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Here we investigate relationships between NDVI, Biomass, and Leaf Area Index (LAI) for six key plant species near Barrow, Alaska. We explore how key plant species differ in biomass, leaf area index (LAI) and how can vegetation spectral indices be used to estimate biomass and LAI for key plant species. A vegetation index (VI) or a spectral vegetation index (SVI) is a quantitative predictor of plant biomass or vegetative vigor, usually formed from combinations of several spectral bands, whose values are added, divided, or multiplied in order to yield a single value that indicates the amount or vigor of vegetation. For six key plant species, NDVI was strongly correlated with biomass (R2 = 0.83) and LAI (R2 = 0.70) but showed evidence of saturation above a biomass of 100 g/m2 and an LAI of 2 m2/m2. Extrapolation of a biomass-plant cover model to a multi-decadal time series of plant cover observations suggested that Carex aquatilis and Eriophorum angustifolium decreased in biomass while Arctophila fulva and Dupontia fisheri increased 1972-2008.
This is a preprint of a manuscript currently under review in a journal.