Maselli, F, Papale, D, Puletti, N, Chirici, G, Corona, P (2009). Combining remote sensing and ancillary data to monitor the gross productivity of water-limited forest ecosystems. REMOTE SENSING OF ENVIRONMENT, 113(3), 657-667.
This paper describes the development and testing of a procedure which combines remotely sensed and ancillary data to monitor forest productivity in Italy. The procedure is based on a straightforward parametric model (C-Fix) that uses the relationship between the fraction of photosynthetically active radiation absorbed by plant canopies (fAPAR) and relevant gross primary productivity (GPP). Estimates of forest fAPAR are derived from Spot-VGT NDVI images and are combined with spatially consistent data layers obtained by the elaboration of ground meteorological measurements. The original version of C-Fix is first applied to estimate monthly GPP of Italian forests during eight years (1999-2006). Next, a modification of the model is proposed in order to simulate the short-term effect of summer water stress more efficiently. The accuracy of the original and modified C-Fix versions is evaluated by comparison with GPP data taken at eight Italian eddy covariance flux tower sites. The experimental results confirm the capacity of C-Fix to monitor national forest GPP patterns and indicate the utility of considering the short-term effect of water stress during Mediterranean dry months. (c) 2008 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.