Mountainous areas with rugged terrains are widely distributed around the world. Remotely sensed values of the fraction of absorbed photosynthetically active radiation (FAPAR) suffer from the effect of rugged terrain. In this study, the effect of rugged terrain was incorporated into the FAPAR model based on recollision probability (FAPAR-P), which was improved in two aspects: calculating the sky viewing factor to correct for the fraction of diffuse sky radiation to the total radiation, and correcting the interception probability according to the slope and aspect of each pixel. The newly developed model is called FAPAR-PR (FAPAR-P Model for Rugged Terrain Area). Two study areas were chosen to validate the proposed model: the Dayekou watershed in Gansu Province, and Weichang in Hebei Province, China. The FAPAR values derived from the models were compared with FAPAR values measured in situ
using photon flux sensors and the SunScan canopy analysis system (Delta-T Devices Ltd., Cambridge, UK). The validation results show that the FAPAR-PR model is applicable to rugged terrain areas, and it achieves a high level of accuracy. The FAPAR retrieval at different scales was also conducted to estimate the effect of terrain on the FAPAR-P and FAPAR-PR models. In our chosen study area, the effect of rugged terrain was significant in fine resolution pixels, but it was not obvious at larger scales, as the effects of slope and aspect were partly eliminated by the upscaling of the digital elevation model.
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