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Lars Eklundh


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Estimation of absorbed PAR across Scandinavia from satellite measurements Part I: Incident PAR


  • Pontus Olofsson
  • Patrick E. Van Laake
  • Lars Eklundh

Summary, in English

The primary productivity of a plant community can be modeled as the product of the amount of photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) absorbed by the canopy and a light use efficiency factor, where the amount of absorbed PAR (APAR) is the product of the fractional absorption and the amount of incident PAR. By implementing a method, PARcalc, using atmospheric data from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), incident PAR is estimated in this study. In addition, since many PAR datasets are generated by converting shortwave radiation into PAR, the ratio of PAR to shortwave radiation was also investigated. PARcalc models the photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD) as a product of atmospheric transmittance, the cosine of the Sun zenith angle, and the solar constant. The atmospheric transmittance includes the attenuation of radiation by Rayleigh and aerosol scattering, and absorption by water and ozone. A cloud transmittance factor which is primarily a function of the cloud optical thickness is added in order to cope with cloudy conditions. The model was implemented at two sites in Sweden, Asa and Norunda, where in situ measurements of PPFD were made during the spring and summer of 2004. Modeled time-series were evaluated against the measurements, and daily sums of PPFD were calculated by fitting of a sine function in combination with linear interpolation of the instantaneous estimates from sunrise to sunset. This gave correlation coefficients at Norunda and Asa of 0.80 and 0.77, respectively, when comparing modeled and measured daily insolation. The average relative errors were 24% and 25%. Corresponding figures for five day averages were 0.91 and 0.86; and 9.3% and 11.9%. Instantaneous estimates of PPFD were modeled with correlation coefficients of 0 88-0 93 and average relative errors from 17.0%. These numbers were acquired when using measured values for determining cloudiness; the corresponding figures when the method is fully implemented using satellite data are 0.84 to 0.71 and 24.9%, respectively. The ratio of PAR to shortwave radiation was measured at Norunda 1 Jan to 31 Oct 2004 and was found to vary between 0.27 and 0.48 on a daily basis with an average of 0.43 for the whole period.(c) 2007 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


  • Dept of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science

Publishing year







Remote Sensing of Environment





Document type

Journal article




  • Physical Geography


  • PAR
  • irradiance
  • NPP
  • PPFD




  • ISSN: 0034-4257