Ouyang, W; Hao, FH; Skidmore, AK; Groen, TA; Toxopeus, AG; Wang, TJ (2012). Integration of multi-sensor data to assess grassland dynamics in a Yellow River sub-watershed. ECOLOGICAL INDICATORS, 18, 163-170.
Grasslands form the dominant land cover in the upper reaches of the Yellow River and provide a reliable indicator by being strongly correlated with regional terrestrial ecological status. Remote sensing can provide information useful for vegetation quality assessments, but no single sensor can meet the needs for the high temporal-spatial resolution required for such assessments on a watershed scale. To observe long-term grassland dynamics in the Longliu Watershed located in the upper reaches of the Yellow River, Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) and Landsat images were integrated to obtain Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) data. The MODIS images were used to identify patterns of monthly variation. With the temporal dynamics of NDVI provided by the MODIS images, an exponential regression model was obtained that described the relationship between Julian day and NDVI. Four time-series data sets from multi-spectral sensors were constructed to obtain regional grassland NDVI information from 1977 to 2006 in the Longliu Watershed. Using the daily NDVI correlation coefficient, NDVI values for different days were obtained from Landsat series images, standardised to the same day and integrated into TM format by using NDVI coefficients between the four different sensors. Thus, the NDVI data obtained from multi-sensors on different days were integrated into a comparable format. A regression analysis correlating the NDVI data from two sensors with fresh grass biomass showed that the integration procedure was reliable. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.