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Indicators of Northern Eurasia's land-cover change trends from SPOT-VEGETATION time-series analysis 1998-2005

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The Boreal and Tundra ecosystems of the mid to high latitudes are sensitive indicators of environmental impacts from both climate change and direct human activities. This study uses inter-annual and inter-seasonal SPOT-VGT mosaics for recent years from 1998 to 2005 covering the entire boreal ecosystems of northern Eurasia. Linear trends could be detected in the NDVI and NDWI time series that differ by season, land-cover type, and latitude. Significant positive NDVI trends are described for spring and related negative trends for NDWI over the boreal forest zone. They indicate an earlier onset of the vegetation green-up. Similar vegetation dynamics can be described for autumn. The tundra ecosystems of the northern Eurasia latitudes exhibit trends of negative NDVI and positive NDWI. This may be explained by earlier snowmelt and increasing amounts of surface water from positive temperature anomalies. The non-ambiguous coarse-scale indicators require further detailed studies to identify driving factors and amount for positive feedbacks in boreal ecosystems.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Department of Earth Observation, Jena, Germany 2: Russian Academy of Sciences, Space Research Institute, Boreal Ecosystems Monitoring Laboratory, Moscow, Russia

Publication date: 2007-01-01

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