Foliar nutrient and water content in subtropical tree islands: A new chemohydrodynamic link between satellite vegetation indices and foliar δ15N values

Xin Wang, Douglas O. Fuller, Leonel da Silveira Lobo O.Reilly Sternberg, Fernando Miralles-Wilhelm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

We examined the relationships between two satellite-derived vegetation indices and foliar δ15N values obtained from dominant canopy species in a set of tree islands located in the Everglades National Park in South Florida, USA. These tree islands constitute important nutrient hotspots in an otherwise P-limited wetland environment. Foliar δ15N values obtained from a previous study of 17 tree islands in both slough (perennially wet) and prairie (seasonally wet) locations served as a proxy of P availability at the stand level. We utilized five cloud-free SPOT 4 multispectral images (20m spatial resolution) from different times of the seasonal cycle to derive two atmospherically corrected vegetation indices: the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and the normalized difference water index (NDWI), averaged for each tree island. NDWI, which incorporates a shortwave infrared (SWIR) band that provides information on leaf water content, showed consistently higher linear fits with island foliar δ15N values than did NDVI. In addition, NDWI showed greater variation throughout the seasonal cycle than did NDVI, and was significantly correlated with average water stage, which suggests that the SWIR band captures important information on seasonally variable water status. Tree islands in slough locations showed higher NDWI than prairie islands during the dry season, which is consistent with higher levels of transpiration and nutrient harvesting and accumulation for perennially wet locations. Overall, the results suggest that water availability is closely related to P availability in subtropical tree islands, and that NDWI may provide a robust indicator of community-level water and nutrient status.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)923-930
Number of pages8
JournalRemote Sensing of Environment
Volume115
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 15 2011

Keywords

  • Everglades tree islands
  • Hydroperiod
  • NDWI
  • Phosphorus
  • SPOT 4
  • Stable isotopes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computers in Earth Sciences
  • Soil Science
  • Geology

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