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Accuracy assessment of fraction of vegetation cover and leaf area index estimates from pragmatic methods in a cropland area

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The fraction of vegetation cover (FVC) and the leaf area index (LAI) are important parameters for many agronomic, ecological and meteorological applications. Several in-situ and remote sensing techniques for estimating FVC and LAI have been developed in recent years. In this paper, the uncertainty of in-situ FVC and LAI measurements was evaluated by comparing estimates from LAI-2000 and digital hemispherical photography (DHP). The accuracy achieved with a spectral mixture analysis algorithm and two vegetation indices-based methods was assessed using atmospherically corrected Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) data over the Barrax cropland area where the European Space Agency (ESA) SENtinel-2 and FLuorescence EXperiment (SEN2FLEX) field campaign was carried out in July 2005. The results indicate that LAI-2000 and DHP performances are comparable, with uncertainties of 5% for FVC and 15% for effective LAI. The selected remote sensing methods are shown to be consistent, with a notable overall accuracy (root mean square error, RMSE) of 0.07 (10% in relative terms) for FVC and 0.8 (30%) for LAI. Similar bounds were found on upscaling in-situ measurements with empirical transfer functions (TFs). These results suggest that the pragmatic methods considered applied at high resolution with minimum calibration data could be useful for mapping FVC and LAI in the study area, reducing in-situ labour-intensive characterization necessities for validation studies.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Departament de Fisica de la Terra i Termodinamica, Universitat de Valencia, Valencia, Spain 2: EOLAB, Parc Cientific Universitat de Valencia, E-46071 Valencia, Spain

Publication date: 2009-01-01

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