Next Article in Journal
A Comparison of Advanced Regression Algorithms for Quantifying Urban Land Cover
Next Article in Special Issue
Effect of Bias Correction of Satellite-Rainfall Estimates on Runoff Simulations at the Source of the Upper Blue Nile
Previous Article in Journal
Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) Interferometry for Assessing Wenchuan Earthquake (2008) Deforestation in the Sichuan Giant Panda Site
Previous Article in Special Issue
Evapotranspiration Variability and Its Association with Vegetation Dynamics in the Nile Basin, 2002–2011
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle

Evaporative Fraction as an Indicator of Moisture Condition and Water Stress Status in Semi-Arid Rangeland Ecosystems

Institute of Electromagnetic Sensing of Environment, National Research Council of Italy (CNR-IREA), Via Bassini 15, Milan 20133, Italy
Department of Agricultural and Environmental Science, Università degli Studi di Milano, Milano 20133, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2014, 6(7), 6300-6323;
Received: 14 April 2014 / Revised: 16 June 2014 / Accepted: 18 June 2014 / Published: 7 July 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Earth Observation for Water Resource Management in Africa)
PDF [1375 KB, uploaded 7 July 2014]


Rangeland monitoring services require the capability to investigate vegetation condition and to assess biomass production, especially in areas where local livelihood depends on rangeland status. Remote sensing solutions are strongly recommended, where the systematic acquisition of field data is not feasible and does not guarantee properly describing the spatio-temporal dynamics of wide areas. Recent research on semi-arid rangelands has focused its attention on the evaporative fraction (EF), a key factor to estimate evapotranspiration (ET) in the energy balance (EB) algorithm. EF is strongly linked to the vegetation water status, and works conducted on eddy covariance towers used this parameter to increase the performances of satellite-based biomass estimation. In this work, a method to estimate EF from MODIS products, originally developed for evapotranspiration estimation, is tested and evaluated. Results show that the EF estimation from low spatial resolution over wide semi-arid area is feasible. Estimated EF resulted in being well correlated to field ET measurements, and the spatial patterns of EF maps are in agreement with the well-known climatic and landscape Sahelian features. The preliminary test on rangeland biomass production shows that satellite-retrieved EF as a water availability factor significantly increased the capacity of a remote sensing operational product to detect the variability of the field biomass measurements. View Full-Text
Keywords: evaporative fraction; semi-arid rangeland; biomass estimation evaporative fraction; semi-arid rangeland; biomass estimation

Graphical abstract

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).
Printed Edition Available!
A printed edition of this Special Issue is available here.

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Nutini, F.; Boschetti, M.; Candiani, G.; Bocchi, S.; Brivio, P.A. Evaporative Fraction as an Indicator of Moisture Condition and Water Stress Status in Semi-Arid Rangeland Ecosystems. Remote Sens. 2014, 6, 6300-6323.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

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