Wide Dynamic Range Vegetation Index for Remote Quantification of Biophysical Characteristics of Vegetation

Anatoly A. Gitelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

450 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) is widely used for monitoring, analyzing, and mapping temporal and spatial distributions of physiological and biophysical characteristics of vegetation. It is well documented that the NDVI approaches saturation asymptotically under conditions of moderate-to-high aboveground biomass. While reflectance in the red region (ρred) exhibits a nearly flat response once the leaf area index (LAI) exceeds 2, the near infrared (NIR) reflectance (ρNIR) continue to respond significantly to changes in moderate-to-high vegetation density (LAI from 2 to 6) in crops. However, this higher sensitivity of the PNIR has little effect on NDVI values once the ρNIR exceeds 30 %. In this paper a simple modification of the NDVI was proposed. The Wide Dynamic Range Vegetation Index, WDRVI = (a*ρNIRred)/(a*ρNIRred), where the weighting coefficient a has a value of 0.1-0.2, increases correlation with vegetation fraction by linearizing the relationship for typical wheat, soybean, and maize canopies. The sensitivity of the WDRVI to moderate-to-high LAI (between 2 and 6) was at least three times greater than that of the NDVI. By enhancing the dynamic range while using the same bands as the NDVI, the WDRVI enables a more robust characterization of crop physiological and phenological characteristics. Although this index needs further evaluation, the linear relationship with vegetation fraction and much higher sensitivity to change in LAI will be especially valuable for precision agriculture and monitoring vegetation status under conditions of moderate-to-high density. It is anticipated that the new index will complement the NDVI and other vegetation indices that are based on the red and NIR spectral bands.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)165-173
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Plant Physiology
Volume161
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2004

Fingerprint

vegetation
leaf area index
Agriculture
Soybeans
Biomass
Triticum
Zea mays
reflectance
monitoring
precision agriculture
crops
normalized difference vegetation index
vegetation index
aboveground biomass
complement
spatial distribution
canopy
soybeans
wheat
corn

Keywords

  • Leaf area index
  • Reflectance
  • Remote estimation
  • Vegetation fraction
  • Vegetation index

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science

Cite this

Wide Dynamic Range Vegetation Index for Remote Quantification of Biophysical Characteristics of Vegetation. / Gitelson, Anatoly A.

In: Journal of Plant Physiology, Vol. 161, No. 2, 02.2004, p. 165-173.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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