Phenological description of natural vegetation in southern Africa using remotely-sensed vegetation data

Hoare, D
Frost, P
Applied Vegetation Science
Publication Year: 
Abstract. Various attempts have been made to describe and map the vegetation of southern Africa with recent efforts having an increasingly ecologi cal context. Vegetation classification is usually based on vegetation physiognomy and floristic composition, but phenology is useful source of information which is rarely used, although it can contribute functional information on ecosystems. The objectives of this study were to identify a suite of variables derived from time-series NDVI data that best describe the phenological phenomena of vegetation in southern Africa and, secondly, to assess a classification of pixels of the study area based on NDVI variables using a preexisting map of the biomes that was delimited on the basis of life forms and climate. A number of variables were derived from the satellite data for describing phenological phenomena, which were analysed by multivariate techniques to determine which variables best explained the variation in the satellite data. This set of variables was used to produce a phenological classification of the vegetation of southern Africa, the results of which are discussed in relation to their concordance with the existing biome boundaries.
Name of Journal: 
Applied Vegetation Science
Resource Type: 
Document Type: 
Journal Issue/Article
Grassland Society of Southern Africa

The Grassland Society of Southern Africa (GSSA) is involved and concerned with the science and practice of range and pasture management. This broad field involves primarily the use and conservation of natural resources. It encompasses applied fields such as livestock production, wildlife management, nature conservation, water catchment management and range and mine-dump rehabilitation. The disciplines include, amongst others, ecology, botany zoology, range and pasture science, animal science, soil science and genetics. This collection includes journal articles from the African Journal of Range and Forage Science as well as related articles and reports from throughout the Southern African region.