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Remote Sens. 2016, 8(1), 29; doi:10.3390/rs8010029

Quantifying the Impact of NDVIsoil Determination Methods and NDVIsoil Variability on the Estimation of Fractional Vegetation Cover in Northeast China

School of Geographical Sciences, Northeast Normal University, Changchun 130024, China
Northeast Institute of Geography and Agroecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Changchun 130102, China
Changchun Jingyuetan Remote Sensing Test Site of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Changchun 130102, China
Institute of Agricultural Resources and Regional Planning, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Science, Beijing 130102, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Sangram Ganguly, Compton Tucker, Parth Sarathi Roy and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 10 November 2015 / Revised: 17 December 2015 / Accepted: 25 December 2015 / Published: 4 January 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Vegetation Structure and Dynamics)
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Fractional vegetation cover (FVC) is one of the most critical parameters in monitoring vegetation status. Accurate estimates of FVC are crucial to the use in land surface models. The dimidiate pixel model is the most widely used method for retrieval of FVC. The normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) of bare soil endmember (NDVIsoil) is usually assumed to be invariant without taking into account the spatial variability of soil backgrounds. Two NDVIsoil determining methods were compared for estimating FVC. The first method used an invariant NDVIsoil for the Northeast China. The second method used the historical minimum NDVI along with information on soil types to estimate NDVIsoil for each soil type. We quantified the influence of variations of NDVIsoil derived from the second method on FVC estimation for each soil type and compared the differences in FVC estimated by these two methods. Analysis shows that the uncertainty in FVC estimation introduced by NDVIsoil variability can exceed 0.1 (root mean square error—RMSE), with the largest errors occurring in vegetation types with low NDVI. NDVIsoil with higher variation causes greater uncertainty on FVC. The difference between the two versions of FVC in Northeast China, is about 0.07 with an RMSE of 0.07. Validation using fine-resolution FVC reference maps shows that the second approach yields better estimates of FVC than using an invariant NDVIsoil value. The accuracy of FVC estimates is improved from 0.1 to 0.07 (RMSE), on average, in the croplands and from 0.04 to 0.03 in the grasslands. Soil backgrounds have impacts not only on NDVIsoil but also on other VIsoil. Further focus will be the selection of optimal vegetation indices and the modeling of the relationships between VIsoil and soil properties for predicting VIsoil. View Full-Text
Keywords: fractional vegetation cover; NDVIsoil; dimidiate pixel model; HWSD; soil background fractional vegetation cover; NDVIsoil; dimidiate pixel model; HWSD; soil background

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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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Ding, Y.; Zheng, X.; Zhao, K.; Xin, X.; Liu, H. Quantifying the Impact of NDVIsoil Determination Methods and NDVIsoil Variability on the Estimation of Fractional Vegetation Cover in Northeast China. Remote Sens. 2016, 8, 29.

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