Coherency and time lag analyses between MODIS vegetation indices and climate across forests and grasslands in the European temperate zone

Kulesza, Kinga; Hościło, Agata

Identifying the climate-induced variability in the condition of vegetation is particularly important in the context of recent climate change and plants' impact on the mitigation of climate change. In this paper, we present the coherence and time lags in the spectral response of three individual vegetation types in the European temperate zone to the influencing meteorological factors in the period 2002–2022. Vegetation condition in broadleaved forest, coniferous forest and pastures was measured with monthly anomalies of two spectral indices – normalised difference vegetation index (NDVI) and enhanced vegetation index (EVI). As meteorological elements we used monthly anomalies of temperature (inline-formulaT), precipitation (inline-formulaP), vapour pressure deficit (VPD), evapotranspiration (ETo), and the teleconnection indices North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and North Sea Caspian Pattern (NCP). Periodicity in the time series was assessed using the wavelet transform, but no significant intra- or interannual cycles were detected in both vegetation (NDVI and EVI) and meteorological variables. In turn, coherence between NDVI and EVI and meteorological elements was described using the methods of wavelet coherence and Pearson's linear correlation with time lag. In the European temperate zone analysed in this study, NAO produces strong coherence mostly for forests in a circa 1-year band and a weaker coherence in a circa 3-year band. For pastures these interannual patterns are hardly recognisable. The strongest relationships occur between conditions of the vegetation and inline-formulaT and ETo – they show high coherence in both forests and pastures. There is a significant cohesion with the 8–16-month (ca. 1-year) and 20–32-month (ca. 2-year) bands. More time-lagged significant correlations between vegetation indices and inline-formulaT occur for forests than for pastures, suggesting a significant lag in the forests' response to the changes in inline-formulaT.

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Kulesza, Kinga / Hościło, Agata: Coherency and time lag analyses between MODIS vegetation indices and climate across forests and grasslands in the European temperate zone. 2024. Copernicus Publications.

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