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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2012, Article ID 624247, 19 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1100/2012/624247
Research Article

The Use of Geostatistics in the Study of Floral Phenology of Vulpia geniculata (L.) Link

Department of Botany, Ecology and Plant Physiology, University of Córdoba, 14071, Córdoba, Spain

Received 18 October 2011; Accepted 8 December 2011

Academic Editor: José S. Carrion

Copyright © 2012 Eduardo J. León Ruiz et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Traditionally phenology studies have been focused on changes through time, but there exist many instances in ecological research where it is necessary to interpolate among spatially stratified samples. The combined use of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and Geostatistics can be an essential tool for spatial analysis in phenological studies. Geostatistics are a family of statistics that describe correlations through space/time and they can be used for both quantifying spatial correlation and interpolating unsampled points. In the present work, estimations based upon Geostatistics and GIS mapping have enabled the construction of spatial models that reflect phenological evolution of Vulpia geniculata (L.) Link throughout the study area during sampling season. Ten sampling points, scattered troughout the city and low mountains in the “Sierra de Córdoba” were chosen to carry out the weekly phenological monitoring during flowering season. The phenological data were interpolated by applying the traditional geostatitical method of Kriging, which was used to ellaborate weekly estimations of V. geniculata phenology in unsampled areas. Finally, the application of Geostatistics and GIS to create phenological maps could be an essential complement in pollen aerobiological studies, given the increased interest in obtaining automatic aerobiological forecasting maps.