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Ecological Modelling 169 (2003) 131155 A remote sensing-based primary production model

Summary: Ecological Modelling 169 (2003) 131­155
A remote sensing-based primary production model
for grassland biomes
J.W. Seaquista,, L. Olssonb, J. Ardöc
a Department of Geography & Centre for Climate and Global Change Research, McGill University,
805 Sherbrooke St. W., Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3A 2K6
b Centre for Environmental Studies, Lund University, Box 170, S-221 00 Lund, Sweden
c Department of Physical Geography and Ecosystems Analysis, Lund University, Box 118, S-221 00 Lund, Sweden
Received 13 February 2002; received in revised form 17 June 2003; accepted 16 July 2003
That data from polar orbiting satellites have detected a widespread increase in photosynthetic activity over the last 20 years
in the grasslands of the Sahel is justifies investigating its role in the tropical carbon cycle. But this task is undermined because
ground data that are generally used to support the use of primary production models elsewhere are lacking. In this paper, we
profile a Light Use Efficiency (LUE) model of primary production parameterised with satellite information, and test it for the
West African Sahel; solar radiation is absorbed by plants to provide energy for photosynthesis, while moisture shortfalls control
the efficiency of light usage. In particular, we show how an economical use of existing, yet meagre data sets can be used to
circumvent nominal, yet untenable approaches for achieving this for the region. Specifically, we use a cloudiness layer provided
with the NOAA/NASA 8 km Pathfinder Land data archive (PAL) data set to derive solar radiation (and other energy balance
terms) required to implement the model (monthly time-step). Of particular note, we index growth efficiency via transpiration by
subsuming rangeland-yield formulations into our model. This is important for partially vegetated landscapes where the fate of


Source: Ardö, Jonas - Department of Earth and Ecosystem Sciences, Lunds Universitet


Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology; Geosciences