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An Overview of Global Leaf Area Index (LAI): Methods, Products, Validation, and Applications

Abstract Leaf area index (LAI) is a critical vegetation structural variable and is essential in the feedback of vegetation to the climate system. The advancement of the global Earth Observation (EO) has enabled the development of global LAI products and boosted global Earth system modeling studies. This overview provides a comprehensive analysis of LAI field measurements and remote sensing estimation methods, the product validation methods and product uncertainties, and the application of LAI in global studies. First, the paper clarifies some definitions related to LAI and introduces methods to determine LAI from field measurements and remote sensing observations. After introducing some major global LAI products, progress made in temporal compositing and prospects for future LAI estimation are discussed. Subsequently, the overview presents various LAI product validation schemes, uncertainties in global moderate resolution LAI products and high resolution reference data. Finally, applications of LAI in global vegetation change, land surface modeling, and agricultural studies are presented. It is recommended that (1) continued efforts are taken to advance LAI estimation algorithms and provide high temporal and spatial resolution products from current and forthcoming missions; (2) further validation studies be conducted to address the inadequacy of current validation studies, especially for under‐represented regions and seasons; and (3) new research frontiers, such as machine learning algorithms, LiDAR technology, and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) be pursued to broaden the production and application of LAI.

مروری بر شاخص سطح جهانی برگ (LAI): روش‌ها، محصولات، اعتبار سنجی، و کاربردها

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