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Scientia Agricola

On-line version ISSN 1678-992X


COSTA, Thomaz Corrêa e Castro da et al. Phytomass mapping of the "seridó caatinga" vegetation by the plant area and the normalized difference vegetation indeces. Sci. agric. (Piracicaba, Braz.) [online]. 2002, vol.59, n.4, pp.707-715. ISSN 1678-992X.

Phytomass is a critical information for economic and environmental activities like the establishment of policies for timber resources, forest management, studies of plant nutrient cycling, CO2 sink, among other. The phytomass of a Caatinga area was obtained by an empirical method using normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) of Landsat images, the plant area index (PAI) and the phytomass inventory. At a first stage, linear, logarithmic and non-linear models were developed and tested. Bush and tree specimens were considered in the study, so that most of the individuals that contribute to the spectral answer detected by satellite images were included. At a second stage, the orbital parameter NDVI was used to map the PAI, which was used to map the phytomass, based on the relationship of this phytomass as a function of PAI. The residues between measurements and estimates based on NDVI varied from 0 to 84%, while the residues of total dry weight of phytomass per ha obtained by mapping and by dendrometrical equations varied from 5 to 104%, with a large trend of 166 and 448% in open Caatinga areas, due to the contribution of the herbaceous stratum to NDVI.

Keywords : CO2; LAI; aboveground biomass; desertification.

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