Agronomy and Horticulture Department


Date of this Version



Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 161 (August 15, 2012), pp. 15–25; doi: 10.1016/j.agrformet.2012.03.012


Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. Used by permission.


The seasonal patterns of green leaf area index (GLAI) can be used to assess crop physiological and phenological status, to assess yield potential, and to incorporate in crop simulation models. This study focused on examining the potential capabilities and limitations of satellite data retrieved from the moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS) 8- and 16-day composite products to quantitatively estimate GLAI over maize (Zea mays L.) fields. Results, based on the nine years of data used in this study, indicated a wide variability of temporal resolution obtained from MODIS 8- and 16-day composite periods and highlighted the importance of information about day of MODIS products pixel composite for monitoring agricultural crops. Due to high maize GLAI temporal variability, the inclusion of day of pixel composite is necessary to decrease substantial uncertainties in estimating GLAI. Results also indicated that maize GLAI can be accurately retrieved from the 250-m resolution MODIS products (MOD13Q1 and MOD09Q1) by a wide dynamic range vegetation index with root mean square error (RMSE) below 0.60 m2 m−2 or by the enhanced vegetation index with RMSE below 0.70 m2 m−2.