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Remote Sens. 2017, 9(6), 530;

Global Analysis of Bioclimatic Controls on Ecosystem Productivity Using Satellite Observations of Solar-Induced Chlorophyll Fluorescence

Numerical Terradynamic Simulation Group, College of Forestry & Conservation, University of Montana, Missoula, MT 59812, USA
Department of Ecosystem and Conservation Sciences, College of Forestry & Conservation, University of Montana, Missoula, MT 59812, USA
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, Mail Stop 200-233, Pasadena, CA 91109, USA
Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences and National Center for Supercomputing Applications, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL 61801, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Jose Moreno and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 18 April 2017 / Revised: 16 May 2017 / Accepted: 21 May 2017 / Published: 26 May 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecophysiological Remote Sensing)
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Ecosystem productivity models rely on regional climatic information to estimate temperature and moisture constraints influencing plant growth. However, the productivity response to these environmental factors is uncertain at the global scale and has largely been defined using limited observations from sparse monitoring sites, including carbon flux towers. Recent studies have shown that satellite observations of Solar-Induced chlorophyll Fluorescence (SIF) are highly correlated with ecosystem Gross Primary Productivity (GPP). Here, we use a relatively long-term global SIF observational record from the Global Ozone Monitoring Experiment-2 (GOME-2) sensors to investigate the relationships between SIF, used as a proxy for GPP, and selected bio-climatic factors constraining plant growth at the global scale. We compared the satellite SIF retrievals with collocated GPP observations from a global network of tower carbon flux monitoring sites and surface meteorological data from model reanalysis, including soil moisture, Vapor Pressure Deficit (VPD), and minimum daily air temperature (Tmin). We found strong correspondence (R2 > 80%) between SIF and GPP monthly climatologies for tower sites characterized by mixed, deciduous broadleaf, evergreen needleleaf forests, and croplands. For other land cover types including savanna, shrubland, and evergreen broadleaf forest, SIF showed significant but higher variability in correlations between sites. In order to analyze temperature and moisture related effects on ecosystem productivity, we divided SIF by photosynthetically active radiation (SIFp) and examined partial correlations between SIFp and the climatic factors across a global range of flux tower sites, and over broader regional and global extents. We found that productivity in arid ecosystems is more strongly controlled by soil water content to an extent that soil moisture explains a higher proportion of the seasonal cycle in productivity than VPD. At the global scale, ecosystem productivity is affected by joint climatic constraint factors so that VPD, Tmin, and soil moisture were significant (p < 0.05) controls over 60, 59, and 35 percent of the global domain, respectively. Our study identifies and confirms dominant climate control factors influencing productivity at the global scale indicated from satellite SIF observations. The results are generally consistent with climate response characteristics indicated from sparse global tower observations, while providing more extensive coverage for verifying and refining global carbon and climate model assumptions and predictions. View Full-Text
Keywords: ecosystem productivity; FLUXNET; GPP; MODIS-MOD17; phenology; SIF; SMAP-L4C ecosystem productivity; FLUXNET; GPP; MODIS-MOD17; phenology; SIF; SMAP-L4C

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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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Madani, N.; Kimball, J.S.; Jones, L.A.; Parazoo, N.C.; Guan, K. Global Analysis of Bioclimatic Controls on Ecosystem Productivity Using Satellite Observations of Solar-Induced Chlorophyll Fluorescence. Remote Sens. 2017, 9, 530.

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