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Remote Sens. 2015, 7(3), 2808-2831; doi:10.3390/rs70302808

Estimation and Validation of RapidEye-Based Time-Series of Leaf Area Index for Winter Wheat in the Rur Catchment (Germany)

1
Agrosphere (IBG-3), Research Center Jülich GmbH, Wilhelm-Johnen-Straße, 52428 Jülich, Germany
2
Institute of Crop Science and Resource Conservation, University of Bonn, Katzenburgweg 5, 53115 Bonn, Germany
3
Remote Sensing Research Group, Department of Geography, University of Bonn, Meckenheimer Allee 166, 53115 Bonn, Germany
4
Centre for Remote Sensing of Land Surfaces (ZFL), University of Bonn, Walter-Flex-Straße 3, 53115 Bonn, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Clement Atzberger and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 13 August 2014 / Revised: 24 February 2015 / Accepted: 27 February 2015 / Published: 10 March 2015
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Abstract

Leaf Area Index (LAI) is an important variable for numerous processes in various disciplines of bio- and geosciences. In situ measurements are the most accurate source of LAI among the LAI measuring methods, but the in situ measurements have the limitation of being labor intensive and site specific. For spatial-explicit applications (from regional to continental scales), satellite remote sensing is a promising source for obtaining LAI with different spatial resolutions. However, satellite-derived LAI measurements using empirical models require calibration and validation with the in situ measurements. In this study, we attempted to validate a direct LAI retrieval method from remotely sensed images (RapidEye) with in situ LAI (LAIdestr). Remote sensing LAI (LAIrapideye) were derived using different vegetation indices, namely SAVI (Soil Adjusted Vegetation Index) and NDVI (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index). Additionally, applicability of the newly available red-edge band (RE) was also analyzed through Normalized Difference Red-Edge index (NDRE) and Soil Adjusted Red-Edge index (SARE). The LAIrapideye obtained from vegetation indices with red-edge band showed better correlation with LAIdestr (r = 0.88 and Root Mean Square Devation, RMSD = 1.01 & 0.92). This study also investigated the need to apply radiometric/atmospheric correction methods to the time-series of RapidEye Level 3A data prior to LAI estimation. Analysis of the the RapidEye Level 3A data set showed that application of the radiometric/atmospheric correction did not improve correlation of the estimated LAI with in situ LAI. View Full-Text
Keywords: leaf area index; red-edge band; RapidEye; atmospheric correction; validation; time-series leaf area index; red-edge band; RapidEye; atmospheric correction; validation; time-series
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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. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Ali, M.; Montzka, C.; Stadler, A.; Menz, G.; Thonfeld, F.; Vereecken, H. Estimation and Validation of RapidEye-Based Time-Series of Leaf Area Index for Winter Wheat in the Rur Catchment (Germany). Remote Sens. 2015, 7, 2808-2831.

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