Summary Results from:

Improvements of the MODIS terrestrial gross and net primary production global data set
As they relate to the validation of MOD17

Authors: Maosheng Zhao, Faith Ann Heinsch, Ramakrishna R. Nemani, Steven W. Running

Source: Remote Sensing of Environment 95 (2005) 164-176

Link to: Access Publication


MODIS primary production products (MOD17) are the first regular, near-real-time data sets for repeated monitoring of vegetation primary production on vegetated land at 1-km resolution at an 8-day interval. But both the inconsistent spatial resolution between the gridded meteorological data and MODIS pixels, and the cloud-contaminated MODIS FPAR/LAI (MOD15A2) retrievals can introduce considerable errors to Collection4 primary production (denoted as C4 MOD17) results. Here, we aim to rectify these problems through reprocessing key inputs to MODIS primary vegetation productivity algorithm, resulting in improved Collection5 MOD17 (here denoted as C5 MOD17) estimates. This was accomplished by spatial interpolation of the coarse resolution meteorological data input and with temporal filling of cloud-contaminated MOD15A2 data. Furthermore, we modified the Biome Parameter Look-Up Table (BPLUT) based on recent synthesized NPP data and some observed GPP derived from some flux tower measurements to keep up with the improvements in upstream inputs. Because MOD17 is one of the down-stream MODIS land products, the performance of the algorithm can be largely influenced by the uncertainties from upstream inputs, such as land cover, FPAR/LAI, the meteorological data, and algorithm itself. MODIS GPP fits well with GPP derived from 12 flux towers over North America. Globally, the 3-year MOD17 NPP is comparable to the Ecosystem Model–Data Intercomparison (EMDI) NPP data set, and global total MODIS GPP and NPP are inversely related to the observed atmospheric CO2 growth rates, and MEI index, indicating MOD17 are reliable products. From 2001 to 2003, mean global total GPP and NPP estimated by MODIS are 109.29 Pg C/year and 56.02 Pg C/year, respectively. Based on this research, the improved global MODIS primary production data set is now ready for monitoring ecological conditions, natural resources and environmental changes.