Accuracy of the AVHRR vegetation index as a predictor of biomass, primary productivity and net CO2 flux

Elgene O. Box, Brent N. Holben, Virginia Kalb
1989 Vegetatio  
The Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) or 'greenness index', based on the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) aboard the NOAA-7 satellite, has been widely interpreted as a measure of regional to global vegetation patterns. This study provides the first rigorous, quantitative evaluation of global relationships between the NDVI and geographically representative vegetation data-bases, including field metabolic measurements and carbon-balance results from global simulation
more » ... dels. Geographic reliability of the NDVIis judged by comparing NDVIvalues for different surface types with a general global trend and by statistical analysis of relationships to biomass amounts, net and gross primary productivity, and actual evapotranspiration. NDVIdata appear to be relatively reliable predictors of primary productivity except in areas of complex terrain, for seasonal values at high latitudes, and in extreme deserts. The strength of the NDVI-productivity relationship seems comparable to that of earlier climate-based productivity models. Little consistent relationship was found, across different vegetation types, between NDVI and biomass amounts or net biospheric CO 2 flux.
doi:10.1007/bf00048034 fatcat:d4utpctpozaw7lzn7vads2opea