11 December 2006 Performance of different vegetation indices in assessing degradation of community grazing lands in Indian arid zone
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Vegetation in arid community grazinglands shows monsoonal growth. Its matching phenology with crops makes its detection difficult during July to September. While crops are harvested during September-October, using satellite data thereafter for the natural vegetation seems most appropriate but by then it turns dry. An index capable of sensing dry vegetation was needed since conventional NDVI is sensitive to greenness of vegetation. Performance of NDVI vis-à-vis another index, PD54, based on cover was therefore compared in assessing degradation of grazinglands. The PD54 was used to isolate anthropogenic impacts from environmental induced degradation by analyzing satellite images from dry and wet seasons. Substantial absence of appreciable vegetation response indicated poor resilience and severe degradation. Five grazinglands in Shergarh tehsil of Jodhpur district in Rajasthan were studied following above approach. Ground radiometric observations were recorded. Satellite data of IRS 1C/1D/P6 with LISS 3 sensor for both pre and post monsoon season were acquired for three contrasting wet-dry season events. These were geometrically registered and radiometrically calibrated to calculate an index of vegetation cover PD54 as well as NDVI. PD54 is a perpendicular vegetation index based on the green and red spectral band width. The PD54 and NDVI calculated from spectro-radiometer were related to vegetation cover measured on ground in permanent plots. This confirmed that PD54 was superior index for estimating cover in arid dry grasslands. These ground vegetation trends in a good rainfall year (2001) with drought year (2002) were related with satellite data for a protected and four unprotected grazinglands. NDVI failed to detect any vegetation in protected areas supporting excellent grass cover which was succinctly brought out by PD54. Successful validation of PD54 in detecting degradation of 13 additional sites confirmed its efficacy. These findings have implication in forage availability assessments, forage forecasting, drought preparedness, pastoralism and transhumance.
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Suresh Kumar, Suresh Kumar, Gary Bastin, Gary Bastin, Margaret Friedel, Margaret Friedel, Pratap Narain, Pratap Narain, D. K. Saha, D. K. Saha, U. R. Ahuja, U. R. Ahuja, B. K. Mathur, B. K. Mathur, } "Performance of different vegetation indices in assessing degradation of community grazing lands in Indian arid zone", Proc. SPIE 6411, Agriculture and Hydrology Applications of Remote Sensing, 64110P (11 December 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.697418; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.697418

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