Abstracts on Global Climate Change

Oct 2006

Determination of forest growth trends in Komi Republic (northwestern Russia): combination of tree-ring analysis and remote sensing data

Lopatin, E Kolstrom, T Spiecker, H


It is very important to detect changes in forest productivity due to the global change on a large scale. In this work, the evolution of the vegetation in the Komi Republic (northwestern Russia) from 1982 to 2001 was analyzed using NOAA AVHRR PAL time series. A statistically significant correlation (adjusted r(2) = 0.44-0.59) between Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) data and tree ring width (261 living trees) was identified for the territory of the Komi Republic. The increased site productivity reflected an increase of integrated NDVI values from June to August. This allows NDVI to be used as a proxy for estimation of forest growth trends for the recent decades. A positive and significant trend in NDVI data was identified from 1982 to 2001, coinciding with an increase in site productivity in the study area. The decrease in precipitations coincided with an increase in site productivity (highest r(2) was 0.71). The increase in productivity reflected in NDVI data is maximal on the sites with increased temperature and decreased precipitations. In the Komi Republic the distribution of the trends in NDVI data changes on the south-west to north-east gradient. NDVI data could be used to increase spatial resolution of tree ring width series. Taking into account the relatively small role of human activity in the Komi Republic compared with Europe, the site productivity during recent decades also increased in relatively untouched forests.

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