19 Jun 2023
 | 19 Jun 2023
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal BG.

Reviews and syntheses: Remotely sensed optical time series for monitoring vegetation productivity

Lammert Kooistra, Katja Berger, Benjamin Brede, Lukas Valentin Graf, Helge Aasen, Jean-Louis Roujean, Miriam Machwitz, Martin Schlerf, Clement Atzberger, Egor Prikaziuk, Dessislava Ganeva, Enrico Tomelleri, Holly Croft, Pablo Reyes Muñoz, Virginia Garcia Millan, Roshanak Darvishzadeh, Gerbrand Koren, Ittai Herrmann, Offer Rozenstein, Santiago Belda, Miina Rautiainen, Stein Rune Karlsen, Cláudio Figueira Silva, Sofia Cerasoli, Jon Pierre, Emine Tanır Kayıkçı, Andrej Halabuk, Esra Tunc Gormus, Frank Fluit, Zhanzhang Cai, Marlena Kycko, Thomas Udelhoven, and Jochem Verrelst

Abstract. Vegetation productivity is a critical indicator of global ecosystem health and is impacted by human activities and climate change. A wide range of optical sensing platforms, from ground-based to airborne and satellite, provide spatially continuous information on terrestrial vegetation status and functioning. As optical Earth observation (EO) data are usually routinely acquired, vegetation can be monitored repeatedly over time; reflecting seasonal vegetation patterns and trends in vegetation productivity metrics. Such metrics include e.g., gross primary productivity, net primary productivity, biomass or yield. To summarize current knowledge, in this paper, we systematically reviewed time series (TS) literature for assessing state-of-the-art vegetation productivity monitoring approaches for different ecosystems based on optical remote sensing (RS) data. As the integration of solar-induced fluorescence (SIF) data in vegetation productivity processing chains has emerged as a promising source, we also include this relatively recent sensor modality. We define three methodological categories to derive productivity metrics from remotely sensed TS of vegetation indices or quantitative traits: (i) trend analysis and anomaly detection, (ii) land surface phenology, and (iii) integration and assimilation of TS-derived metrics into statistical and process-based dynamic vegetation models (DVM). Although the majority of used TS data streams originate from data acquired from satellite platforms, TS data from aircraft and unoccupied aerial vehicles have found their way into productivity monitoring studies. To facilitate processing, we provide a list of common toolboxes for inferring productivity metrics and information from TS data. We further discuss validation strategies of the RS-data derived productivity metrics: (1) using in situ measured data, such as yield, (2) sensor networks of distinct sensors, including spectroradiometers, flux towers, or phenological cameras, and (3) inter-comparison of different productivity products or modelled estimates. Finally, we address current challenges and propose a conceptual framework for productivity metrics derivation, including fully-integrated DVMs and radiative transfer models here labelled as "Digital Twin". This novel framework meets the requirements of multiple ecosystems and enables both an improved understanding of vegetation temporal dynamics in response to climate and environmental drivers and also enhances the accuracy of vegetation productivity monitoring.

Lammert Kooistra et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on bg-2023-88', Anonymous Referee #1, 29 Aug 2023
    • AC3: 'Reply on RC1', Katja Berger, 28 Sep 2023
  • AC1: 'Comment on bg-2023-88', Katja Berger, 08 Sep 2023
  • RC2: 'Comment on bg-2023-88', Anonymous Referee #2, 14 Sep 2023
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Katja Berger, 27 Sep 2023

Lammert Kooistra et al.

Lammert Kooistra et al.


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Short summary
We reviewed optical remote sensing time series (TS) papers for monitoring vegetation productivity across ecosystems. Methods were categorized into trend analysis, land surface phenology, and assimilation into statistical or dynamic vegetation models. Due to progress in machine learning, TS processing methods will diversify, and modelling strategies will advance towards holistic processing. We propose integrating methods into a digital twin to improve the understanding of vegetation dynamics.