Over the past several decades, one of the most significant changes in semi-desert grasslands of the southwestern US has been the invasion of South African grass Eragrostis lehmanniana. The objective of this study was to characterize the phenology of systems occupied by E. lehmanniana and/or native grasses using time-series of field observations and the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (MODIS NDVI) and brightness (red and near-infrared reflectance) data. Results demonstrated that it was possible to use NDVI and/or spectral reflectance data to discern the phenological differences across a gradient of E. lehmanniana infested grasslands due to variations in plant biodiversity, morphology and seasonal productivity. This work establishes the feasibility of integrating field and MODIS vegetation and spectral time-series data to characterise landscapes dominated by different herbaceous species, which in turn provides opportunities to monitor E. lehmanniana in semi-arid environments at a large spatial scale.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)