Main content area

Relationship of NDVI and oak (Quercus) pollen including a predictive model in the SW Mediterranean region

González-Naharro, Rocío, Quirós, Elia, Fernández-Rodríguez, Santiago, Silva-Palacios, Inmaculada, Maya-Manzano, José María, Tormo-Molina, Rafael, Pecero-Casimiro, Raúl, Monroy-Colin, Alejandro, Gonzalo-Garijo, Ángela
The Science of the total environment 2019 v.676 pp. 407-419
Quercus, forest inventory, forest maps, national forests, neural networks, normalized difference vegetation index, phenology, pollen, remote sensing, space and time, vegetation, weather, Mediterranean region, Portugal, Spain
Techniques of remote sensing are being used to develop phenological studies. Our goal is to study the correlation among the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) related with oak trees included in three set data polygons (15, 25 and 50 km to aerobiological sampling point as NDVI-15, 25 and 50), and oak (Quercus) daily average pollen counts from 1994 to 2013. The study was developed in the SW Mediterranean region with continuous pollen recording within the mean pollen season of each studied year. These pollen concentrations were compared with NDVI values in the locations containing the vegetation under a study based on two cartographic sources: the Extremadura Forest Map (MFEx) of Spain and the Fifth National Forest Inventory (IFN5) from Portugal. The importance of this work is to propose the relationship among data related in space and time by Spearman and Granger causality tests. 9 out of 20 studied years have shown significant results with the Granger causality test between NDVI and pollen concentration, and in 12 years, significant values were obtained by Spearman test. The distances of influence on the contribution of Quercus pollen to the sampler showed statistically significant results depending on the year. Moreover, a predictive model by using Artificial Neural Network (ANN) was applied with better results in NDVI25 than for NDVI15 or NDVI50. The addition of NDVI25 with the lag of 5 days and some weather parameters in the model was applied with a RMSE of 4.26 (Spearman coefficient r = 0.77) between observed and predicted values. Based on these results, NDVI seems to be a useful parameter to predict airborne pollen.