Comparing evapotranspiration products of different temporal and spatial scales in native and managed prairie pastures

Rajen Bajgain, Xiangming Xiao, Pradeep Wagle, John S. Kimball, Colin Brust, Jefferey B. Basara, Prasanna Gowda, Patrick J. Starks, James P.S. Neel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Grasslands in the Southern Great Plains of the United States have major ecological and economic importance, with strong climate and water cycle connections. The historic native prairie grassland has been managed differently for enhancing productivity, while consequently altering water vapor fluxes. However, little is known about the impacts of different management activities on evapotranspiration (ET) at different spatio-temporal scales. In this study, we quantified and compared ET between co-located introduced managed pasture (MP) and native prairie (NP) pasture. Additionally, we compared the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS)-derived ET at four different spatial scales: 30 m (ETMOD30), 200 m (ETMOD200), 500 m (ETMOD500), and 1000 m (ETMOD1000) with eddy covariance-measured ET (ETEC). Large differences in ETEC were observed between two pastures from half-hourly to seasonal scales, with variations mainly controlled by the amount of rainfall and management activities. The results demonstrated differential responses of MP and NP in a pluvial year. The ETMOD30 showed a better agreement with ETEC than did the ETMOD200, ETMOD500, and ETMOD1000. The ETMOD200, ETMOD500, and ETMOD1000 largely underestimated ETEC, most likely due to their inability to capture the spatial heterogeneity of vegetation growth impacted by various management activities. Our results facilitate understanding of the difference in ET of MP and NP due to differences in vegetation resulting from different management activities and their differential responses to precipitation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number82
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalRemote Sensing
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021


  • Evapotranspiration
  • Managed prairie
  • Native prairie
  • Spatial scales


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