Trends and ENSO/AAO Driven Variability in NDVI Derived Productivity and Phenology alongside the Andes Mountains

Willem J.D. Van Leeuwen, Kyle Hartfield, Marcelo Miranda, Francisco J. Meza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


Increasing water use and droughts, along with climate variability and land use change, have seriously altered vegetation growth patterns and ecosystem response in several regions alongside the Andes Mountains. Thirty years of the new generation biweekly normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI3g) time series data show significant land cover specific trends and variability in annual productivity and land surface phenological response. Productivity is represented by the growing season mean NDVI values (July to June). Arid and semi-arid and sub humid vegetation types (Atacama desert, Chaco and Patagonia) across Argentina, northern Chile, northwest Uruguay and southeast Bolivia show negative trends in productivity, while some temperate forest and agricultural areas in Chile and sub humid and humid areas in Brazil, Bolivia and Peru show positive trends in productivity. The start (SOS) and length (LOS) of the growing season results show large variability and regional hot spots where later SOS often coincides with reduced productivity. A longer growing season is generally found for some locations in the south of Chile (sub-antarctic forest) and Argentina (Patagonia steppe), while central Argentina (Pampa-mixed grasslands and agriculture) has a shorter LOS. Some of the areas have significant shifts in SOS and LOS of one to several months. The seasonal Multivariate ENSO Indicator (MEI) and the Antarctic Oscillation (AAO) index have a significant impact on vegetation productivity and phenology in southeastern and northeastern Argentina (Patagonia and Pampa), central and southern Chile (mixed shrubland, temperate and sub-antarctic forest), and Paraguay (Chaco).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1177-1203
Number of pages27
JournalRemote Sensing
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2013


  • AAO
  • Atacama
  • Chaco
  • Climate
  • MEI
  • NDVI
  • Pampa
  • Patagonia
  • Phenology
  • South America
  • Time series
  • Trends
  • Variability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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