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Estimating carbon and showing impacts of drought using satellite data in regression-tree models

October 2, 2017

Integrating spatially explicit biogeophysical and remotely sensed data into regression-tree models enables the spatial extrapolation of training data over large geographic spaces, allowing a better understanding of broad-scale ecosystem processes. The current study presents annual gross primary production (GPP) and annual ecosystem respiration (RE) for 2000–2013 in several short-statured vegetation types using carbon flux data from towers that are located strategically across the conterminous United States (CONUS). We calculate carbon fluxes (annual net ecosystem production [NEP]) for each year in our study period, which includes 2012 when drought and higher-than-normal temperatures influence vegetation productivity in large parts of the study area. We present and analyse carbon flux dynamics in the CONUS to better understand how drought affects GPP, RE, and NEP. Model accuracy metrics show strong correlation coefficients (r) (r ≥ 94%) between training and estimated data for both GPP and RE. Overall, average annual GPP, RE, and NEP are relatively constant throughout the study period except during 2012 when almost 60% less carbon is sequestered than normal. These results allow us to conclude that this modelling method effectively estimates carbon dynamics through time and allows the exploration of impacts of meteorological anomalies and vegetation types on carbon dynamics.

Publication Year 2018
Title Estimating carbon and showing impacts of drought using satellite data in regression-tree models
DOI 10.1080/01431161.2017.1384592
Authors Stephen P. Boyte, Bruce K. Wylie, Danny Howard, Devendra Dahal, Tagir G. Gilmanov
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title International Journal of Remote Sensing
Index ID 70191264
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center