Predicting Soil Respiration from Plant Productivity (NDVI) in a Sub-Arctic Tundra Ecosystem



Azevedo O, Parker TC, Siewert MB & Subke J (2021) Predicting Soil Respiration from Plant Productivity (NDVI) in a Sub-Arctic Tundra Ecosystem. Remote Sensing, 13 (13), Art. No.: 2571.

Soils represent the largest store of carbon in the biosphere with soils at high latitudes containing twice as much carbon (C) than the atmosphere. High latitude tundra vegetation communities show increases in the relative abundance and cover of deciduous shrubs which may influence net ecosystem exchange of CO2 from this C-rich ecosystem. Monitoring soil respiration (Rs) as a crucial component of the ecosystem carbon balance at regional scales is difficult given the remoteness of these ecosystems and the intensiveness of measurements that is required. Here we use direct measurements of Rs from contrasting tundra plant communities combined with direct measurements of aboveground plant productivity via Normalised Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) to predict soil respiration across four key vegetation communities in a tundra ecosystem. Soil respiration exhibited a nonlinear relationship with NDVI (y = 0.202e 3.508 x , p < 0.001). Our results further suggest that NDVI and soil temperature can help predict Rs if vegetation type is taken into consideration. We observed, however, that NDVI is not a relevant explanatory variable in the estimation of SOC in a single-study analysis.

Abisko; CO2 flux; LAI; modelling; plant functional type; SOC; vegetation index

Remote Sensing: Volume 13, Issue 13

FundersNERC Natural Environment Research Council and NERC Natural Environment Research Council
Publication date31/07/2021
Publication date online30/06/2021
Date accepted by journal29/06/2021
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People (3)


Ms Olivia Azevedo

Ms Olivia Azevedo

PhD Researcher, Biological and Environmental Sciences

Dr Tom Parker

Dr Tom Parker

Research Fellow, Biological and Environmental Sciences

Professor Jens-Arne Subke

Professor Jens-Arne Subke

Professor, Biological and Environmental Sciences

Projects (1)