Assimilating satellite-based canopy height within an ecosystem model to estimate aboveground forest biomass

Joetzjer E., Pillet Michiel, Ciais Philippe, Barbier Nicolas, Chave Jérôme, Schlund M., Maignan F., Barichivich J., Luyssaert S., Herault Bruno, von Poncet F., Poulter Benjamin. 2017. Assimilating satellite-based canopy height within an ecosystem model to estimate aboveground forest biomass. Geophysical Research Letters, 44 (13) : pp. 6823-6832.

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Abstract : Despite advances in Earth observation and modeling, estimating tropical biomass remains a challenge. Recent work suggests that integrating satellite measurements of canopy height within ecosystem models is a promising approach to infer biomass. We tested the feasibility of this approach to retrieve aboveground biomass (AGB) at three tropical forest sites by assimilating remotely sensed canopy height derived from a texture analysis algorithm applied to the high-resolution Pleiades imager in the Organizing Carbon and Hydrology in Dynamic Ecosystems Canopy (ORCHIDEE-CAN) ecosystem model. While mean AGB could be estimated within 10% of AGB derived from census data in average across sites, canopy height derived from Pleiades product was spatially too smooth, thus unable to accurately resolve large height (and biomass) variations within the site considered. The error budget was evaluated in details, and systematic errors related to the ORCHIDEE-CAN structure contribute as a secondary source of error and could be overcome by using improved allometric equations. (Résumé d'auteur)

Mots-clés Agrovoc : Forêt, forêt tropicale, Biomasse, Télédétection, Écosystème, Déboisement, Changement climatique, séquestration du carbone, émission atmosphérique, Houppier, biomasse aérienne des arbres, inventaire forestier continu, Zone tropicale

Classification Agris : K01 - Forestry - General aspects
U30 - Research methods
P40 - Meteorology and climatology

Champ stratégique Cirad : Axe 6 (2014-2018) - Sociétés, natures et territoires

Agence(s) de financement européenne(s) : European Commission, European Research Council

Programme de financement européen : FP7

Projet(s) de financement européen(s) : Effects of phosphorus limitations on Life, Earth system and Society

Auteurs et affiliations

  • Joetzjer E., Montana State University (USA)
  • Pillet Michiel, Montana State University (USA)
  • Ciais Philippe, CEA (FRA)
  • Barbier Nicolas, IRD (FRA)
  • Chave Jérôme, Laboratoire Evolution et Diversité Biologique (FRA)
  • Schlund M., ESTEC (NLD)
  • Maignan F., CEA (FRA)
  • Barichivich J., Universidad Austral de Chile (CHL)
  • Luyssaert S., Vrije Universiteit (NLD)
  • Herault Bruno, CIRAD-ES-UMR Ecofog (CIV) ORCID: 0000-0002-6950-7286
  • von Poncet F., Airbus Defense and Space (DEU)
  • Poulter Benjamin, Montana State University (USA)

Source : Cirad-Agritrop (

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