Vegetation optical depth (VOD) is an indicator of the water content of both woody and leaf components in terrestrial aboveground vegetation biomass that can be derived from passive microwave remote sensing. VOD is distinct from optical vegetation remote sensing data such as the normalized difference vegetation index in that it is: (a) less prone to saturation in dense canopies; (b) sensitive to both photosynthetic and non-photosynthetic biomass; and (c) less affected by atmospheric conditions. Our primary objective was to analyse a recently developed long-term VOD record and investigate how the vegetation water content of various land-cover types responded to environmental changes and human influences from 1988 to 2008.
Figure 2: Areas with significant changes (P < 0.05) in annual average vegetation optical depth (VOD) for 1988–2008 (unit: VOD
change/year). Nineteen regions selected for further analysis are outlined.
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Last updated 31st January 2013