ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202010.0236.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science Keywords: greenness; brownness; depression; structural equation models
Online: 12 October 2020 (12:19:23 CEST)
Background: While greenness has been associated with lower depression, the generalizability of this association in arid landscapes remains undetermined. We assessed the association between depression and greenness among nursing students living in El Paso, Texas (the Chihuahuan desert). Methods: Depression was measured with the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 scale, and greenness with the normalized difference vegetation index (at buffer sizes =250m, 500m, 1000m). Using data from the National Land Cover Database two additional measures of land patterns were analyzed: grayness and brownness. Structural equation models were used to assess the relationships of these land patterns to depression and quantify the indirect effects of peer alienation. Results: After adjusting for individual characteristics, at buffers 250 m greenness was associated with a decrease in the Incidence Rate Ratios (IRR) of depression by 49% (IRR, 0.51; 95%CI, 0.12-2.10), greyness with increases by 64% (IRR, 1.64; 95%CI, 1.07-2.52) and brownness with decreases by 35% (IRR, 0.65; 95%CI, 0.42-0.99). At buffer 250 m peer alienation explained 17.43% (95% CI, -1.79-36.66) of the association between depression and brownness, suggesting a pathway to depression. Conclusions: We did not observe an association between depression and residential greenness in El Paso, Texas. However, we did observe a protective association between brownness and depression as well as an adverse association with grayness. These results have theoretical implications as based on commonly used frameworks in this literature and adverse association of brownness (and the lack of greenness) and depression was expected.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0499.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Geography Keywords: greenspace; NDVI; environmental justice; greenness; Sentinel; satellite; urban green; health equity
Online: 24 August 2020 (03:07:41 CEST)
This paper discusses the potential and limitations of the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) in environmental justice, health and inequality studies in urban areas. Very often the NDVI is correlated with socioeconomic and/or sociodemographic data to demonstrate the inequality in environmental settings that themselves influence individual health and questions of environmental justice. This paper addresses the limits of the NDVI for such applications and as well its potential, if applied properly. The overall goal is to make people of disciplines other than those that are geo-related aware of the characteristics, limits and potentials of satellite image-based information layers such as NDVI.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0201.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Applied Psychology Keywords: COVID-19; greenness; mental health; societal change; social isolation; psychological factors; resilience
Online: 5 March 2021 (21:37:50 CET)
International data suggests that exposure for nature is beneficial for mental health and well-being. The restrictions related to Covid-19 pandemic have created a setting that allows us to investigate the importance of greenness exposure on mental health during a period of increased isolation and worry. Based on 2060 responses from an online survey in the Stockholm County, Sweden, we investigated: 1) weather the Covid-19 pandemic changed peoples’ life-style and nature-related habits, and 2) if peoples’ mental health differed depending on their exposure to greenness. Neighbourhood greenness levels were quantified by using the average Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) within 50m, 100m, 300m, and 500m buffers surrounding the participant’s place of residence. We found that the number of individuals that reported that they visited natural areas “often” was significantly higher during the pandemic than before the pandemic. Higher levels of greenness surrounding one’s location of residence were in general associated with higher mental health/wellbeing and vitality scores, and less symptoms of depression, anxiety, and perceived and cognitive stress, after adjustments for demographic variables and walkability. In conclusion, the results from the present study provided support to the suggestion that contact with nature may be important for mental health in extreme circumstances.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201706.0005.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: systematic review; greenness; GIS; physical health; buffers; green space; park; health outcomes; NDVI
Online: 1 June 2017 (07:54:16 CEST)
Is the amount of “greenness” within a 250-meter, 500-meter, 1000-meter or a 2000-meter buffer surrounding a person’s home a good predictor of their physical health? The evidence is inconclusive. We reviewed Web of Science articles that used geographic information systems buffer analyses to identify trends between physical health, greenness, and distance within which greenness is measured. Our inclusion criteria were: (1) use of buffers to estimate residential greenness; (2) statistical analyses that calculated significance of the greenness-physical health relationship; and (3) peer-reviewed articles published in English between 2007 and 2017. To capture multiple findings from a single article, we selected our unit of inquiry as the analysis, not the article. Our final sample included 260 analyses in 47 articles. All aspects of the review were in accordance with PRISMA guidelines. Analyses were independently judged as more, less, or least likely to be biased based on the inclusion of objective health measures and income/education controls. We found evidence that larger buffer sizes, up to 2,000m, better predicted physical health than smaller ones. We recommend that future analyses use nested rather than overlapping buffers to evaluate to what extent greenness not immediately around a person’s home (i.e., within 1,000-2,000m) predicts physical health.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0542.v1
Subject: Biology, Anatomy & Morphology Keywords: leaf surface; soil surface cover; growth rate; nitrogen leaf content; SPAD; triangular greenness index (TGI)
Online: 21 December 2020 (18:50:21 CET)
Management practices must be developed to improve yam production sustainability. Image-based phenotyping techniques could help developing such practices based on non-destructive analyses of important plant traits. Our objective was to determine the potential of image-based phenotyping methods to assess traits relevant for tuber yield formation in yam grown in glasshouse and field. We took plant and leaf pictures with consumer cameras. We used the numbers of image pixels to derive the shoot biomass and the total leaf surface and calculated the ‘triangular greenness index’ (TGI) which is an indicator of the plant nitrogen (N) nutritional status. Under glasshouse conditions, the number of pixels obtained from nadir view (image taken top down) was positively correlated to the shoot biomass, and the total leaf surface, while the TGI was negatively correlated to the N content of diagnostic leaves. Under field conditions, pictures taken from the nadir view showed an increase in soil surface cover and a decrease in TGI with time. TGI was negatively correlated to SPAD measured on specific leaves but was not correlated to the N content of these leaves. In conclusion, these phenotyping techniques deliver relevant results but need to be further developed and validated for application in yam.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201811.0020.v1
Subject: Biology, Ecology Keywords: low-cost UAV; greenness index; Pinus nigra; Pinus sylvestris; forest regeneration; flight altitude; small UAV
Online: 2 November 2018 (05:17:07 CET)
During recent years UAVs have been increasingly used in agriculture and forestry research and application. Nevertheless, most of this work has been devoted to improving accuracy and explanatory power, often at the cost of usability and affordability. We tested a low-cost UAV and a simple workflow to apply four different greenness indices to the monitoring of pine (Pinus sylvestris and P. nigra) after-fire regeneration in a Mediterranean forest. We selected two sites and masured all pines within a pre-selected plot. Winter flights were carried out at each of the sites, at two flight altitudes (50 and 100 m). Automatically normalizing images entered an SfM based photogrammetric software for restitution and the obtained point cloud and orthomosaic processed to get a canopy height model and four different greenness indices. Sum of pine DBH was regressed on summary statistics of greenness indices and canopy height model. ExGI and GCC indices outperformed VARI and GRVI in estimating pine DBH, while canopy height model slightly improved the models. Flight altitude did not severely affect model performance. Our results show that low cost UAVs may improve forest monitoring after disturbance, even in those habitats and situations were resource limitation is an issue.