Li, J; Xiao, ZQ (2020). Evaluation of the version 5.0 global land surface satellite (GLASS) leaf area index product derived from MODIS data. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF REMOTE SENSING, 41(23), 9140-9160.

The Global Land Surface Satellite (GLASS) leaf area index (LAI) product is one of the most widely used global LAI products in the scientific community. The latest (version 5) GLASS LAI product has been generated from Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) surface reflectance data. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the quality of the version 5 GLASS LAI product. The GLASS LAI product was compared with the latest MODIS LAI product (MCD15A2 H, Collection 6) and the second version of Geoland2 (GEOV2) LAI product to evaluate their temporal and spatial discrepancies. A direct validation was conducted to compare these LAI products to the LAI values derived from the high-resolution reference maps from the Validation of Land European Remote Sensing Instruments (VALERI) and Implementing Multi-Scale Agricultural Indicators Exploiting Sentinels (IMAGINES) sites. The results show that the GLASS and GEOV2 LAI products have great spatial integrity. However, the MODIS LAI product contains many missing pixels in tropical areas. These LAI products follow fairly consistent seasonal characteristics. The spatial discrepancies of these LAI products mainly exist in forest areas, especially evergreen broadleaf forests where the GLASS LAI values are generally lower than the GEOV2 LAI values by approximately 1.0 LAI units and lower than the MODIS LAI values by 0.5 to 1.0 LAI units. The spatial distribution of these LAI products has slight discrepancies in savannahs, broadleaf crops, grasses/cereal crops and shrubs. The GLASS and GEOV2 LAI products capture a complete and reasonable temporal profile, contrasting with the MODIS LAI product, which shows dramatic fluctuations, particularly during the growing seasons. These LAI products show similar temporal trajectories and interannual variations for all biome types except evergreen broadleaf forests. The direct validation shows that the accuracy of the GLASS LAI product is better than the accuracy of the MODIS and GEOV2 LAI products. The coefficient of determination (R2) of the GLASS, MODIS and GEOV2 LAI products versus the LAI values derived from the high-resolution reference maps are 0.68, 0.47 and 0.55, respectively, and the root mean square error (RMSE) of these products are 0.86, 1.22 and 1.21, respectively.