An algorithm for the retrieval of the clumping index (CI) from the MODIS BRDF product using an adjusted version of the kernel-driven BRDF model
Abstract The clumping index (CI) characterizes the grouping of foliage relative to a random spatial distribution of leaves and is an important structural parameter for plant canopies that can influence canopy radiation regimes. Consequently, the CI is very useful for ecological and meteorological models. One method used to retrieve the CIs of plant canopies is to construct a linear relationship between the CI and the normalized difference between hotspot and dark spot (NDHD) angular index. This method requires a particularly accurate reconstruction of hotspot signatures, which are difficult to measure. In this study, we propose a framework to retrieve CIs from Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) bidirectional reflectance distribution function (BRDF) parameters, which are generally based on linear CI-NDHD equations. The main algorithm is designed to retrieve CIs in the closed interval [0.33, 1.00]. This range is derived from the CI-NDHD equations and is thus called as the physical range here, although a modified lower boundary can be implemented in the future if necessary. If CIs are outside of this range, then a backup algorithm is designed to reprocess these so-called outlier CIs. The hotspot-adjusted version of the RossThick-LiSparseReciprocal (RTLSR) model (i.e., the RTCLSR model) is employed to reconstruct the hotspot signatures for the MODIS BRDF parameters. This method simplifies the hotspot reconstruction by using two hotspot parameters that are not distinctly scale-dependent particularly in the context of an inhomogeneous coarse spatial resolution. To evaluate this algorithm framework, we collect dozens of global field-measured CIs and calculate their determination coefficient ( R 2 ), root mean square error (RMSE) and bias relative to MODIS CIs derived using both the main algorithm and the backup algorithm. Our results show that this framework can derive MODIS CIs with a high accuracy (i.e., R 2 = 0.80 (0.72), RMSE = 0.07 (0.12), bias = −0.03 (−0.10)) using the main (backup) algorithms and that it shows promise for various ecological applications, especially in combination with the leaf area index (LAI). Highlights A method is proposed to map clumping indices (CIs) from MODIS BRDF parameters. An adjusted model, RTCSLR, is used to adjust for underestimated hotspot signatures. A main algorithm generates MODIS CIs in the closed interval [0.33, 1.0]. A backup algorithm is devised to process CIs outside of the aforementioned range. Validation shows this method can produce MODIS CIs with a high accuracy.
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