Using time series of moderate-resolution imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS) normalized
difference vegetation index (NDVI) data from 2000 to 2009, we assessed decadal vegetation
dynamics across Canada and examined the relationship between NDVI and climatic
variables (precipitation and temperature). The Palmer drought severity index and vapor pressure difference (VPD) were used to relate the vegetation changes to the climate, especially in cases of drought. Results indicated that MODIS NDVI measurements provided a dynamic picture of interannual variation in Canadian vegetation patterns. Greenness declined in 2000, 2002, and 2009 and increased in 2005, 2006, and 2008. Vegetation dynamics varied across regions during the period. Most forest land shows little change, while vegetation in the ecozone of Pacific Maritime, Prairies, and Taiga Shield shows more dynamics than in the others. Significant correlations were found between NDVI and the climatic variables. The variation of NDVI resulting from climatic variability was more highly correlated to temperature than to precipitation in most ecozones. Vegetation grows better with higher precipitation and temperature in almost all ecozones. However, vegetation grows worse under higher temperature in the Prairies ecozone. The annual changes in NDVI corresponded well with the change in VPD in most ecozones.