Canadian Forest Service Publications

Comparison of MODIS, eddy covariance determined and physiologically modelled gross primary production (GPP) in a Douglas-fir forest stand. 2007. Coops, N.C.; Black, T.A.; Jassal, R.S.; Trofymow, J.A.; Morgenstern, K. Remote Sensing of Environment 107(3): 385-401.

Year: 2007

Issued by: Pacific Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 29571

Language: English

Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

Available from the Journal's Web site.
DOI: 10.1016/j.rse.2006.09.010

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Quantification of the magnitude of net terrestrial carbon (C) uptake, and how it varies inter-annually, is an important question with future potential sequestration influenced by both increased atmospheric CO2 and changing climate. However the assessment of differences in measured and modeled C accumulation is a challenging task due to the significant fine scale variation occurring in terrestrial productivity due to soil, climate and vegetation characteristics as well as difficulties in measuring carbon accumulation over large spatial areas. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) offers a means of monitoring gross primary production (GPP), both spatially and temporally, routinely from space. However it is critical to compare and contrast the temporal dynamics of the C and water fluxes with those measured from ground-based networks, or estimated using physiological models. In this paper, using a number of approaches, our objective is to determine if any systematic biases exists in either the MODIS, or the modeled estimates of fluxes, relative to the measurements made over an evergreen, needleleaf temperate rainforest on Vancouver Island, Canada. Results indicate that 8-day GPP as predicted with a simple physiological model (3PGS), forced using local meteorology and canopy characteristics, matched measured fluxes very well (r2 = 0.86, p < 0.001) with no significant difference between eddy covariance (EC) and modeled GPP (p < 0.001). In addition, modeled water supply closely matched measured relative available soil water content at the site. Using canopy characteristics from the MODIS fraction of photosynthetically active radiation (fPAR) algorithm, slightly reduced the correspondence of the predictions due to a large number of unsuccessful retrievals (83%) due to sun angle, snow and cloud. Predictions of GPP based on the MODIS GPP algorithm, forced using local meteorology and canopy characteristics, were also highly correlated with EC measurements (r2 = 0.89, p < 0.001) however these estimates were biased under predicting GPP. Estimates of GPP based on the most recent MODIS reprocessing (collection 4.5) remained highly correlated (r2 = 0.88, p < 0.001) yet were also the most biased with the estimates being 30% less than the EC-measured GPP. Most of the variance in GPP at the site was explained by the absorbed photosynthetically active radiation. We also compared the nighttime respiration as measured over 2 years at the site with the minimum 8-day MODIS land surface temperature and found a significant relationship (r2 = 0.57), similar to other studies.