Evaluating the performance of the MODIS Leaf Area Index (LAI) product over a Mediterranean dryland planted forest Academic Article uri icon


  • The launch of the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) onboard the Terra and Aqua satellites improved the ability to evaluate several surface biophysical parameters, including Leaf Area Index (LAI), which is provided as an operational MODIS product, available at 1-km spatial resolution and at 8-day intervals. However, for heterogeneous and sparse planted forests that are common to the semi-arid eastern Mediterranean region, the data at low spatial resolution may be significantly biased by the contribution of different background elements to the total surface reflectance received by the sensor and cannot therefore correctly reflect the real forest phenology. In the current paper the performance of the MODIS LAI product was examined over a dryland Mediterranean forest in southern Israel. The study found a significant discrepancy between ground-based and MODIS LAI datasets. In general, MODIS LAI values were c.51% of the ground-based LAI measurements. In addition ground based LAI peaked in th...

publication date

  • January 1, 2009