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Scaling net primary production to a MODIS footprint in support of Earth observing system product validation

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Release of an annual global terrestrial net primary production (NPP) data layer has begun in association with the Moderate Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) sensor, a component of the NASA Earth Observing System. The task of validating this product will be complicated by the mismatch in scale between ground-based NPP measurements and the coarse resolution (1 km) of the NPP product. In this paper we describe three relevant approaches to scaling NPP from the plot level to the approximately 25-km2 footprint of the sensor, and discuss issues associated with operational comparisons to the MODIS NPP product. All approaches revealed considerable spatial heterogeneity in NPP at scales less than the resolution of the MODIS NPP product. The effort to characterize uncertainty in the validation data layers indicated the importance of treating the combination of classification error, sampling error, and measurement error. Generally, the optimal procedure for scaling NPP to a MODIS footprint will depend on local vegetation type, the scale of spatial heterogeneity, and available resources. In all approaches, high resolution remote sensing can play a critical role in characterizing land cover and relevant biophysical variables.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Forest Science Oregon State University Corvallis, OR 97331-7501 USA 2: Complex Systems Research Center University of New Hampshire Durham NH 03824 USA 3: USDA Forest Service Northeastern Research Station PO Box 640 Durham NH 03824 USA

Publication date: 2004-05-01

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