Sun, WX, Liang, SL, Xu, G, Fang, HL, Dickinson, R (2008). Mapping plant functional types from MODIS data using multisource evidential reasoning. REMOTE SENSING OF ENVIRONMENT, 112(3), 1010-1024.
Reliable information about the geographic distribution and abundance of major plant functional types (PFTs) around the world is increasingly needed for global change research. Using remote sensing techniques to map PFTs is a relatively recent field of research. This paper presents a method to map PFTs from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data using a multisource evidential reasoning (ER) algorithm. The method first utilizes a suite of improved and standard MODIS products to generate evidence measures for each PFT class. The multiple lines of evidence computed from input data are then combined using Dempster's Rule of combination. Finally, a decision rule based on maximum support is used to make classification decisions. The proposed method was tested over the states of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, and North Dakota, USA where crops dominate. The Cropland Data Layer (CDL) data provided by the United States Department of Agriculture were employed to validate our new PFT maps and the current MODIS PFT product. Our preliminary results suggest that multisource data fusion is a promising approach to improve the mapping of PFTs. For several major PFT classes such as crop, trees, and grass and shrub, the PFT maps generated with the ER method provide greater spatial details compared to the MODIS PFT. The overall accuracies increased for all the four states, with the biggest improvement occurring in Iowa from 5 1 % (MODIS) to 64% (ER). The overall kappa statistic also increased for all the four states, with the biggest improvement occurring in Iowa from 0.03 (MODIS) to 0.38 (ER). The paper concludes with a discussion of several methodological issues pertaining to the further improvement of the ER approach. (C) 2007 Elsevier Inc. All fights reserved.