Carbon use efficiency variability from MODIS data


  • M. Cañizares Universitat de València
  • A. Moreno University of Montana
  • Sergio Sánchez-Ruiz Universitat de València
  • M.A. Gilabert Universitat de València



carbon use efficiency (CUE), GPP, NPP, MODIS


Carbon use efficiency (CUE) describes how efficiently plants incorporate the carbon fixed during photosynthesis into biomass gain and can be calculated as the ratio between net primary production (NPP) and gross primary production (GPP). In this work, annual CUE has been obtained from annual GPP and NPP MODIS products for the peninsular Spain study area throughout eight years. CUE is spatially and temporally analyzed in terms of the vegetation type and annual precipitation and annual average air temperature. Results show that dense vegetation areas with moderate to high levels of precipitation present lower CUE values, whereas more arid areas present the highest CUE values. However, the temperature effect on the spatial variation of CUE is not well characterized. On the other hand, inter-annual variations of CUE of different ecosystems are discussed in terms of inter-annual variations of temperature and precipitation. It is shown that CUE exhibited a positive correlation with precipitation and a negative correlation with temperature in most ecosystems. Thus, CUE decreases when the ecosystem conditions change towards aridity.


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Author Biographies

M. Cañizares, Universitat de València

UV–ERS, Departament de Física de la Terra i Termodinàmica

A. Moreno, University of Montana

NTSG, Dept. of Ecosystem and Conservation Sciences

Sergio Sánchez-Ruiz, Universitat de València

UV–ERS, Departament de Física de la Terra i Termodinàmica

M.A. Gilabert, Universitat de València

As. Prof. of Applied Physics and membor of UV-ERS (University of Valencia Environmental Remote Sensing Group).

Main research topics: ecosystem carbon fluxes, vegetation indices, time series, desertification, and, in general, the study of vegetation using spectral data (from visible, near and middle infrared).


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