Next Article in Journal
Structural Uncertainty in Model-Simulated Trends of Global Gross Primary Production
Previous Article in Journal
Area-Based Mapping of Defoliation of Scots Pine Stands Using Airborne Scanning LiDAR
Remote Sens. 2013, 5(3), 1235-1257; doi:10.3390/rs5031235

Intercomparison of Leaf Area Index Products for a Gradient of Sub-Humid to Arid Environments in West Africa

* ,
German Remote Sensing Data Center (DFD), German Aerospace Center (DLR), Muenchner Strasse 20, 82234 Wessling, Germany
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 17 January 2013 / Revised: 22 February 2013 / Accepted: 5 March 2013 / Published: 11 March 2013
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [29908 KB, 19 June 2014; original version 19 June 2014]   |   Browse Figures


The Leaf Area Index (LAI) is a key variable in many land surface and climate modeling studies. To date, a number of LAI datasets have been developed based on time series of medium resolution optical remote sensing observations. Global validation exercises show the high value of these datasets, but at the same time they point out shortcomings, particularly in the presence of persistent cloud coverage and dense vegetation. For regional modeling studies, the choice of an ideal LAI input dataset is not straightforward as global validation, and intercomparison studies do not necessarily allow conclusions on data quality at regional scale. This paper provides a comprehensive relative intercomparison of four freely available LAI products for a wide gradient of ecosystems in Africa. The region of investigation, West Africa, comprises typical African sub-humid to arid landscapes. The selected LAI time series are the Satellite Pour l’Observation de la Terre-VEGETATION (SPOT-VGT)-based Carbon Cycle and Change in Land Observational Products from an Ensemble of Satellites (CYCLOPES) LAI, the SPOT-VGT-based Bio-geophysical Parameters (BioPar) LAI product GEOV1, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) product MOD15A2, and the Meteosat-SEVIRI-based Satellite Application Facility on Land Surface Analysis (LSA-SAF) LAI. The comparative analyses focus on data gap occurrence, on the consistency of temporal LAI profiles, on their ability to adequately reproduce the phenological cycle and on the plausibility of LAI magnitudes for major land cover types in West Africa. A detailed quantitative validation of the LAI datasets, however, was not possible due to insufficient ground LAI measurements in the study region.
Keywords: LAI; West Africa; MODIS; SPOT-VGT; SEVIRI; time series LAI; West Africa; MODIS; SPOT-VGT; SEVIRI; time series
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Share & Cite This Article

Further Mendeley | CiteULike
Export to BibTeX |
MDPI and ACS Style

Gessner, U.; Niklaus, M.; Kuenzer, C.; Dech, S. Intercomparison of Leaf Area Index Products for a Gradient of Sub-Humid to Arid Environments in West Africa. Remote Sens. 2013, 5, 1235-1257.

View more citation formats

Related Articles

Article Metrics

For more information on the journal, click here


Cited By

[Return to top]
Remote Sens. EISSN 2072-4292 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert