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Monitoring of forage conditions with MODIS imagery in the Xilingol steppe, Inner Mongolia

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A study was conducted to determine the potential suitability of Terra/MODIS imagery for monitoring short-term phenological changes in forage conditions in a semi-arid region. The study sites included four meadow steppes and six typical steppes in the Xilingol steppe in central Inner Mongolia, China. The live biomass, dead standing biomass, total biomass, crude protein (CP) concentration and standing CP were estimated from early April to late October using the Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI) values from Terra imagery (500?m?pixels). Applying regression models, the EVI accounted for 80% of the variation in live biomass, 42% of the dead biomass, 77% of the total biomass, 11% of the CP concentration and 74% of the standing CP. MODIS/EVI is superior to AVHRR/NDVI when estimating forage quantity. Applying these results, the seasonal changes in live biomass and the standing CP could be described in the selected four sites with different degrees of grazing intensity. Generally, the increase in grazing intensity tended to decrease live biomass and standing CP. It was suggested that the EVI obtained from Terra imagery was an available predictor of the forage condition as measured by live biomass and standing CP. The MODIS/EVI values could provide information on the suitable timing of cutting for hay-making and nutritive value to range managers.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100090, China

Publication date: April 1, 2005

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