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Kobayashi, H, Suzuki, R, Kobayashi, S (2007). Reflectance seasonality and its relation to the canopy leaf area index in an eastern Siberian larch forest: Multi-satellite data and radiative transfer analyses. REMOTE SENSING OF ENVIRONMENT, 106(2), 238-252.

Reliable monitoring of seasonality in the forest canopy leaf area index (LAI) in Siberian forests is required to advance the understanding of climate-forest interactions under global environmental change and to develop a forest phenology model within ecosystem modeling. Here, we compare multisatellite (AVHRR, MODIS, and SPOT/VEGETATION) reflectance, normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), enhanced vegetation index (EVI), and LAI with aircraft-based spectral reflectance data and field-measured forest data acquired from April to June in 2000 in a larch forest near Yakutsk, Russia. Field data in a 30 x 30-m study site and aircraft data observed around the field site were used. Larch is a dominant forest type in eastern Siberia, but comparison studies that consider multi-satellite data, aircraft-based reflectance, and field-based measurement data are rarely conducted. Three-dimensional canopy radiative transfer calculations, which are based on Antyufeev and Marshak's [Antyufeev, VS., & Marshak, AL. (1990). Monte Carlo method and transport equation in plant canopies, Remote Sensing of Environment, 31, 183-19 1] Monte Carlo photon transport method combined with North's [North, P.R. (1996). Three-dimensional forest light interaction model using a Monte Carlo method, IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, 34(4), 946-956] geometric-optical hybrid forest canopy scene, helped elucidate the relationship between canopy reflectance and forest structural parameters, including several forest floor conditions. Aircraft-based spectral measurements and the spectral response functions of all satellite sensors confirmed that biases in reflectance seasonality caused by differences in spectral response functions among sensors were small. However, some reflectance biases occur among the near infrared (NIR) reflectance data from satellite products; these biases were potentially caused by absolute calibration errors or cloud/cloud shadow contamination. In addition, reflectance seasonality in AVHRR-based NIR data was very small compared to other datasets, which was partially due to the spring-to-summer increase in the amount of atmospheric water vapor. Radiative transfer simulations suggest that bi-directional reflectance effects were small for the study site and observation period; however, changes in tree density and forest floor conditions affect the absolute value of NIR reflectance, even if the canopy leaf area condition does not change. Reliable monitoring of canopy LAI is achieved by minimizing these effects through the use of NIR reflectance difference, i.e., the difference in reflectance on the observation day from the reflectance on a snow-free/pre-foliation day. This may yield useful and robust parameters for multi-satellite monitoring of the larch canopy LAI with less error from intersensor biases and forest structure/floor differences. Further validation with field data and combined use of other index (e.g. normalized difference water index, NDWI) data will enable an extension of these findings to all Siberian deciduous forests. (c) 2006 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.



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