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Remote Sens. 2015, 7(10), 12942-12960; doi:10.3390/rs71012942

Detecting the Temporal Scaling Behavior of the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index Time Series in China Using a Detrended Fluctuation Analysis

1
School of Geographical Sciences, Northeast Normal University, Changchun 130024, China
2
Institute of Land and Resources Surveying and Planning, Changchun 130061, China
3
Key Laboratory of Wetland Ecology and Environment, Northeast Institute of Geography and Agroecology, CAS, Changchun 130102, China
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Alfredo Huete and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 13 July 2015 / Revised: 14 September 2015 / Accepted: 21 September 2015 / Published: 30 September 2015
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Abstract

Vegetation is an important part of terrestrial ecosystems. Although vegetation dynamics have explicit spatial and temporal dimensions, the study of the temporal process is in its infancy. Evaluation of temporal scaling behavior could provide a unique perspective for exploring the temporal nature of vegetation dynamics. In this study, the Global Inventory Modeling and Mapping Studies (GIMMS) Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) was used to reflect vegetation dynamics, and the temporal scaling behavior of the NDVI in China was determined via detrended fluctuation analysis (DFA). Our main objectives were to reveal the temporal scaling behavior of NDVI time series and to understand variation among vegetation types. First, DFA revealed similar exponents, which ranged from 0.6 to 0.9, for all selected pixels, implying that a long-range correlation was generally present in the NDVI time series at the individual pixel scale. We then extended the analysis to all of China and found that 99.30% of the pixel exponents ranged from 0.5 to 1. These results suggest that the NDVI time series displays strong long-range correlation throughout most of China; however, the exponents exhibited regional variability. To explain these differences, we further analyzed the exponents for 12 vegetation types based on a vegetation map of China. All of the vegetation types exhibited well-defined long-range correlation, with exponents ranging from 0.7189 to 0.8436. For all vegetation types, the maximum and average value and standard deviation of the exponents decreased with increasing annual maximum NDVI values, suggesting that low vegetation density is much more sensitive to external factors. These findings may be useful for understanding vegetation dynamics as a complex, temporally varying phenomenon. View Full-Text
Keywords: detrended fluctuation analysis; GIMMS NDVI time series; temporal scaling behavior; exponent; long-range correlation; power-law; persistence detrended fluctuation analysis; GIMMS NDVI time series; temporal scaling behavior; exponent; long-range correlation; power-law; persistence
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Guo, X.; Zhang, H.; Yuan, T.; Zhao, J.; Xue, Z. Detecting the Temporal Scaling Behavior of the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index Time Series in China Using a Detrended Fluctuation Analysis. Remote Sens. 2015, 7, 12942-12960.

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