Multiple site tower flux and remote sensing comparisons of tropical forest dynamics in Monsoon Asia

A. R. Huete, N. Restrepo-Coupe, P. Ratana, K. Didan, S. R. Saleska, K. Ichii, S. Panuthai, M. Gamo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


The spatial and temporal dynamics of tropical forest functioning are poorly understood, partly attributed to a weak seasonality and high tree species diversity at the landscape scale. Recent neotropical rainforest studies with local tower flux measurements have revealed strong seasonal carbon fluxes that follow the availability of sunlight in intact forests, while in areas of forest disturbance, carbon fluxes more closely tracked seasonal water availability. These studies also showed a strong seasonal correspondence of satellite measures of greenness, using the Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI) with ecosystem carbon fluxes in both intact and disturbed forests, which may enable larger scale extension of tower flux measurements. In this study, we investigated the seasonal patterns and relationships of local site tower flux measures of gross primary productivity (Pg) with independent Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) satellite greenness measures across three Monsoon Asia tropical forest types, encompassing drought-deciduous, dry evergreen, and humid evergreen secondary tropical forests. In contrast to neotropical forests, the tropical forests of Monsoon Asia are more extensively degraded and heterogeneous due to intense land use pressures, and therefore, may exhibit unique seasonal patterns of ecosystem fluxes that are more likely water-limited and drought-susceptible. Our results show significant phenologic variability and response to moisture and light controls across the three tropical forest sites and at the regional scale. The drier tropical forests were primarily water-limited, while the wet evergreen secondary forest showed a slight positive trend with light availability. Satellite EVI greenness observations were generally synchronized and linearly related with seasonal and inter-annual tower flux Pg measurements at the multiple sites and provided better opportunities for tower extension of carbon fluxes than other satellite products, such as the MODIS Pg product. Satellite EVI-derived Pg images revealed strong seasonal variations in photosynthetic activity throughout the Monsoon Asia tropical region.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)748-760
Number of pages13
JournalAgricultural and Forest Meteorology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 15 2008


  • AsiaFlux
  • Phenology
  • Remote sensing
  • Tropical forests

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Forestry
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Atmospheric Science


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