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Discrimination of invaded and native species sites in a semi-desert grassland using MODIS multi-temporal data

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Over the past several decades, one of the most significant changes in semi-desert grasslands of the southwestern US has been the invasion of South African grass Eragrostis lehmanniana. The objective of this study was to characterize the phenology of systems occupied by E. lehmanniana and/or native grasses using time-series of field observations and the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (MODIS NDVI) and brightness (red and near-infrared reflectance) data. Results demonstrated that it was possible to use NDVI and/or spectral reflectance data to discern the phenological differences across a gradient of E. lehmanniana infested grasslands due to variations in plant biodiversity, morphology and seasonal productivity. This work establishes the feasibility of integrating field and MODIS vegetation and spectral time-series data to characterise landscapes dominated by different herbaceous species, which in turn provides opportunities to monitor E. lehmanniana in semi-arid environments at a large spatial scale.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Geomatics, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan 70101, Taiwan,Office of Arid Lands Studies, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona 85719, USA 2: Department of Plant Biology, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina 27695, USA 3: Office of Arid Lands Studies, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona 85719, USA,Department of Geography and Regional Development, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona 85721, USA

Publication date: January 1, 2009

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