alexa Estimation of Leaf Area Index (LAI) through the acquisition of ground truth data in Yosemite National Park.
Environmental Sciences

Environmental Sciences

Journal of Ecosystem & Ecography

Author(s): Bettina Schiffman, Galli Basson, Evan Lue, Dustin Ottman, Anjanette Hawk, Moyukh Ghosh

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Leaf area index (LAI) is an important indicator of ecosy stem condition and an important input to many ecosystem models. Remote sensing offers the only feasible method of estimating LAI at regional scales, and land managers can efficiently monitor changes in vegetation condition by using satellite data products such as estimates of LAI from the MODIS instrument onboard Terra and Aqua. However, many ecosystem processes occur at spatial scales finer than those available from MODIS. We investigated diff erent techniques for mapping LAI at multiple temporal and spatial scales, and created high-resolution (30m) LAI ma ps for Yosemite National Park using Landsat data in combination with ground-based measurem ents collected using three optical in-situ instruments: LAI-2000, DHP, and the TRAC instrument. We compared in-situ data with three spectral vegetation indices derived from Landsat Thematic Mapper imagery: RSR, SR, and NDVI to identify statistical relationships that could be applied to map LAI for the park at higher spatial resolutions to supplement observations available from MODIS. Pixel values from the Landsat-derived LAI map were resampled to 1km and compared to LAI estimates from MODIS to assess agreement between LAI estimates derived from the two sensors. We found reasonable agreement considering the limited number of field sites and land cover types sampled, and further field measurements would likely improve agreement. The MODIS LAI product is particularly useful because of its high temporal resolution and when supplemented with periodic, higher resolution mapping usin g Landsat data, can be used to efficiently monitor current and future vegetation changes in Yosemite.
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This article was published in ASPRS 2008 Annual Conference and referenced in Journal of Ecosystem & Ecography

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