Guerschman, JP, Hill, MJ, Renzullo, LJ, Barrett, DJ, Marks, AS, Botha, EJ (2009). "Estimating fractional cover of photosynthetic vegetation, non-photosynthetic vegetation and bare soil in the Australian tropical savanna region upscaling the EO-1 Hyperion and MODIS sensors". REMOTE SENSING OF ENVIRONMENT, 113(5), 928-945.
Quantitative estimation of fractional cover of photosynthetic vegetation (f(PV)), non-photosynthetic vegetation (f(NPV)) and bare soil (f(RS)) is critical for natural resource management and for modeling carbon dynamics. Accurate estimation of fractional cover is especially important for monitoring and modeling savanna systems, subject to highly seasonal rainfall and drought, grazing by domestic and native animals, and frequent burning. This paper describes a method for resolving f(PV), f(NPV) and f(BS) across the -2 million km(2) Australian tropical savanna zone with hyperspectral and multispectral imagery. A spectral library compiled from field campaigns in 2005 and 2006, together with three EO-1 Hyperion scenes acquired during the 2005 growing season were used to explore the spectral response space for f(PV,) f(NPV),f(NPV) and f(BS). A linear unmixing approach was developed using the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and the Cellulose Absorption Index (CAI). Transladon of this approach to MODerate resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) scale was assessed by comparing multiple linear regression models of NDVI and CAI with a range of indices based on the seven MODIS bands in the visible and shortwave infrared region (SWIR) using synthesized MODIS surface reflectance data on the same dates as the Hyperion acquisitions. The best resulting model, which used NDVI and the simple ratio of MODIS bands 7 and 6 (SWIR3/SWIR2), was used to generate a time series of fractional cover from 16 day MODIS nadir bidirectional reflectance distribution function-adjusted reflectance (NBAR) data from 2000-2006. The results obtained with MODIS NBAR were validated against grass curing measurement at ten sites with good agreement at six sites, but some underestimation of f(NPV) proportions at four other sites due to substantial sub-pixel heterogeneity. The model was also compared with remote sensing measurements of fire scars and showed a good matching in the spatio-temporal patterns of grass senescence and posterior burning. The fractional cover profiles for major grassland cover types showed significant differences in relative proportions of f(PV), f(NPV) and f(BS), as well as large intra-annual seasonal variation in response to monsoonal rainfall gradients and soil type. The methodology proposed here can be applied to other mixed tree-grass ecosystems across the world. Crown Copyright (C) 2009 Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.