Natural Resources, School of


Date of this Version



Remote Sens. 2020, 12, 3956; doi:10.3390/rs12233956


2020 by the authors.


Gross primary production (GPP) is a useful metric for determining trends in the terrestrial

carbon cycle. To estimate daily GPP, the cloud-adjusted light use efficiency model (LUEc) was developed by adapting a light use efficiency (LUE, ε) model to include in situ meteorological data and biophysical parameters. The LUEc uses four scalars to quantify the impacts of temperature, water stress, and phenology on ε. This study continues the original investigation in using the LUEc, originally limited to three AmeriFlux sites (US-Ne1, US-Ne2, and US-Ne3) by applying gridded meteorological data sets and remotely sensed green leaf area index (gLAI) to estimate daily GPP over a larger spatial extent. This was achieved by including data from four additional AmeriFlux locations in the U.S. Corn Belt for a total of seven locations. Results show an increase in error (RMSE = 3.5 g C m−2 d−1) over the original study in which in situ data were used (RMSE = 2.6 g C m−2 d−1). This is attributed to poor representation of gridded weather inputs (vapor pressure and incoming solar radiation) and application of gLAI algorithms to sites in Iowa, Minnesota, and Illinois, calibrated using data from Nebraska sites only, as well as uncertainty due to climatic variation. Despite these constraints, the study showed good correlation between measured and LUEc-modeled GPP (R2 = 0.80 and RMSE of 3.5 g C m−2 d−1). The decrease in model accuracy is somewhat offset by the ability to function with gridded weather datasets and remotely sensed biophysical data. The level of acceptable error is dependent upon the scope and objectives of the research at hand; nevertheless, the approach holds promise in developing regional daily estimates of GPP.