Häusler, M., Silva, J.M.N., Cerasoli, S., López-Saldaña, G. & Pereira, J.M.C. (2016) Modelling spectral reflectance of open cork oak woodland: a simulation analysis of the effects of vegetation structure and background.International Journal of Remote Sensing, 37(3), 492-515. DOI:10.1080/01431161.2015.1134847 (IF2016 1,724; Q2 Imaging Science & Photographic Technology)
This study analyses the influence of vegetation structure (i.e. leaf area index and canopy cover) and seasonal background changes on moderate-resolution imaging spectrometer (MODIS)-simulated reflectance data in open woodland. Approximately monthly spectral reflectance and transmittance field measurements (May 2011 to October 2013) of cork oak tree leaves (Quercus suber) and of the herbaceous understorey were recorded in the region of Ribatejo, Portugal. The geometric-optical and radiative transfer (GORT) model was used to simulate MODIS response (red, near-infrared) and to calculate vegetation indices, investigating their response to changes in the structure of the overstorey vegetation and to seasonal changes in the understorey using scenarios corresponding to contrasting phenological status (dry season vs. wet season). The performance of normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), soil-adjusted vegetation index (SAVI), and enhanced vegetation index (EVI) is discussed. Results showed that SAVI and EVI were very sensitive to the emergence of background vegetation in the wet season compared to NDVI and that shading effects lead to an opposing trend in the vegetation indices. The information provided by this research can be useful to improve our understanding of the temporal dynamic of vegetation, monitored by vegetation indices.