This chapter aimed to demonstrate the potential of monitoring water and vegetation parameters by combining weather and satellite measurements in mixed agroecosystems in the semiarid region of the northern Minas Gerais state, Southeast Brazil. Soil moisture indices and water productivity components were quantified with Landsat 8 images under different hydrological conditions along the year 2015. The surface resistance to the water fluxes (rs) performed better than the ratio of actual to the reference evapotranspiration (ETr) to detect soil moisture conditions. The mean pixel values for actual evapotranspiration (ET), biomass production (BIO), and water productivity based on evapotranspiration (WP), for irrigated crops (IC), ranged respectively from 2.5 ± 1.3 to 4.1 ± 1.6 mm d−1; 78 ± 62 to 132 ± 64 kg ha−1 d−1; and from 2.2 ± 0.8 to 3.3 ± 0.9 kg m−3. The corresponding ranges for natural vegetation (NV) were 0.1 ± 0.2 to 1.9 ± 1.3 mm d−1; 1 ± 1 to 44 ± 42 kg ha−1 d−1, and 0.6 ± 0.3 to 1.8 ± 0.8 kg m−3. The incremental values, resulting from the replacement of natural species by agricultural crops, were respectively 2.7 mm d−1 and 83 kg ha d−1. However, this replacement increased water productivity based on evapotranspiration (WP) by 264% during the studied year, what should be considered in land use and climate change studies in the Brazilian semiarid region.
Part of the book: Arid Environments and Sustainability