Skip navigation

Are vegetation indices useful in the Arctic?

Are vegetation indices useful in the Arctic?

Rees, W.G., Golubeva, E.I. and Williams, M. ORCID: 0000-0003-1919-4389 (1998) Are vegetation indices useful in the Arctic? Polar Record, 34 (191). pp. 333-336. ISSN 0032-2474 (Print), 1475-3057 (Online) (doi:

Full text not available from this repository.


This paper describes a preliminary investigation of the extent to which the normalised difference vegetation index (NDVI), derived from satellite optical imagery, can indicate the extent of damage to upland tundra (fruticose lichen and dwarf shrub) vegetation. We combine the results of a previously reported classification of Landsat multispectral scanner imagery from Kol'skiy Poluostrov, Russia, with field measurements of the biomass and spectral reflectance of tundra vegetation. The results show that the NDVI is not strongly influenced by biomass, but that differences in species composition and ground cover are significant. Other workers have concluded that vegetation indices are not useful for boreal forests. It is therefore suggested that the use of the NDVI by itself as an indicator of the state of disturbed vegetation in Arctic regions is not recommended.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: remote sensing, NDVI, vegetation index, Arctic, tundra
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Engineering & Science > School of Science (SCI)
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 27 Sep 2019 12:46

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item