derive leaf area index (LAI). The monthly average LAI is an indicator of biomass and canopy cover, while the difference between the annual maximum and minimum LAI is an indicator of annual leaf turnover. The space-time distribution of LAI at the catchment scale was analysed over the examined period to detect the consistency of vegetation dynamics in the study area. A diffuse increase of LAI was observed in the examined years that cannot be directly explained only in terms of increasing water availability. Thus, in order to explain such a general behaviour in terms of climatic factors, the analysis was performed upon stratification of land cover classes, focusing on the most widespread species: forest and wheat. An interesting ascending-descending behaviour was observed in the relationship between inter-annual increments of maximum LAI and rainfall, and in particular, a strong negative correlation was found when the rainfall amount in January and February exceeded a critical threshold of about 100 mm.

MeSH terms

  • Biomass
  • Forests*
  • Geography
  • Italy
  • Plant Leaves / growth & development*
  • Rain
  • Satellite Imagery*
  • Seasons
  • Trees / growth & development*
  • Triticum / growth & development*
  • Water

Substances

  • Water