Summary Results from:

Exploring the potential of MODIS EVI for modeling gross primary production across African ecosystems.
As they relate to the validation of MOD13

Authors: Martin Sjöström, Jonas Ardö, Almut Arneth, N. Boulain, Bernard Cappelaere, Lars Eklundh, A. De Grandcourt, W.L. Kutsch, L. Merbold, Y. Nouvellon, R.J. Scholes, P. Schubert, J. Seaquist, E.M. Veenendaal

Source: Remote sensing of environment 115, no. 4 (2011): 1081-1089.

Link to: Access Publication


One of the most frequently applied methods for integrating controls on primary production through satellite data is the light use efficiency (LUE) approach, which links vegetation gross or net primary productivity (GPP or NPP) to remotely sensed estimates of absorbed photosynthetically active radiation (APAR). Eddy covariance towers provide continuous measurements of carbon flux, presenting an opportunity for evaluation of satellite estimates of GPP. Here we investigate relationships between eddy covariance estimated GPP, environmental variables derived from flux towers, Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) enhanced vegetation index (EVI) and GPP across African savanna ecosystems. MODIS GPP was found to underestimate GPP at the majority of sites, particularly at sites in the Sahel. EVI was found to correlate well with estimated GPP on a site-by-site basis. Combining EVI with tower-measured PAR and evaporative fraction (EF, a measure of water sufficiency) improved the direct relationship between GPP and EVI at the majority of the sites. The slope of this relationship was strongly related to site peak leaf area index (LAI). These results are promising for the extension of GPP through the use of remote sensing data to a regional or even continental scale.