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Gianelle, D, Vescovo, L, Marcolla, B, Manca, G, Cescatti, A (2009). Ecosystem carbon fluxes and canopy spectral reflectance of a mountain meadow. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF REMOTE SENSING, 30(2), 435-449.

Proximal and remote sensing measurements were used to calculate different vegetation indices that were applied as predictors of gross primary production (GPP), total ecosystem respiration (TER), net ecosystem production (NEP) and leaf area index (LAI). Reflectance data and carbon fluxes were collected during the 2005 growing season at a mountain grassland site in the Italian Alps. Significant relationships were found between GPP, TER, NEP, LAI and the most commonly used spectral vegetation indices, the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and Green-NDVI. Saturation of the spectral indices was evident in the estimation of both biophysical and ecophysiological parameters. Among the different indices, Green-NDVI was less affected by saturation on both a spatial and a temporal basis. Therefore, the use of an additional green-band sensor for spectral measurements at eddy covariance grassland sites is recommended. Concerning the bandwidth for the calculation of the indices, the highest predictive capacities among the sensor simulations included in the analysis were those of the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) and the high-resolution hyperspectral instrument Hyperion, indicating the advantage of narrow bands for the prediction of plant parameters. Further analyses are, however, required to investigate the relationships between NEP, GPP and vegetation indices retrieved from satellite platforms, using the bands available on MODIS and Hyperion sensors.



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