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An investigation into estimating productivity, above ground biomass and leaf area index of Eucalyptus grandis using remotely sensed data and a process-based model.

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South Africa depends largely on afforestation programs for its timber supplies due to the great demands for fiber and wood products. This has brought discomfort to other water users who have advocated that the effects of afforestation on water resources are detrimental to the country as a whole since South Africa is known as a water scarce country. This study has undertaken to integrate a process-based model and remote sensing data to estimate water use and productivity of Eucalyptus grandis in the Zululand areas of South Africa. The remote sensing techniques and recently developed "process based model" that is 3PG-S were used to estimate water use and productivity of Eucalyptus grandis, an economically important plantation species grown in the summer rainfall areas of South Africa. The study utilized monthly Landsat Thematic Mapper datasets and climatic data as inputs into the 3PG-S model, determined the Leaf Area Index (LAI) and Specific Leaf Area (SLA) through direct (destructive sampling) and indirect measurements (LiCor- 2000) and assessed the relationships between various vegetation indices (VI's) using correlation and regression analyses. The results suggest that all the indices, except the ratio VI, correlated significantly with LiCor-determined and destructively measured LAI values with both normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and Ratio Vegetation Index (RVI) (r=0.86, p


Thesis (M.Sc.)-University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritburg, 2007.


Eucalyptus grandis--KwaZulu-Natal--Zululand--measurement., Eucalyptus grandis--remote sensing., Eucalyptus grandis--growth., Leaves--measurement., Plant biomass., Forest biomass--research--KwaZulu-Natal--Zululand., Eucalyptus grandis--research--KwaZulu-Natal--Zululand., Forest management--research--KwaZulu-Natal--Zululand., Theses--Geography.