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It is estimated that approximately 40% of the Cerrado, the second largest biome in South America, have been already converted. In this study, situated within the scope of the Large Scale Biosphere-Atmosphere Experiment in Amazonia project (LBA), we conducted a wet season ground and airborne campaign over the Brasilia National Park (BNP), the largest LBA core site in the Cerrado biome, to measure the optical and biophysical properties of the major Cerrado land cover types. We investigated land cover discrimination through the analyses of fine resolution spectra, convolved spectra (MODIS bandpasses), and vegetation indices-the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and the enhanced vegetation index (EVI). At these three data levels, three major physiognomic domains (herbaceous, woody, and forested) could be readily identified, and the amount of data correctly classified into the five major land cover types found at BNP were 91% (full spectra), 78% (red and NIR), 75% (NDVI), and 71% (EVI). A synergism between the NDVI and EVI was also evident, and together, these two indices were capable of correctly classifying 82% of the total data set. Our results indicate the possibility of utilizing the MODIS NDVI and EVI images for operational land cover assessments in the Cerrado region. (C) 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved

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