Zhao, J; Li, J; Liu, QH; Xu, BD; Yu, WT; Lin, SR; Hu, Z (2020). Estimating fractional vegetation cover from leaf area index and clumping index based on the gap probability theory. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF APPLIED EARTH OBSERVATION AND GEOINFORMATION, 90, 102112.

Gap probability theory provides a theoretical equation to calculate fractional vegetation cover (FVC). However, the main algorithms used in present FVC products generation are still the linear mixture model and machine learning methods. The reason to limit the gap probability theory applied in the product algorithm is the availability and accuracy of leaf area index (LAI) and clumping index (CI) products. With the improvement of the LAI and CI products, it is necessary to assess whether the algorithm based on gap probability theory using the present products can improve the accuracy of FVC products. In this study, we generated the FVC estimates based on the gap probability theory (FVCgap) with a resolution of 500 m every 8 days for Europe. FVCgap estimates were validated with field FVC measurements of ImagineS from 2013 to 2015 for crop types. Two existing FVC products, Geoland2 Versionl (GEOV1) and Multisource data Synergized Quantitative remote sensing production system (MuSyQ), were used to inter-compare with the FVCgap estimates. FVCgap estimates showed a better agreement with field FVC measurements, with lowest root mean square error (RMSE) (0.1211) and bias (0.0224), than GEOV1 and MuSyQ FVC products. The inter-annual and seasonal variations of FVCgap estimates were also showed the most consistent with field measurements.