Articles | Volume 7, issue 2
17 Feb 2010
 | 17 Feb 2010

Estimating carbon dioxide fluxes from temperate mountain grasslands using broad-band vegetation indices

G. Wohlfahrt, S. Pilloni, L. Hörtnagl, and A. Hammerle

Abstract. The broad-band normalised difference vegetation index (NDVI) and the simple ratio (SR) were calculated from measurements of reflectance of photosynthetically active and short-wave radiation at two temperate mountain grasslands in Austria and related to the net ecosystem CO2 exchange (NEE) measured concurrently by means of the eddy covariance method. There was no significant statistical difference between the relationships of midday mean NEE with narrow- and broad-band NDVI and SR, measured during and calculated for that same time window, respectively. The skill of broad-band NDVI and SR in predicting CO2 fluxes was higher for metrics dominated by gross photosynthesis and lowest for ecosystem respiration, with NEE in between. A method based on a simple light response model whose parameters were parameterised based on broad-band NDVI allowed to improve predictions of daily NEE and is suggested to hold promise for filling gaps in the NEE time series. Relationships of CO2 flux metrics with broad-band NDVI and SR however generally differed between the two studied grassland sites indicting an influence of additional factors not yet accounted for.

Final-revised paper