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Leaf area index in a tropical dry forest in Mexico Open Access


Other title
Chamela-Cuixmala Biosphere Reserve
tropical dry forest
leaf area index
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Huang, Yingduan
Supervisor and department
Sánchez-Azofeifa, Arturo (Earth and Atmospheric Sciences)
Examining committee member and department
Rivard, Benoit (Earth and Atmospheric Sciences)
Musilek, Petr (Electrical and Computer Engineering)
Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences

Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Science
Degree level
Tropical dry forests are important ecosystems for their high species richness, endemism and their important role in sustaining earth’s system. This thesis utilized leaf area index measurements to characterize tropical dry forest successions and their seasonality in a tropical dry forest in Mexico, explored its linkage with MODIS LAI and the factors that drive the variation of MODIS LAI. The objectives were: 1) To estimate LAI field measurements across three stages of succession in this tropical dry forest and evaluate the linkage between LAI and ecosystem structure and composition, 2) To estimate seasonal dynamics of the tropical dry forest by optical LAI measurements, and to evaluate the performance of MODIS LAI in estimating LAI in the tropical dry forest, 3) To evaluate the effects of subpixel land surface characteristics on the phenological pattern derived from MODIS LAI time series. Results found significant difference in LAI as well as in composition among successional stages. Seasonal dynamics were well captured by both optical measurements and MODIS LAI however discrepancy in values was found between these two variables. Further study in exploring subpixel characteristics found the amount of forest cover within a MODIS pixel, along with the mean aspect had a significant impact on MODIS LAI values as well as phenological characteristics derived from its time series. This thesis contributed to future research in the application and validation of remotely sensed LAI from both a biological perspective and a remote sensing perspective.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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