Remote sensing of terrestrial primary production and carbon cycle

Maosheng Zhao, Steven W. Running

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

19 Scopus citations


The objective of this chapter is to review the historical development of and the recent advances in the application of satellite remote sensing data for estimating terrestrial gross and net primary production (GPP and NPP), while also monitoring carbon cycle related ecosystem dynamics and changes. We achieve this objective by separating the topic into five sections: 1. A review of the history of using satellite data to study the carbon cycle, concentrating on using the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and its derived Fraction of Photosynthetically Active Radiation (FPAR) and Leaf Area Index (LAI) for biomass and NPP estimations 2. A description of recent advances in the application of Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data to estimates of GPP and NPP, along with related findings using MODIS Land Surface Temperature (LST) and the Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI) 3. A discussion of the application of long-term satellite data to the study of terrestrial ecosystems, including phenology monitoring, changes in regional carbon storage resulting from land use change, carbon flux changes induced by climate change, disturbance detection, and validation of ecosystem models 4. A proposed general scheme for applying satellite data to terrestrial ecosystem studies, highlighting the role of modeling 5. A summary that emphasizes the continuity of vegetation monitoring with satellites The use of remote sensing information for studying terrestrial primary production and the global carbon cycle is significant both for an increased understanding of the earth system and improved management of land and natural resources.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in Land Remote Sensing
Subtitle of host publicationSystem, Modeling, Inversion and Application
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages22
ISBN (Print)9781402064494
StatePublished - 2008
Event2005 9th International Symposium on Physical Measurements and Signatures in Remote Sensing - Beijing, China
Duration: Oct 1 2005Oct 1 2005

Publication series

NameAdvances in Land Remote Sensing: System, Modeling, Inversion and Application


Conference2005 9th International Symposium on Physical Measurements and Signatures in Remote Sensing


FundersFunder number
National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationNAG5-12540, NNG04HZ19C


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