Leaf area index in a tropical dry forest in Mexico

  • Author / Creator
    Huang, Yingduan
  • 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.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Spring 2012
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.