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What makes the satellite-based EVI–GPP relationship unclear in a deciduous broad-leaved forest?

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Ecological Research


Recent studies have suggested that gross primary production (GPP) of terrestrial vegetation can be estimated directly with the satellite-based Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI). However, the reported EVI–GPP relationships showed wide variability, with the regression functions showing widely scattered data. In the present study, we examined the possible reasons for this variability in the EVI–GPP relationship using daily EVI values from satellite and field measurements and daily flux-based GPP in a cool-temperate deciduous broad-leaved forest in Japan. The variability appears to be caused by noise due to cloud contamination in the satellite data as well as the different seasonality of EVI and GPP, especially during the leaf-expansion period. Our findings indicate that improvement of cloud screening and consideration of the leaf-expansion period are critical when applying the EVI–GPP relationship.

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We thank K. Kurumado and Y. Miyamoto (River Basin Research Center, Gifu University), for their assistance in the field and T. M. Saitoh (River Basin Research Center, Gifu University), M. Ishihara (National Institute for Environmental Studies) and H. Morimoto (Graduate School of Environmental Studies, Nagoya University) for their helpful comments. We thank the NASA Land Processes Distributed Active Archive Center in the Earth Observing System Data Gateway and the NASA Level 1 and Atmosphere Archive and Distribution System for providing the MODIS data. We thank two anonymous reviewers for their kind and constructive comments. This study was supported by the Global Environment Research Fund (S-1: Integrated study for terrestrial carbon management of Asia in the 21st century based on scientific advancement) of the Ministry of Environment of Japan, a grant from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan (Satellite Ecology, the 21st Century COE Program at Gifu University) and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) A3 Foresight Program. Support for technical advice and data collection at the Takayama site was provided by the Phenological Eyes Network (PEN).

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Correspondence to Shin Nagai.

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Nagai, S., Saigusa, N., Muraoka, H. et al. What makes the satellite-based EVI–GPP relationship unclear in a deciduous broad-leaved forest?. Ecol Res 25, 359–365 (2010).

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