Current issue: 53(4)
Under compilation: 54(1)
We describe here a study based on analysis of vegetation indices and land surface temperatures, which provides relevant information for estimating soil moisture at regional scales. Through an analysis of MODIS satellite imagery and in situ moisture data, the triangle method was used to develop a conceptual land surface temperature−vegetation index model, and spatial temperature-vegetation dryness index (TVDI) values to describe soil moisture relationships for a broad landscape. This study was situated mainly within two states of the southern United States (Georgia and South Carolina). The total study area was about 30 million hectares. The analyses were conducted using information gathered from the 2009 growing season (from the end of March to September). The results of the study showed that soil moisture content was inversely proportional to TVDI, and that TVDI based on the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) had a slightly higher correlation with soil moisture than TVDI based on the enhanced vegetation index (EVI).
We determined empirical models for estimating total aboveground as well as stem, branches, and foliage dry biomass of young (age up to 16 years) silver birch (Betula pendula Roth.) growing on the post-agricultural lands. Two sets of allometric models for trees with a height below or above 1.3 m (small and large trees respectively) were developed. Simplified models were elaborated based exclusively on appropriate tree diameter (diameter at ground level for small trees, diameter at breast height for large trees), while expanded models also included tree height. Total aboveground biomass was estimated as the sum of biomass of all tree components. To assure additivity of the developed equations, the seemingly unrelated regression approach for the final model fitting was used. Expanded models in both tree groups were characterized by a better fit to the data (R2 for total aboveground biomass for small and large trees equaled 0.8768 and 0.9752, respectively). Diameter at breast height appeared to be a better predictor than diameter at ground level – simplified models had better fit for large trees (R2 for total aboveground biomass equals 0.9611) than for small ones (R2 = 0.7516). The developed equations provide biomass predictions consistent with available Latvian, Estonian, Finnish, Swedish, and Norwegian models for silver birch.