NDVI and meteorological data as indicators of the Pampa biome natural grasslands growth

ABSTRACT The present study aimed to characterize the dynamics of NDVI and meteorological conditions, relating both to the annual dynamics of biomass accumulation in natural pastures of the Pampa biome as a way of subsidizing growth modeling. Forage accumulation rate data from a long-term experiment, NDVI data from the MODIS images, and meteorological data measured at the surface were used. We verify that the agrometeorological element associated to the accumulation of forage in the natural grasslands is different according to the season, which is typical of the subtropical climate. Winter is the critical season for livestock production due to the lower forage accumulation rate and lower values of NDVI, conditioned by the decrease of solar radiation and air temperature. In the summer, the limiting factor to forage accumulation is the hydric condition. It was also verified that the variability in the growth of grasslands can be associated with the ENSO phenomenon, being the El Niño favorable and the La Niña unfavorable, especially in the spring-summer period. Considering the verified associations, spectral indices combined with agrometeorological elements are recommended to the adjustment of models of forage accumulation in the Pampa biome natural grasslands.