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Exploring the potential of MODIS EVI for modeling gross primary production across African ecosystems

  • Martin Sjöström
  • Jonas Ardö
  • Almut Arneth
  • N. Boulain
  • B. Cappelaere
  • Lars Eklundh
  • A. de Grandcourt
  • W.L. Kutsch
  • L. Merbold
  • Y. Nouvellon
  • R.J. Scholes
  • Per Schubert
  • Jonathan Seaquist
  • E.M. Veenendaal
Publishing year: 2011
Language: English
Pages: 1081-1089
Publication/Series: Remote Sensing of Environment
Volume: 115
Issue: 4
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Elsevier

Abstract english

One of the most frequently applied methods for integrating controls on primary production through satellite data is the light use efficiency (LUE) approach, which links vegetation gross or net primary productivity (GPP or NPP) to remotely-sensed estimates of absorbed photosynthetically active radiation (APAR). Eddy covariance towers provide continuous measurements of carbon flux, presenting an opportunity for evaluation of satellite estimates of GPP. Here we investigate relationships between eddy covariance estimated GPP, environmental variables and the enhanced vegetation index (EVI) from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) across African savanna ecosystems. EVI was found to correlate well with estimated GPP on a site-by-site basis. Combining EVI with tower-measured PAR and evaporative fraction (EF, a measure of water sufficiency) improved the direct relationship between GPP and EVI at the majority of the sites. The slope of this relationship was strongly related to site peak leaf area index (LAI). These results are promising for the extension of GPP through the use of remote sensing data to a regional or even continental scale.


  • Physical Geography
  • Gross primary production (GPP)
  • Africa
  • Evaporative fraction (EF)
  • Enhanced vegetation index (EVI)
  • Leaf area index (LAI)
  • Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS)


  • remote sensing-lup-obsolete
  • ISSN: 0034-4257
E-mail: jonas [dot] ardo [at] nateko [dot] lu [dot] se


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Dept of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science


Department of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science
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