A New Global LAI Product and Its Use for Terrestrial Carbon Cycle Estimation

Thursday, 18 December 2014: 10:22 AM
Jing Ming Chen, Univ Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada, Ronggao Liu, IGSNRR Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing, China, Weimin Ju, Nanjing University, Nanjing, China and Yang Liu, IGSNRR,CAS, Beijing, China
For improving the estimation of the spatio-temporal dynamics of the terrestrial carbon cycle, a new time series of the leaf area index (LAI) is generated for the global land surface at 8 km resolution from 1981 to 2012 by combining AVHRR and MODIS satellite data. This product differs from existing LAI products in the following two aspects: (1) the non-random spatial distribution of leaves with the canopy is considered, and (2) the seasonal variation of the vegetation background is included. The non-randomness of the leaf spatial distribution in the canopy is considered using the second vegetation structural parameter named clumping index (CI), which quantifies the deviation of the leaf spatial distribution from the random case. Using the MODIS Bidirectional Reflectance Distribution Function product, a global map of CI is produced at 500 m resolution. In our LAI algorithm, CI is used to convert the effective LAI obtained from mono-angle remote sensing into the true LAI, otherwise LAI would be considerably underestimated. The vegetation background is soil in crop, grass and shrub but includes soil, grass, moss, and litter in forests. Through processing a large volume of MISR data from 2000 to 2010, monthly red and near-infrared reflectances of the vegetation background is mapped globally at 1 km resolution. This new LAI product has been validated extensively using ground-based LAI measurements distributed globally. In carbon cycle modeling, the use of CI in addition to LAI allows for accurate separation of sunlit and shaded leaves as an important step in terrestrial photosynthesis and respiration modeling. Carbon flux measurements over 100 sites over the globe are used to validate an ecosystem model named Boreal Ecosystem Productivity Simulator (BEPS). The validated model is run globally at 8 km resolution for the period from 1981 to 2012 using the LAI product and other spatial datasets. The modeled results suggest that changes in vegetation structure as quantified by LAI do not contribute significantly to the increasing trend in carbon sink over the last 32 years. The increases in atmospheric CO2 concentration and nitrogen deposition are found to be the major causes for the increases in plant productivity and carbon sink over the last 32 years.