06 Jul 2022
06 Jul 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal NHESS.

Analysis of the relationship between yield in cereals and remotely sensed fAPAR in the framework of monitoring drought impacts in Europe

Carmelo Cammalleri, Niall McCormick, and Andrea Toreti Carmelo Cammalleri et al.
  • European Commission, Joint Research Centre (JRC), 21027 Ispra (VA), Italy

Abstract. This study analyses the relationship between satellite-measured fAPAR (Fraction of Absorbed Photosynthetically Active Radiation), which are continuously monitored by the European Drought Observatory (EDO) of the EU’s Copernicus Emergency Management Service, and crop yield data for cereals, which are collected by Eurostat. Different features of the relationship between annual yield and multiple time series of fAPAR, collected during different periods of the year, were investigated. Two key outcomes of the analysis were the identification of the period from March to October as that when the highest positive correlation between fAPAR and yield is detected in Europe on average, and February to May as the period when most of the negative correlation are observed. While both periods align well with the commonly assumed dynamic of the growing season, spatial differences are also observed across Europe. On the one hand, the Mediterranean regions report the highest correlation values (r  > 0.8) and the longest continuous periods with positive statistically significant results (up to 7 months), covering most of the growing season. On the other hand, the central European region is characterized by the most limited positive correlation values, with only 2 months or less showing statistically significant results. While marked differences on the overall capability to capture the full dynamic of yield are observed across Europe, fAPAR anomalies seem capable to distinguish between drought and no/drought years in most of the cases if negative yield anomalies are used as a proxy variable for drought impacts.

Carmelo Cammalleri et al.

Status: open (until 18 Aug 2022)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on nhess-2022-178', Anonymous Referee #1, 16 Jul 2022 reply
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Carmelo Cammalleri, 18 Jul 2022 reply
  • RC2: 'Comment on nhess-2022-178', Anonymous Referee #2, 29 Jul 2022 reply
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Carmelo Cammalleri, 03 Aug 2022 reply

Carmelo Cammalleri et al.

Carmelo Cammalleri et al.


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Short summary
We evaluated the ability of vegetation indices derived from satellite data to capture annual yield variations over Europe. The strength of the relationship varies throughout the year, with March–October representing the optimal period in most cases. Spatial differences were also observed, with the best results obtained in the Mediterranean regions.