Vegetation Trends In Whitehorse Yukon, 1984 To 2009
thesisposted on 24.05.2021, 14:45 by Dexter J. Kotylak
To assess temporal greenness trends at the landscape scale for Whitehorse, Yukon (417 km2), this study derived a Landsat normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) time-series from 1984 to 2009. Using a greenest annual pixel approach, NDVI trend analysis revealed that 37% of studied area had significant greening (p<0.05) and that only 1% of the studied land area had significant browning. Yearly mean NDVI values declined in drought years and increased in years with greater precipitation. Greening pixels were most prevalent in white spruce (Picea glauca) and subalpine fir (Abies lasiocarpa) dominant forests, suggesting that increased amounts of precipitation and rising temperatures have benefited both species and associated shrub communities. Forests where trembling aspen (Populas tremuloides) are dominant displayed the least greening, which may be explained by the proliferation of aspen serpentine leaf miner (Phyllocnistis populiella), and drought related die-back on south-facing slopes that have become warmer across the study period.