Next Article in Journal
Methods to Quantify Regional Differences in Land Cover Change
Next Article in Special Issue
Spatial Up-Scaling Correction for Leaf Area Index Based on the Fractal Theory
Previous Article in Journal
Testing the Contribution of Stress Factors to Improve Wheat and Maize Yield Estimations Derived from Remotely-Sensed Dry Matter Productivity
Previous Article in Special Issue
Estimation of Forest Structural Diversity Using the Spectral and Textural Information Derived from SPOT-5 Satellite Images
Article Menu
Issue 3 (March) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(3), 177;

Global and Regional Variability and Change in Terrestrial Ecosystems Net Primary Production and NDVI: A Model-Data Comparison

Joint Global Change Research Institute, Pacific Northwest National Lab, College Park, MD 20740, USA
Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20740, USA
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Telegraphenberg, 14412 Potsdam, Germany
Remote Sensing Laboratories, Department of Geography, University of Zurich, Winterthurerstrasse 190, 8057 Zurich, Switzerland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Sangram Ganguly, Compton Tucker, Alfredo R. Huete and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 16 November 2015 / Revised: 27 January 2016 / Accepted: 14 February 2016 / Published: 25 February 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Vegetation Structure and Dynamics)
Full-Text   |   PDF [2519 KB, uploaded 25 February 2016]   |  


The net primary productivity (NPP) is commonly used for understanding the dynamics of terrestrial ecosystems and their role in carbon cycle. We used a combination of the most recent NDVI and model-based NPP estimates (from five models of the TRENDY project) for the period 1982–2012, to study the role of terrestrial ecosystems in carbon cycle under the prevailing climate conditions. We found that 80% and 67% of the global land area showed positive NPP and NDVI values, respectively, for this period. The global NPP was estimated to be about 63 Pg C·y−1, with an increase of 0.214 Pg C·y−1·y−1. Similarly, the global mean NDVI was estimated to be 0.33, with an increasing trend of 0.00041 y−1. The spatial patterns of NPP and NDVI demonstrated substantial variability, especially at the regional level, for most part of the globe. However, on temporal scale, both global NPP and NDVI showed a corresponding pattern of increase (decrease) for the duration of this study except for few years (e.g., 1990 and 1995–1998). Generally, the Northern Hemisphere showed stronger NDVI and NPP increasing trends over time compared to the Southern Hemisphere; however, NDVI showed larger trends in Temperate regions while NPP showed larger trends in Boreal regions. Among the five models, the maximum and minimum NPP were produced by JULES (72.4 Pg C·y−1) and LPJ (53.72 Pg C·y−1) models, respectively. At latitudinal level, the NDVI and NPP ranges were ~0.035 y−1 to ~−0.016 y−1 and ~0.10 Pg C·y−1·y−1 to ~−0.047 Pg C·y−1·y−1, respectively. Overall, the results of this study suggest that the modeled NPP generally correspond to the NDVI trends in the temporal dimension. The significant variability in spatial patterns of NPP and NDVI trends points to a need for research to understand the causes of these discrepancies between molded and observed ecosystem dynamics, and the carbon cycle. View Full-Text
Keywords: carbon cycle; ecosystems; NDVI; NPP; TRENDY models; spatial trends; temporal trends carbon cycle; ecosystems; NDVI; NPP; TRENDY models; spatial trends; temporal trends

Figure 1

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).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Rafique, R.; Zhao, F.; de Jong, R.; Zeng, N.; Asrar, G.R. Global and Regional Variability and Change in Terrestrial Ecosystems Net Primary Production and NDVI: A Model-Data Comparison. Remote Sens. 2016, 8, 177.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



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