, Volume 34, Issue 3, pp 603–618 | Cite as

Modeling Carbon Fluxes Using Multi-Temporal MODIS Imagery and CO2 Eddy Flux Tower Data in Zoige Alpine Wetland, South-West China

  • Xiaoming Kang
  • Yanfen Wang
  • Huai Chen
  • Jianqing Tian
  • Xiaoyong Cui
  • Yichao Rui
  • Lei Zhong
  • Paul Kardol
  • Yanbin Hao
  • Xiangming Xiao


An accurate and synoptic quantification of gross primary production (GPP) in wetland ecosystems is essential for assessing carbon budgets at regional or global scales. In this study, a satellite-based Vegetation Photosynthesis Model (VPM) integrated with observed eddy tower and remote sensing data was employed and adapted to evaluate the feasibility and dependability of the model for estimating GPP in an alpine wetland, located in Zoige, Southwestern China. Eddy flux data from 2-year observations showed that temperature explained most of the seasonal variability in carbon fluxes and that warming increased GPP and ecosystem respiration, and hence affected the carbon balance of alpine wetlands. The comparison between modeled and observed GPP fluxes indicated that simulated values were largely in agreement with tower-based values (P < 0.0001). 12-year long-term simulations (2000–2011) found that (1) there was significantly increasing trends at rate of 17.01 gCm−2 year−1 for annual GPP (R 2 = 0.62, P = 0.002); (2) the inter-annual variation in GPP was highly sensitive to climate warming; and (3) a warmer climate can prolong the plant growing season and, by that, increase wetland productivity. Our results demonstrated that the satellite-driven VPM model has the potential to be applied at large spatial and temporal scales for scaling-up carbon fluxes of alpine wetlands.


Climate change Remote sensing Model Eddy covariance Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau Wetland 



This study was supported by Forestry Nonprofit Industry Scientific Research Special Project (No. 201204201), the National Science and Technology Support Program of China (2012BAC19B04), the National Youth Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 31300417), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 31170459), the research program ‘Climate Change: Carbon Budget and Relevant Issues’ of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (Grant No. XDA05050402) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No.50239020). X. Xiao was supported by a research gran from the NASA Earth Observing System (EOS) Data Analysis Program (NNX09AE93G). We thank the principal investigators of the MODIS data products as well as the Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s (ORNL) Distributed Active Archive Center (DAAC) and the Earth Observing System (EOS) Data Gateway for making these MODIS products available. We thank two anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments and suggestions on an earlier version of the manuscript.

Supplementary material

13157_2014_529_MOESM1_ESM.docx (750 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 749 kb)


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Copyright information

© Society of Wetland Scientists 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xiaoming Kang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yanfen Wang
    • 2
  • Huai Chen
    • 3
    • 4
  • Jianqing Tian
    • 5
  • Xiaoyong Cui
    • 2
  • Yichao Rui
    • 6
  • Lei Zhong
    • 2
  • Paul Kardol
    • 7
  • Yanbin Hao
    • 2
  • Xiangming Xiao
    • 8
  1. 1.Chinese Academy of ForestryInstitute of Wetland ResearchBeijingChina
  2. 2.College of Life SciencesUniversity of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  3. 3.Chinese Academy of SciencesChengdu Institute of BiologyChengduChina
  4. 4.College of ForestryNorthwest Agriculture and Forest UniversityYanglinChina
  5. 5.State Key Laboratory of MycologyInstitute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  6. 6.School of Earth and EnvironmentThe University of Western AustraliaCrawleyAustralia
  7. 7.Department of Forest Ecology and ManagementSwedish University of Agricultural SciencesUmeåSweden
  8. 8.Department of Microbiology and Plant Biology, Center for Spatial AnalysisUniversity of OklahomaNormanUSA

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