de Moura, YM; Hilker, T; Goncalves, FG; Galvao, LS; dos Santos, JR; Lyapustin, A; Maeda, EE; Silva, CVD (2016). Scaling estimates of vegetation structure in Amazonian tropical forests using multi-angle MODIS observations. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF APPLIED EARTH OBSERVATION AND GEOINFORMATION, 52, 580-590.
Detailed knowledge of vegetation structure is required for accurate modelling of terrestrial ecosystems, but direct measurements of the three dimensional distribution of canopy elements, for instance from LiDAR, are not widely available. We investigate the potential for modelling vegetation roughness, a key parameter for climatological models, from directional scattering of visible and near-infrared (NIR) reflectance acquired from NASA's Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS). We compare our estimates across different tropical forest types to independent measures obtained from: (1) airborne laser scanning (ALS), (2) spaceborne Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS)/ICESat, and (3) the spaceborne SeaWinds/QSCAT. Our results showed linear correlation between MODIS-derived anisotropy to ALS-derived entropy (r(2) = 0.54, RMSE = 0.11), even in high biomass regions. Significant relationships were also obtained between MODIS-derived anisotropy and GLAS-derived entropy (0.52 <= r(2) <= 0.61; p<0.05), with similar slopes and offsets found throughout the season, and RMSE between 0.26 and 0.30 (units of entropy). The relationships between the MODIS-derived anisotropy and backscattering measurements (sigma(0)) from SeaWinds/QuikSCAT presented an r(2) of 0.59 and a RMSE of 0.11. We conclude that multi-angular MODIS observations are suitable to extrapolate measures of canopy entropy across different forest types, providing additional estimates of vegetation structure in the Amazon. (C) 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.