Fang, HL, Liang, SL (2005). A hybrid inversion method for mapping leaf area index from MODIS data: experiments and application to broadleaf and needleleaf canopies. REMOTE SENSING OF ENVIRONMENT, 94(3), 405-424.
Leaf area index (LAI) is an important variable needed by various land surface process models. It has been produced operationally from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data using a look-up table (LUT) method, but the inversion accuracy still needs significant improvements. We propose an alternative method in this study that integrates both the radiative transfer (RT) simulation and nonparametric regression methods. Two nonparametric regression methods (i.e., the neural network [NN] and the projection pursuit regression [PPR]) were examined. An integrated database was constructed from radiative transfer simulations tuned for two broad biome categories (broadleaf and needleleaf vegetations). A new soil reflectance index (SRI) and analytically simulated leaf optical properties were used in the parameterization process. This algorithm was tested in two sites, one at Maryland, USA, a middle latitude temperate agricultural area, and the other at Canada, a boreal forest site, and LAI was accurately estimated. The derived LAI maps were also compared with those from MODIS science team and ETM+ data. The MODIS standard LAI products were found consistent with our results for broadleaf crops, needleleaf forest, and other cover types, but overestimated broadleaf forest by 2.0-3.0 due to the complex biome types. (C) 2004 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.