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Derivation of pasture biomass in Mongolia from AVHRR-based vegetation health indices

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Early drought detection and impact assessment on the amount of pasture biomass are important in Mongolia, whose economy strongly depends on livestock production. The country's large area and a lack of information on grass availability due to the sparseness of biomass-observing and/or meteorological stations make it difficult to optimize nomadic livestock output in the Mongolian dry climate. The application of a new satellite-based method for drought detection and for assessment of wild biomass in Mongolia was investigated. Measurements of biomass at an experimental station in a semi-dry steppe ecosystem during 1985-1997 were compared with the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR)-based vegetation health (VH) indices. The results showed the indices can be used as proxies for biomass production estimation (biomass anomaly, BA) applying the following equation BA=43.201+0.881 VHI (R2=0.658).
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration NESDIS Washington, DC USA 2: Beer Sheva-Kal Systems Engineering Ltd Netanya Israel 3: University of Nebraska-Lincoln Lincoln, NE 68588 USA 4: Institute of Botany Mongolian Academy of Sciences Ulaanbaatar Mongolia

Publication date: July 1, 2004

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