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Galvao, LS; dos Santos, JR; Roberts, DA; Breunig, FM; Toomey, M; de Moura, YM (2011). On intra-annual EVI variability in the dry season of tropical forest: A case study with MODIS and hyperspectral data. REMOTE SENSING OF ENVIRONMENT, 115(9), 2350-2359.

Considerable controversy is associated with dry season increases in the Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI), observed using the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), compared with field-based estimates of decreasing plant productivity. Here, we investigate potential causes of intra-annual variability by comparing EVI from mature forest with field-measured Leaf Area Index (LAI) to validate space-based observations. EVI was calculated from 19 nadir and off-nadir Hyperion images in the 2005 dry season, and inspected for consistency with MODIS observations from 2004 to 2009. The objective was to evaluate the possible influence of the view-illumination geometry and of canopy foliage and leaf flush on the EVI. Spectral mixture models were used to evaluate the relationship between EVI and the shade fraction, a measure that varies with pixel brightness. MODIS LAI values were compared with LAI estimated using hemispherical photographs taken in two field campaigns in the dry season. To keep LAI and leaf flush conditions as constant variables and vary solar illumination, we used airborne Hyperspectral Mapper (Hymap) data acquired over mature forest from another region on the same day but with two distinct solar zenith angles (SZA) (29 degrees and 53 degrees). Results showed that intra-annual variability in MODIS and nadir Hyperion EVI in the dry season of tropical forest were driven by solar illumination effects rather than changes in LAI. The reflectance of the MODIS and Hyperion blue, red and near infrared (NIR) bands was higher at the end of the dry season because of the predominance of sunlit canopy components for the sensors due to decreasing SZA from June (44 degrees) to September (26 degrees). Because EVI was highly correlated with the reflectance of the NIR band used to generate it (r of + 0.98 for MOD1S and + 0.88 for Hyperion), this vegetation index followed the general NIR pattern, increasing with smaller SZA towards the end of the dry season. Hyperion EVI was inversely correlated with the shade fraction (r = -0.93). Changes in canopy foliage detected from MODIS LAI data were not consistent with LAI estimates from hemispherical photographs. Although further research is necessary to measure the impact of leaf flush on intra-annual EVI variability in the Querencia region, analysis of Hymap data with fixed LAI and leaf flush conditions confirmed the influence of the illumination effects on the EV1. (C) 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.



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