Deriving vegetation dynamics of natural terrestrial ecosystems from MODIS NDVI/EVI data over Turkey
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The 16-day composite MODIS vegetation indices (VIs) at 500-m resolution for the period between 2000 to 2007 were seasonally averaged on the basis of the estimated distribution of 16 potential natural terrestrial ecosystems (NTEs) across Turkey. Graphical and statistical analyses of the time-series VIs for the NTEs spatially disaggregated in terms of biogeoclimate zones and land cover types included descriptive statistics, correlations, discrete Fourier transform (DFT), time-series decomposition, and simple linear regression (SLR) models. Our spatio-temporal analyses revealed that both MODIS VIs, on average, depicted similar seasonal variations for the NTEs, with the NDVI values having higher mean and SD values. The seasonal VIs were most correlated in decreasing order for: barren/sparsely vegetated land > grassland > shrubland/woodland > forest; (sub) nival > warm temperate > alpine > cool temperate > boreal = Mediterranean; and summer > spring > autumn > winter. Most pronounced differences between the MODIS VI responses over Turkey occurred in boreal and Mediterranean climate zones and forests, and in winter ( the senescence phase of the growing season). Our results showed the potential of the time-series MODIS VI datasets in the estimation and monitoring of seasonal and interannual ecosystem dynamics over Turkey that needs to be further improved and refined through systematic and extensive field measurements and validations across various biomes.