Remote estimation of grassland gross primary production during extreme meteorological seasons

Micol Rossini, Mirco Migliavacca, Marta Galvagno, Michele Meroni, Sergio Cogliati, Edoardo Cremonese, Francesco Fava, Anatoly Gitelson, Tommaso Julitta, Umberto Morra di Cella, Consolata Siniscalco, Roberto Colombo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Different models driven by remotely sensed vegetation indexes (VIs) and incident photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) were developed to estimate gross primary production (GPP) in a subalpine grassland equipped with an eddy covariance flux tower. Hyperspectral reflectance was collected using an automatic system designed for high temporal frequency acquisitions for three consecutive years, including one (2011) characterized by a strong reduction of the carbon sequestration rate during the vegetative season. Models based on remotely sensed and meteorological data were used to estimate GPP, and a cross-validation approach was used to compare the predictive capabilities of different model formulations. Vegetation indexes designed to be more sensitive to chlorophyll content explained most of the variability in GPP in the ecosystem investigated, characterized by a strong seasonal dynamic. Model performances improved when including also PARpotential defined as the maximal value of incident PAR under clear sky conditions in model formulations. Best performing models are based entirely on remotely sensed data. This finding could contribute to the development of methods for quantifying the temporal variation of GPP also on a broader scale using current and future satellite sensors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2014


  • Extreme events
  • Grassland
  • Gross primary production
  • PRI
  • Potential photosynthetically active radiation
  • Vegetation index

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Computers in Earth Sciences
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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