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Comments on the use of the Vegetation Health Index over Mongolia

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The Vegetation Health index (VHI) is based on a combination of products extracted from vegetation signals, namely the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and from the brightness temperatures, both derived from the NOAA Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) sensor. VH users rely on a strong inverse correlation between NDVI and land surface temperature, since increasing land temperatures are assumed to act negatively on vegetation vigour and consequently to cause stress. This Letter explores this hypothesis with data from Mongolia incorporating information from six different ecosystems. It was found that the northern ecosystems are characterized by positive correlations, implying that rising temperature favourably influences vegetation activity. It is concluded that the VHI should be used with caution, especially in high latitude regions.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: The Remote Sensing Laboratory, Jacob Blaustein Institute for Desert Research, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Sede Boker Campus, 84990, Israel 2: National Remote Sensing Center, Ministry of Nature and Environment, Mongolia 3: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Publication date: May 1, 2006

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