Pub Alert! Beyond the SDG 15.3.1 Good Practice Guidance 1.0 using the GEE platform
developing a self-adjusting algorithm to detect significant changes in water use efficiency and net primary production
In the latest issue of Big Earth Data
Abstract: Monitoring changes in Annual Net Primary Productivity (ANPP) is required for reporting on UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Indicator 15.3.1: the proportion of land that is degraded over the total land area. Calibrating time-series observations of ANPP to derive Water Use Efficiency (WUE; a measure of ANPP per unit of evapotranspiration) can minimize the influence of climate factors on ANPP observations and highlight the influence of non-climatic drivers of degradation such as land use changes. Comparing the ANPP and WUE time series may be useful for identifying the primary drivers of land degradation, which could be used to support the Land Degradation Neutrality objectives of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). This paper presents an algorithm for the Google Earth Engine (freely and openly available upon request – http://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4429773) to calculate and compare ANPP and WUE time series for Santa Cruz, Bolivia, which has recently experienced an intensification in its land use. This code builds on the Good Practice Guidance document (version 1) for monitoring SDG Indicator 15.3.1. We use the MODIS 16-day average, 250 m resolution to demonstrate that the Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI) responds faster to changes in water availability than the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI). We also consider the relationships between ANPP and WUE. Significant and concordant trends may highlight good agricultural practices or increased resilience in ecosystem structure and productivity when they are positive or reducing resilience and functional integrity if negative. The sign and significance of the correlation between ANPP and WUE may also diverge over time. With further analysis, it may be possible to interpret this relationship in terms of the drivers of change in plant productivity and ecosystem resilience.