Evaluation of MODIS GPP over a complex ecosystem in East Asia: A case study at Gwangneung flux tower in Korea

Changsub Shim, Jiyoun Hong, Jinkyu Hong, Youngwook Kim, Minseok Kang, Bindu Malla Thakuri, Yongwon Kim, Junghwa Chun

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21 Citations (Scopus)


Moderate Resolution Imaging Radiometer (MODIS) gross primary productivity (GPP) has been used widely to study the global carbon cycle associated with terrestrial ecosystems. The retrieval of the current MODIS productivity with a 1 × 1 km 2 resolution has limitations when presenting subgrid scale processes in terrestrial ecosystems, specifically when forests are located in mountainous areas, and shows heterogeneity in vegetation type due to intensive land use. Here, we evaluate MODIS GPP (MOD17) at Gwangneung deciduous forest KoFlux tower (deciduous forest; GDK) for 2006-2010 in Korea, where the forests comprise heterogeneous vegetation cover over complex terrain. The monthly MODIS GPP data overestimated the GDK measurements in a range of +15% to +34% and was fairly well correlated (R = 0.88) with the monthly variability at GDK during the growing season. In addition, the MODIS data partly represented the sharp GPP reduction during the Asian summer monsoon (June-September) when intensive precipitation considerably reduces solar radiation and disturbs the forest ecosystem. To examine the influence of subgrid scale heterogeneity on GPP estimates over the MODIS scale, the individual vegetation type and its area within a corresponding MODIS pixel were identified using a national forest type map (∼71-m spatial resolution), and the annual GPP in the same area as the MODIS pixel was estimated. This resulted in a slight reduction in the positive MODIS bias by ∼10%, with a high degree of uncertainty in the estimation. The MODIS discrepancy for GDK suggests further investigation is necessary to determine the MODIS errors associated with the site-specific aerodynamic and hydrological characteristics that are closely related to the mountainous topography. The accuracy of meteorological variables and the impact of the very cloudy conditions in East Asia also need to be assessed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2296-2308
Number of pages13
JournalAdvances in Space Research
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Dec 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This subject was jointly supported by the Korea Meteorological Administration Research and Development Program under Grant CATER (No. 2012-3031 and 2012-3033) and National Research Foundation of Korea (No. 20110009940 and NRF-2013S1A5B6043772). The data at GDK site were provided by KoFlux from the projects funded by Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, Ministry of Environment, and National Research Foundation of Korea. This study was partly supported by Long-term Ecological Study and Monitoring of Forest Ecosystem Project of Korea Forest Research Institute. We also thank Korea Environment Institute (KEI) for the institutional support for the research.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 COSPAR. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Geophysics
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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