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Accuracy assessment of the vegetation continuous field tree cover product using 3954 ground plots in the south‐western USA

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An accuracy assessment of the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) vegetation continuous field (VCF) tree cover product using two independent ground‐based tree cover databases was conducted. Ground data included 1176 Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) plots for Arizona and 2778 Southwest Regional GAP (SWReGAP) plots for Utah and western Colorado. Overall rms. error was 24% for SWReGAP and 31% for FIA data. VCF bias was positive at low observed tree cover but systematically increased thereafter until at greater than 60% observed tree cover, VCF tree cover was 40% (SWReGAP) to 45% (FIA) too low. Errors are unlikely to be related to habitat fragmentation or variation in canopy height but may be influenced by scaling discontinuities between ground and satellite resolutions.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: US Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Ogden Forestry Sciences Lab, Forest Inventory and Analysis, 507 25th St, Ogden, UT 84401, USA

Publication date: June 20, 2005

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