Abstract: The leaf area index (LAI) is a crucial parameter of vegetation structure. It provides key information for earth surface process simulations and climate change research on the global and regional scales. Focusing on the meadow steppe in Hulunber, Inner Mongolia, China, the present study assessed the accuracy of the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) LAI product in the study area. First, seven field campaigns collecting ground-based measurements were conducted during the growing season in 2013, and 252 pairs of LAIs and spectra were collected. Then, seven scenes of high-resolution LAI maps were obtained from the corresponding 30 m Chinese HJ-1A/1B charge-coupled diode (CCD) images by employing a regression approach. Finally, comparisons between the MODIS LAI product and the high resolution LAI maps were made to determine the accuracy of the MODIS LAI product. Moreover, the corresponding 500 m MODIS LAI maps were derived from the daily MODIS surface reflectance product to support the findings using the 1 km HJ LAI product and the ground-based comparison. The results showed that, compared to the ground data, the MODIS LAI product followed a reasonable seasonal trajectory during the growing season. However, an anomaly existed at the beginning of the growing season. Also, a slight overestimation was found for the MODIS LAI product compared to the HJ-retrieved LAI maps. The average overestimation for the LAI was approximately 0.4 m2/m2, and the relative absolute errors of the product ranged from 10%–50%. The overestimation at the beginning and end of the growing season was higher due to the interference of soil background and grass variation. The results of this study provide a comprehensive understanding of the accuracy of the regional MODIS LAI product for the Hulunber meadow steppe. This research is important for improving regional modeling and prediction of vegetation biogeochemical processes and earth system productivity.
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Li, Z.; Tang, H.; Xin, X.; Zhang, B.; Wang, D. Assessment of the MODIS LAI Product Using Ground Measurement Data and HJ-1A/1B Imagery in the Meadow Steppe of Hulunber, China. Remote Sens. 2014, 6, 6242-6265.
Li Z, Tang H, Xin X, Zhang B, Wang D. Assessment of the MODIS LAI Product Using Ground Measurement Data and HJ-1A/1B Imagery in the Meadow Steppe of Hulunber, China. Remote Sensing. 2014; 6(7):6242-6265.
Li, Zhenwang; Tang, Huan; Xin, Xiaoping; Zhang, Baohui; Wang, Dongliang. 2014. "Assessment of the MODIS LAI Product Using Ground Measurement Data and HJ-1A/1B Imagery in the Meadow Steppe of Hulunber, China." Remote Sens. 6, no. 7: 6242-6265.