, Volume 135, Issue 3, pp 414–421 | Cite as

Response of NDVI, biomass, and ecosystem gas exchange to long-term warming and fertilization in wet sedge tundra

  • Natalie T. BoelmanEmail author
  • Marc Stieglitz
  • Heather M. Rueth
  • Martin Sommerkorn
  • Kevin L. Griffin
  • Gaius R. Shaver
  • John A. Gamon
Ecosystems Ecology


This study explores the relationship between the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), aboveground plant biomass, and ecosystem C fluxes including gross ecosystem production (GEP), ecosystem respiration (ER) and net ecosystem production. We measured NDVI across long-term experimental treatments in wet sedge tundra at the Toolik Lake LTER site, in northern Alaska. Over 13 years, N and P were applied in factorial experiments (N, P and N + P), air temperature was increased using greenhouses with and without N + P fertilizer, and light intensity (photosynthetically active photon flux density) was reduced by 50% using shade cloth. Within each treatment plot, NDVI, aboveground biomass and whole-system CO2 flux measurements were made at the same sampling points during the peak-growing season of 2001. We found that across all treatments, NDVI is correlated with aboveground biomass (r 2=0.84), GEP (r 2=0.75) and ER (r 2=0.71), providing a basis for linking remotely sensed NDVI to aboveground biomass and ecosystem carbon flux.


Aboveground biomass Arctic tundra Ecosystem respiration Gross ecosystem production Net ecosystem production 



This work was funded by NSF grants from the division of Environmental Biology (Arctic LTER Project) and from the office of Polar Programs (Arctic Natural Sciences, Arctic Systems Science). We thank Jim Laundre for his field assistance and Knute Nadelhoffer, Mark Van Wijk, Mary Booth and many others for their help with the biomass harvesting. This is Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory contribution no. 6425.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Natalie T. Boelman
    • 1
    Email author
  • Marc Stieglitz
    • 1
  • Heather M. Rueth
    • 2
  • Martin Sommerkorn
    • 2
  • Kevin L. Griffin
    • 1
  • Gaius R. Shaver
    • 2
  • John A. Gamon
    • 3
  1. 1.206a Oceanography, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Department of Earth and Environmental SciencesColumbia UniversityPalisadesUSA
  2. 2.Marine Biological LaboratoryThe Ecosystems CenterWoods HoleUSA
  3. 3.Department of Biology and MicrobiologyCalifornia State UniversityLos AngelesUSA

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