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Assessing the Impact of Climate Variability on Cropland Productivity in the Canadian Prairies Using Time Series MODIS FAPAR

Ottawa Research and Development Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, 960 Carling Ave, Ottawa, ON K1A 0C6, Canada
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Sangram Ganguly, Compton Tucker, Clement Atzberger and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 281;
Received: 4 January 2016 / Revised: 12 March 2016 / Accepted: 21 March 2016 / Published: 28 March 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Vegetation Structure and Dynamics)
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Cropland productivity is impacted by climate. Knowledge on spatial-temporal patterns of the impacts at the regional scale is extremely important for improving crop management under limiting climatic factors. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of climate variability on cropland productivity in the Canadian Prairies between 2000 and 2013 based on time series of MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) FAPAR (Fraction of Absorbed Photosynthetically Active Radiation) product. Key phenological metrics, including the start (SOS) and end of growing season (EOS), and the cumulative FAPAR (CFAPAR) during the growing season (between SOS and EOS), were extracted and calculated from the FAPAR time series with the Parametric Double Hyperbolic Tangent (PDHT) method. The Mann-Kendall test was employed to assess the trends of cropland productivity and climatic variables, and partial correlation analysis was conducted to explore the potential links between climate variability and cropland productivity. An assessment using crop yield statistical data showed that CFAPAR can be taken as a surrogate of cropland productivity in the Canadian Prairies. Cropland productivity showed an increasing trend in most areas of Canadian Prairies, in general, during the period from 2000 to 2013. Interannual variability in cropland productivity on the Canadian Prairies was influenced positively by rainfall variation and negatively by mean air temperature. View Full-Text
Keywords: cropland productivity; climatic variability; MODIS; FAPAR; trend cropland productivity; climatic variability; MODIS; FAPAR; trend

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© 2016 by the Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, as represented by Natural Resources Canada; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons by Attribution (CC-BY) license ( (Canadian government papers).

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Dong, T.; Liu, J.; Shang, J.; Qian, B.; Huffman, T.; Zhang, Y.; Champagne, C.; Daneshfar, B. Assessing the Impact of Climate Variability on Cropland Productivity in the Canadian Prairies Using Time Series MODIS FAPAR. Remote Sens. 2016, 8, 281.

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